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How California Highway Patrol helps motorcyclists avoid crashes

Thousands of Californians take to the road to travel by motorcycle on a daily basis. While many do so as a way of enjoying the sunny weather and beautiful vistas the state has to offer, others do so in an effort to try and steer clear of traffic jams.

As carefree as riding their motorbikes may make them feel, this mode of transportation is perhaps one of the most dangerous. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle crash fatalities are 27 times more common than any other type of fatal accident.

California Highway Patrol (CHP), realizing just how much risk motorcyclists faced, opened the California Motorcyclist Safety Program in 1987. For the 30 years it's been in operation, more than a million motorcyclists have passed through its doors. Those who have done so have been taught to brake in emergencies and to look into curves as ways to reduce their risk of accidents.

Each year, somewhere between 55,000 and 65,000 motorcyclists complete the program, nearly one half of all who apply for motorcycle licenses in California. Those who take the course are able to avoid taking the driver's test necessary to receive their motorcycle license. It's mandatory that those aged 20 and under take the class.

Course developers with the program are constantly reviewing motorcycle crash statistics in order to ensure they're teaching skills necessary for bikers to avoid accidents. For example, they teach their students to be mindful of their speed when they are approaching curves, as this is when most accidents are bound to occur.

Additionally, they teach students to avoid driving at excessive speeds, especially if they've only recently begun riding a motorcycle or the road conditions are poor. They note that these factors are most often found to be the cause of solitary motorcyclist crashes.

In fact, they argue that the motorcyclist is to blame for at least 70 percent of all crashes. It's only when the motorcyclist is actually involved in an accident with an automobile that, in most cases, it's determined that the vehicle operator is responsible for causing the crash.

If you've been injured in a motorbike crash that was caused by another motorist's negligence, then a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney may be able to help you recover medical and other expenses in your case.

Source: The Acorn, "Motorcycle training program turns 30," Hector Gonzalez, Aug. 11, 2017

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