Orange County a dangerous place to ride a motorcycle
“Speeding, improper passing, unsafe lane changes leading factors to motorcycle collisions.”
It’s dangerous to ride a motorcycle in Orange County, according to accident figures released by the California Highway Patrol There were 980 motorcycle collisions in O.C. in 2007, which resulted in 24 deaths.
In contrast, there were 3,472 motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles County in 2007 and 714 in Riverside County.
The figures were released as part of the CHP’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month public-awareness campaign.
In sunny Southern California, the mild climate lends itself a higher number of motorcycle riders, CHP Officer Gabe Montoya said. “Down here, you can pretty much guarantee that you’re only going to have a couple days out of the year when you have to worry about the weather,” Montoya said. “You (also) have that problem of people who are not traditionally motorcycle riders who are turning to them because of the economy.”
Montoya pointed out that there is a mixture of motorcyclists in Southern California: the Monday-to-Friday motorcycle commuters, the weekend cruisers, and the inexperienced riders looking to save a few bucks on gas.
“Here, it’s not just for the commute, it’s for enjoyment, pleasure you throw that into the mix and you end up with a lot more (bikes) on the roads,” Montoya said. CHP statistics show motorcycle-involved traffic deaths continue to rise with 564 killed statewide last year, according to preliminary data, compared with 363 in 2004. In Orange County, 24 people 22 of them motorcyclists were killed in such collisions in 2007, the most recent data available.
Orange County fatalities did drop slightly since 2004, in which 27 were killed in motorcycle collisions.
Common causes of motorcycle collisions include: 3,655 accidents blamed on unsafe speed 1,550 for improper turning 300 for improper passing 287 unsafe lane changes 284 automobile right-of-way
By SERENA MARIA DANIELS The Orange County Register
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