Did you know in California in 2010, 27 percent of all motorcycle riders who were killed in traffic accidents had a blood alcohol level (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08? In other words, almost three out of ten fatal motorcycle accidents across the state could have been prevented by not riding under the influence.
Here’s another shocking statistic: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), riders involved in fatal motorcycle accidents are 2.5 times more likely to be intoxicated than drivers involved in passenger car vehicles.
What do these facts tell us about drinking and riding, and motorcycle accidents?
Anyone who rides a motorcycle will tell you it requires more skill and concentration than driving a car or truck. You are balanced on two wheels, and both your feet and hands must work to operate the vehicle and switch gears. At the same time, you must be very aware of common motorcycle hazards, like loose gravel, potholes, and unaware drivers. Because a motorcycle rider needs to devote more motor skills and attention to the road than other drivers, their riding skills may be more easily affected by alcohol impairment.
Unfortunately, stereotypes exist regarding drinking and motorcycle riding. Even motorcycle enthusiasts agree that the biker culture has, in the past, promoted or condoned drinking and riding at motorcycle festivals and events. We all have heard stories of riders racing or driving recklessly after drinking or doing illegal drugs. It is a trend which motorcycle organizations are working hard to combat through education and awareness programs. Still, while many states are seeing a reduction in overall DUI car accidents and deaths, the number of DUI motorcycle accidents is growing.
Perhaps you were struck and injured by a motorcycle rider under the influence of alcohol. Perhaps you were involved in a motorcycle accident after a bar over-served a patron on a bike. Whatever the circumstances of your motorcycle crash, you may wish to speak with a California personal injury attorney about your possible claim. At Russell & Lazarus, we offer injury victims a free, private consultation. Call (949) 851-0222 today to schedule your meeting.