560 people lost their lives in California motorcycle accidents in 2008. Distracted drivers, unsafe road conditions and many other factors led to these deaths, but the fact remains that California needed to make driving a motorcycle safer in the state. The 2009 traffic statistics revealed good news.
2009 marked the first time in more than a decade that motorcycle deaths decreased from the previous year. In fact, there were 29.6 percent fewer fatalities from California motorcycle crashes in 2009.
So what led to the decrease in fatal motorcycle accidents? Among other factors, the California Highway Patrol’s motorcycle training programs and safety campaigns seem to have made a significant different. The CHP has trained more than 300,000 motorcycle riders in the last five years.
Joe Farrow, the CHP Commissioner, was pleased with the newly released traffic data, saying “they are a direct result of efforts by all motorists, law enforcement officers throughout the state, laws designed to keep people safe on our roads, and technological advances to by automobile manufacturers to build safer cars.” However, he added, “Our work is not done… until we can ensure that every trip behind the wheel of a car or on a motorcycle in California ends safely.
The California Strategic Highway Safety Plan was put in place to decrease the number of traffic injuries and deaths in the state. It was the result of a collaboration between federal, state and local groups directed towards making California roads safer for everyone, motorcyclists included.
Source: California DUI and Motorcycle Fatalities Highlight Big Decline in Overall Traffic Deaths, 9 Sept 2010