Law enforcement officers know the rules of the road and the importance of road safety, perhaps better than anyone. Unfortunately, one California law enforcement officer was killed recently in a motorcycle accident. The officer was off-duty at the time of the incident, which was reported on by the LA Times. He was just 25-years-old when he was killed.
The deputy was riding his motorcycle in the afternoon along with a second motorcycle when the incident happened. They were riding east of the 15 freeway when a 57-year-old woman exited a shopping center shortly before 4:30 PM. She was in a white Ford sedan, which came into the path of the two motorcycle riders.
The off-duty officer's motorcycle hit the Ford sedan and then crashed into a Volkswagen Beetle traveling in a west bound lane. The other motorcycle was able to swerve and avoid the sedan, but he also hit the Beetle in the Westbound lane. The Beetle and the motorcycle ridden by the deputy both burst into flames. The drivers of the cars were not injured, but both motorcyclists were. The deputy was killed and the other driver was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Motorcycle riders are 30 times as likely to die in accidents and five times as likely to be injured compared with people in passenger cars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motorcycle accidents are surging nationwide, so things are only getting worse for riders.
Motorcycle Accident Fatalities are a Serious Risk
While car accident deaths have fallen because of improved safety technologies in vehicles, motorcycle riders continue to have very limited protections in the event accidents happen. This could help to explain why Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) has reported that motorcycle accidents surged in 2015. There were 10 percent more deaths over the course of 2015, as compared with the previous year.
The rising risk of motorcycle accidents may have occurred because of the continued low prices of gas, which encourage people to ride and drive more. In addition to low gas prices, a falling unemployment rate and other improving economic indicators have led to people traveling more vehicle miles. More people on the roads means a greater risk of accidents involving both cars and motorcycles.
Regardless of why crash rates are rising, it is important to be aware no one is immune from the risk of motorcycle accidents. No matter how careful a motorcycle rider is, a driver could make a careless or negligent choice which causes an accident to occur. Drivers can be held accountable if they injure motorcycle riders or if they cause the death of a motorcycle rider. Victims need to understand their rights and consider speaking with a legal professional to pursue a claim after motorcycle accident.