Fatalities for motorcycle and ATV riders in California have increased. This is a trend that has been reflected throughout the entire U.S. as 5,579 motorcycle riders were involved in fatal crashes in 2020. This number represents an increase of 11% over 2019 and is the highest number of fatal crashes recorded in any year.
The number of motorcycle fatalities has doubled
Motorcycle accidents were 14% of all vehicle deaths recorded in 2020. This figure represents an increase of more than double the number of deaths recorded in 1997. The number of motorcycle fatalities recorded per mile traveled was nearly 29 times the figure recorded for people who were traveling in cars.
ATV riders have also experienced a growing number of fatal crashes. This type of vehicle is not designed for use on highways. However, hundreds of people riding them have died on public roads in recent years, and 29% of motorcycle and ATV riders who were killed in crashes in 2020 were from the age group of 30 and under.
Mandatory helmet laws can save many lives
Many of the deaths recorded for motorcycle and ATV riders were due to the lack of proper safety precautions being taken. For example, many deaths were caused by excessive speeding or driving while intoxicated or distracted.
A disproportionate number of deaths were due to motorcycle riders not wearing proper safety gear. Crashes involving riders not wearing helmets were common, especially among people who were riding ATVs at the time the crash took place.
The size of the engine of the motorcycle that people were riding during the crash may also be a factor in the increased number of deaths as 34% of people killed on motorcycles in 2020 were riding vehicles with engine sizes that were larger than 1,400 CC.