Cheap gas prices at the pump and an economic recession could have prevented lives from being lost in California motorcycle accidents, according to the most recent fatal motorcycle crash data available from the state. There has been a 23 percent increase in motorcycle accidents statewide that some attribute to higher gas prices and a better economy.
One theory being offered to explain a 15 percent increase in motorcycle victim deaths in Orange County and a 59 percent increase in nearby counties is a lack of riding experience of motorcycle users who have recently taken to the roads. Motorcycle registrations are up as recreational riders again take to the roads after being sidelined by a recession that made it difficult for some to justify spending money to maintain a motorcycle for weekend riding. Now that people have money to spend on leisure activities, many out-of-practice and novice riders are crowding the highways.
Another cause of the sharp rise in motorcycle collisions might be higher gasoline prices. The last decline in fatal motorcycle crash data coincided with low gasoline prices.
Higher prices at the pump make a fuel-efficient motorcycle an economical alternative to the family car for commuting to and from work each day. The increase in weekday use of a motorcycle as a means of transportation is seen as another reason that more motorcycle accidents are occurring.
A recent study shows that lane-splitting, the act of riding a motorcycle between traffic lanes, may have added to the number of rush hour collisions in which motorcyclists crash into the rear of another vehicle in stop-and-go traffic. The study also showed that splitting lanes, which is legal in California, may increase a rider's risk of falling victim to other types of collisions.
As a motorcycle accident victim, you might be entitled to receive compensation for broken bones or other injuries suffered due to the fault of a negligent driver. A personal injury attorney might be a good source of legal advice and guidance about how to file a claim for damages.
Source: KPCC, "Motorcycle crashes, deaths spike 23 pct. in SoCal: Gas prices, economy blamed," Erika Aguilar and Chris Keller, Dec. 24, 2014