Motorcycle on road

Are Motorcycle Accidents on the Rise in Los Angeles?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Motorcycle accidents are on the rise in Los Angeles, as well as throughout the state of California and the entire United States. Motorcycle riders tend to suffer much more severe injuries and fatalities than people traveling inside cars and trucks because they usually go flying through the air upon impact and do not have a metal “shield” around them like the frame of a car or truck.

A California motorcycle accident attorney can help you pursue money damages if you got hurt or your close relative died from a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles or the surrounding area.

The Increase in Motorcycle Crashes in Southern California

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune (SGVT) reports that fatal collisions involving motorcycles have increased over the last 22 years in southern California. A motorcycle rider is 28 times more likely to get killed in a crash than someone in a car or truck. The number of California motorcycle fatalities is now nearly twice as high as it was 20 years ago.

The SGVT article raises concerns about the recent law that legalized lane-splitting, a maneuver that allows motorcycles to ride between side-by-side cars on highways. Experts say that another factor in the high number of motorcyclist deaths in our state is how easy it is to get a motorcycle license here.

Part of an Overall Increase in Motor Vehicle Crashes in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) reports that traffic collisions with severe injuries or fatalities went up significantly in Los Angeles between 2020 and 2021, increasing by 30 percent for crashes with severe injuries and 22 percent for accidents with fatalities. DUI-related collisions went up by 17 percent in LA during that time, with the Central Bureau area experiencing a 41 percent increase. The Central Bureau area reported a 300 percent increase in DUI-related crashes that involved severe injuries.

The Increase in Fatal Motorcycle Crashes in California During the Last 20 Years

The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) collects data on crashes involving motorcycles, which it defines as:

  • Two-wheel Motorcycles (not including motor scooters)
  • Mopeds and Motorized Bicycles
  • Three-wheel Motorcycles with either 2 rear or 1 rear wheel
  • Off-road Motorcycles
  • Motor Scooters
  • Minibikes

Of these groups, two-wheel motorcycles and motor scooters account for 96 percent of the traffic fatalities involving the larger category of motorcycles. One might think that off-road motorcycles would be dangerous, but they are less than one percent of California’s total motorcycle fatalities. 

FARS reports that in 2019, there were 486 fatalities of motorcycle riders in California crashes, compared to 411 in 2009, and 250 in 1999. To understand these raw numbers, one should keep in mind that the population of our state was 39.28 million in 2019, 38.5 million in 2009, and 33.5 million in 1999. In other words, California’s population increased 17 percent in those 20 years, but the number of motorcycle fatalities went up by 94 percent during those years.  You will want to talk to a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you have an injury claim from a motorcycle accident. For legal help, contact our office today, we gladly offer a free consultation.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.