Summer is the best season for motorcycle riders. The unusually consistent sunny weather enables longer rides with better conditions throughout California. Of course, more motorcycles on the road increases the likelihood of a motorcycle accident, but there are a few simple steps that riders can take to improve motorcycle safety by avoiding unnecessary risks. These actions involve wearing all appropriate safety equipment, attending summer motorcycle events that stress safe rides, and encouraging teens to stay safe on their motorcycles. We’ve developed this motorcycle safety resource to address each of these issues for the summer and fall months.
Motorcycle Helmet Debate
Earlier in the summer, we rounded up some of the arguments for and against a motorcycle helmet law in California. In general, proponents say that helmets have been proven to save hundreds of lives each year and opponents say they should be able to decide whether they want to take the risk or not. Here are some highlights from our post on the California motorcycle helmet debate.
Pro-Motorcycle Helmet Law
- Helmets saved nearly 2,000 motorcycle riders in 2008 alone.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration predicts that a helmet law could have saved an additional 822 lives.
- Helmet use saved the government about $3 billion in 2008, and could have saved an additional $1.3 billion with a helmet law.
Anti-Motorcycle Helmet Law
- Helmet laws have reduced the number of motorcycle riders by approximately 40 percent since 1992, the California DMV predicts.
- Motorcycle deaths have not decreased since the helmet law was enacted.
- Motorcycles are dangerous, and a helmet is not likely to thwart death following a high-speed accident.
Visit our post on the motorcycle helmet debate in California for more statistics and the complete arguments for and against stricter laws. And whether or not you support a statewide law, consider wearing a helmet on long motorcycle rides this summer.
Summer Motorcycle Events in California
A number of popular motorcycle groups and organizations have organized long motorcycle rides or events all summer long. Some of these events raise awareness and funds for an important cause, while others are just intended to get everyone out on the road to witness California’s stunning scenery. Take a look at our California summer motorcycle event calendar for events through August:
Teen Motorcycle Safety Information
More teens are getting on motorcycles as a fun alternative to cars. Motorcycles are appealing because they are less clunky, they save gas, and in many states, they can zoom between cars in traffic. But as with other motor vehicles, teens are the demographic most susceptible to motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities. So to prevent teen motorcycle accidents, it could be useful to share the following statistics with teen drivers to encourage them to be extra safe while zooming down California streets and highways.
- In 2009, motorcycle accidents led to 205 deaths and 5,000 injuries of riders 15-20.
- Of the teen motorcycle death victims in 2009, 26 percent were not wearing helmets.
- 39 percent of the teen motorcycle riders killed in 2009 were unlicensed or driving with an invalid license.
Visit our blog post on teen motorcycle safety information for more statistics on teen riders and requirements for getting motorcycle permits and licenses.
Photo credit: El Caganer.