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Motorcycle fatalities: High in Southern California

Motorcycle crashes aren't uncommon, and they certainly haven't been on the decline. According to a report from 2018, motorcycle-related deaths have been rising over the course of the 22 years leading up to the study. Southern California saw much of the increase, which is something to discuss as you consider riding in Manhattan Beach.

Motorcycle-related fatalities more than doubled since 1997 and the time of the report. Usually, the majority of crashes and deaths happen in July, the peak of summer. In 2016, motorcyclist deaths made up 14% of all traffic fatalities despite the fact that motorcycles only make up around 3% of the nation's registered vehicles.

At the time of the May 2018 "Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State" report, California was listed as the 15th highest-ranking state for motorcyclist fatalities. Nevada was the state with the greatest number of motorcyclist fatalities.

Did you know that the difference in weight between your motorcycle and a vehicle can be thousands of pounds? A motorcycle averages at 600 pounds, and it offers riders no protection. That in itself is one reason why so many people are hurt. Without airbags, side-impact protection or other protective measures, riders could be hit directly, absorbing all the force of the impact and the force of hitting the roadway as they fall to the ground.

How can you minimize your risk of significant injuries in a motorcycle collision?

If you are going to ride a motorcycle, there is a risk of a motorcycle collision. To minimize the risk of significant injuries, you should:

  • Take a riding course. Even if it's not required because you're over the age of 21, it's smart to take a riding course to learn to slow down and stop safely, take evasive maneuvers if a vehicle could hit you or to learn other helpful techniques to keep control of your motorcycle.
  • Wear protective gear, including padded clothing and a helmet.
  • Ride only where you're confident. If you are riding on a highway for the first time, try to ride in areas with minimal traffic. If you aren't sure how to lane share, then don't do it. You can take lessons to learn how to share a lane safely.

It's important for you to take safety into your own hands. Riding a motorcycle is dangerous, but there are many things you can do to keep yourself safe and to help prevent a crash.

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