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California drivers: Take special caution around motorcyclists

There is an inherent risk to riding a motorcycle on roads in California – and everywhere, for that matter. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), people on motorcycles are 27 times more likely than occupants of passenger vehicles to die in a crash, and injuries are five times more likely to occur.

In fact, according to the NHTSA, 5,286 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2016, up 5.1 percent from 2015.

The agency offered a number of tips to help drivers navigate around motorcycles on the road safely. Even the smallest lapse by a vehicle driver can cause the death of or injury to a motorcyclist. The tips for vehicle drivers:

  1. When approaching an intersection, turning left or pulling into the road from a parking lot, slow down and assess the situation. Check for motorcyclists.
  2. As you turn left, make sure there are adequate time and space for the motorcyclist to pass you before you turn.
  3. Leave enough room between your car and the motorcycle in front of you to allow for braking without a collision. A motorcycle's brake lights might not always illuminate as a motorcycle slows down.
  4. Check your blind spots – and check again – as you change lanes or as you enter or exit the roadways. Adjust your mirrors and be sure to use them.
  5. One off-road tip. If you know someone who drives a motorcycle, remind them to always wear a helmet while on their bikes. The NHTSA estimated that 740 motorcyclists who died in 2015 could have survived if they had worn a helmet.

Motorcyclists and vehicle drivers share the responsibility of keeping bikers safe on the road. If you are a motorcyclist who has been injured through the negligence of a driver, a California attorney experienced in personal injury cases could help you recoup your losses.

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