It is not uncommon to see a group of motorcyclists enjoying a lovely ride in California. Whether taking in the coastline or riding through the rolling hills of the inland mountains and valleys, the topography and climate in California make it an ideal place to ride a motorcycle. Sadly, at the same time, the need to share congested roads and highways with other motorists also makes California a dangerous place to ride a motorcycle.
In looking at records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists represented anywhere from 13.7% to 16.8% of all vehicular fatalities each year between 2014 and 2018. In those five years, 2017 was an especially deadly one for bikers, claiming 578 riders lives in crashes. Motorcycle fatalities span all ages of riders from teens through seniors.
Between 2014 and 2018, there were 88 riders under the age of 20 killed in crashes. On the opposite end of the demographic spectrum, motorcyclists in their 60s or older accounted for 346 biker deaths during those five years. Among bikers in their 40s and 50s, a total of 414 and 450 lost their lives in accidents. Deaths of motorcycle enthusiasts in their 20s and 30s numbered 853 and 506. Among all groups, the vast majority of riders killed were wearing helmets at the time of their accidents.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people in California an overview of the scope and magnitude of dangers faced by motorcyclists on area roads and highways as they must share roads with larger vehicles.