More motorcycles are registered in California than any other state, and a May 2015 initiative by the California Highway Patrol and the Office of Traffic Safety aims to increase safety for those who choose to ride. Motorcycles make up only a tiny fraction of the vehicles on the nation's roads, but motorcycle riders and passengers accounted for 14 percent of all road fatalities in 2013.
According to the CHP, motorcyclists can increase their chances of avoiding a motorcycle crash by wearing a DOT approved helmet as well as other protective clothing and taking part in a motorcycle safety course. These courses are offered throughout the state as part of the California Motorcyclist Safety Program, and almost a million riders have learned valuable safety lessons since the program started in 1987. The courses encourage defensive riding habits and warn of the dangers of excessive speed and intoxicated riding.
A number of events have been scheduled during May to draw attention to Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. A two-day motorcycle show was held on May 2 and May 3 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, and the Sacramento River Cats minor league baseball team will take part in a motorcycle themed event on May 21. A Memorial Day bike run in Riverside will cap off the month-long activities, and over 7,000 riders are expected to take part.
While efforts to improve the riding habits of motorcyclists should be welcomed, many accidents involving bikes are caused by distracted, reckless or impaired passenger vehicle drivers. Motorcyclists who are injured by a negligent motorist may wish to meet with an attorney to determine the remedies that may be available to compensate them for their losses.