According to new federal safety data, traffic fatalities in Orange County have decreased 15% in 2008 from the previous year but O.C. motorcycle accident deaths have increased 44%. There are several reasons for the increase; less skilled riders, a bad economy and more powerful riding equipment.
It started with the high cost of fuel and now with lower incomes, more than ever people are turning the cars in for motorcycles. However, driving a motorcycle is not like driving a car. Newer motorbikes are heavier, faster and more difficult to control. In California over one-third of all motorcycle accident victims did not have the proper Department of Motor Vehicle endorsement on their licenses.
It is not unusual for me to see an accident outside one of the motorcycle performance shops in Orange County. You know the guy, just bought the bike, can’t wait to ride, has little training on this bike, pulls from the parking lot and gives too much throttle, inevitably dumping the bike.
The California Office of Traffic and Safety is encouraging every motorcycle driver to get trained through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Graduates of these programs qualify for DMV endorsements and won’t have to take the skills exam. I recommend that you go out with a seasoned rider, and learn the performance and tendencies of your new machine.
With the exception of bad motorcycle accident data, Orange County ‘s vehicle fatalities are decreasing and DUI deaths are down thanks to more awareness and social responsibility. California vehicle fatalities were down 14% last year, the lowest level since 1975.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle or vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as you are able. You can call us at 1 866 752-7474 for immediate help.
James Ballidis is an attorney with the firm of Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie.