Nighttime motorcycle accidents are a pressing issue in California, particularly in densely populated urban areas like Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, and the Inland Empire. Unfortunately, the allure of motorcycle riding - its convenience, cost-effectiveness, and adventure - often comes with a fatal cost. Riding after dark increases the already significant risks faced by riders, who are exposed to the elements with minimal physical protection. The reduced visibility of nighttime riding can obscure potholes and other road hazards, making accidents more likely. Moreover, drivers are often unaccustomed to sharing the road with motorcycles at night, creating a dangerous situation for all involved.
Motorcycle Accidents Transpiring in California
In the State of California, a unique issue has emerged in relation to the usage of motorcycles. Due to the favorable climate year-round, the state experiences continuous motorcycle activity. Recent data demonstrates a disparity in the number of crashes occurring during December and January, which have recorded approximately 20 fatalities each month. Conversely, the statistics for the remaining months of the year indicate almost double the number of fatalities. For example, in October, there were approximately 48 recorded motorcycle fatalities. Nationally, the risk of a motorcyclist dying in an accident per mile traveled is 26 times greater than that of occupants of passenger vehicles.
Furthermore, it is noted that the period after 6 p.m. poses the greatest risk to motorcyclists, as around 60 percent of fatalities occur during this time. It is important to note that despite wearing helmets, 93 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents suffered casualties. Additionally, there has been a 5 percent increase in cycle registrations across the state, resulting in a 23 percent increase in deaths. In the region of Los Angeles, the figures are even more alarming, with fatalities increasing by 59 percent between 2010 and 2012, according to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. Experts attribute this trend to high fuel costs, which are prompting both new and seasoned riders to opt for motorcycles. This has led to an influx of tourists renting cycles in southern counties to explore scenic routes. However, their lack of experience and familiarity with the area increases their likelihood of involvement in serious accidents.
Given this dramatic surge in accidents, an increasing number of attorneys are working to secure compensation for victims who have suffered severe head, neck, and brain injuries.
Nighttime motorcycle Crashes in the context of Weekdays and Weekends
As per reports from the Insurance Information Institute and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists face a higher risk of injury during the weekend between midnight and 3 a.m. in comparison to the same period on weekdays, with a likelihood of three times greater. In the 9 p.m. to midnight timeframe, injury crashes on the weekend more than doubled. Conversely, the increase in accidents during weekdays between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. is less significant as numerous cyclists remain active during this period. Early evening accidents account for almost 20 percent of all injury crashes, with fatalities being the highest between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., followed by the 9 p.m. to midnight period. During weekends, the most perilous time to ride a motorcycle is from midnight to 3 a.m. Fatal crashes between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. are infrequent, accounting for fewer than 5 percent of all fatalities.
The Hazards of Operating a Motorcycle During Nighttime Hours
When motorcyclists ride, they are knowingly taking on significant risk, particularly during nighttime and after dark. Limited visibility is a significant contributing factor to all injury and fatal crashes that transpire at night. Secondary roads, such as the Pacific Coast Highway, where undulating terrain, curves, and other geographic features may obscure visibility, are more prone to accidents involving motorcycles. These roads are attractive to thrill-seeking cyclists; however, they pose inherent dangers. Moreover, nighttime accidents are more likely to involve alcohol, which is just one of the reasons why many severe collisions occur during this period.
Establishing Fault in Motorcycle Accidents
Passengers and riders can suffer debilitating injuries in a single-vehicle or multiple-vehicle crash. Even with a helmet, riders frequently experience disfiguring lacerations, contusions, road burn, broken bones, spinal trauma and head injuries. Riders have a right to be on the roads at any hour, but it’s important for all motorists to obey traffic rules, observe oncoming vehicles and follow the speed limit at all times. There’s no excuse for traffic safety violations that endanger lives. Motorists who cause such collisions may be punished according to the state’s vehicular manslaughter laws. Victims also have a right to recover compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation and lost wages in a civil trial.