Data source: https://www.ots.ca.gov/ots-and-traffic-safety/
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – Most Recent Annual Data via
Office of Traffic Safety
|TYPE OF COLLISION||VICTIMS KILLED & INJURED||OTS RANKING*|
|Total Fatal and Injury||16263||13/58|
|Had Been Drinking Driver < 21||92||7/58|
|Had Been Drinking Driver 21 – 34||628||5/58|
|Pedestrians < 15 ||72||42/58|
|Bicyclists < 15 ||43||53/58|
|TYPE OF COLLISION||FATAL & INJURY COLLISIONS||OTS RANKING*|
|Nighttime (9:00pm – 2:59am)||1548||9/58|
|Hit and Run||982||29/58|
*The OTS Rankings were developed so that individual
cities could compare their city’s traffic safety statistics to those of other
cities with similar-sized populations. Cities could use these comparisons to
see what areas they may have problems in and which they were doing well in. The
results helped both cities and OTS identify emerging or on-going traffic safety
problem areas in order to help plan how to combat the problems and help with
the possibility of facilitating grants. In recent years, media, researchers and
the public have taken an interest in the OTS Rankings. It should be noted that
OTS rankings are only indicators of potential problems; there are many factors
that may either understate or overstate a city/county ranking that must be
evaluated based on local circumstances.
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – Motorcycle Accident Rates Only
|TYPE OF COLLISION||VICTIMS KILLED & INJURED||OTS RANKING*|
|2016 – Motorcycles||906||19/58|
|2015 – Motorcycles||857||16/58|
|2014 – Motorcycles||655||20/58|
|2013 – Motorcycles||272||21/58|
|2012 – Motorcycles||522||47/58|
|2011 – Motorcycles||544||21/58|
|2010 – Motorcycles||210||29/58|
“I Just Didn’t See Them.”
Little respect is paid to motorcyclists in Southern
California. Whether due to the passive-aggressive SUV squeezing closer to
prevent lane splitting or improperly checking side view mirrors before a lane
change, every rider has experienced near-misses because of careless or
When a passenger or commercial vehicle driver hits a
motorcycle rider, the most common response is “I just didn’t see the motorcycle,
they came out of no-where.” This is not a legal excuse, nor even a human
response. Motorcyclists, bicyclists, even pedestrians don’t materialize out of
thin air using magic – careless drivers are being careless when operating an
“No one owns the road, we share it.”
Lane-splitting or lane-sharing is legal in California, the
only state with such a law with a reported benefit of reducing freeway
congestion and air pollution, according to the State of California Office of
Transit Safety report. Previously, lane splitting was commonly accepted to help
with the performance of certain motorcycles requiring airflow to keep from
overheating – however, allowing motorcycle drivers to safely lane-split is one
small step toward alleviating traffic congestion for all drives.
Lane splitting usually occurs between the carpool (HOV) lane
and left-most non HOV lane (commonly referred to as the ‘fast’ lane) where
riders have more room to pass motorists. The sharing of the carpool lane can
cause conflicts or a vicious traffic collision such as one that happened about
this time last year involving a case of road rage. Drivers either have jealousy
of the motorcyclist ability to bypass traffic and use passive-aggressive lane
blocking to dangerously attempt to stop the motorcycle in a petty attempt at
personal justice (“I’ll show him” mentality) or drivers fail to
properly look for motorcyclists when lane changing.
Here are several examples of motorcyclists in collisions
with drivers while lane-splitting:
(compilation of accidents)
(road rage, Southern California)
Motorcyclists ride a 600-pound bike with no protection.
Colliding with a 4,000-pound steel car means getting hurt is certain and
injuries are often fatal, said the report. While only 20 percent of car crashes
result in injury or death, that figure jumps to 80 percent for motorcycle
crashes, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Limited visibility is responsible for 38% of fatal
motorcycle crashes, according to the NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (2011). https://www.nhtsa.gov/
When a motorcycle accident occurs, motorcyclists of the
Redlands and Inland Empire area face many obstacles, from medical recovery to
their recovery of damages. The motorcycle accident lawyers of Harshbarger Law
are dedicated to helping victims who have been injured in a crash – whether
with an individual or commercial driver. Our attorneys, led by seasoned lawyer
Mark Harshbarger, know how to counter the common biases against motorcyclist
stereotypes and focus on the facts, the law, and negligence of the automobile
For automobiles, 31% of crashes result in injury but
only 0.29% of accidents are fatal. For motorcycles 78.3% of reported crashes
result in injury and 4.24% of crashes are fatal. Motorcycle accidents involving
another vehicle result in serious injury to motorcyclists versus the driver and
passengers of the automobile (NHTSA).
Motorcyclists have very little protection in a collision. Facts about motorcyclist fatalities:
- The majority of crashes involving motorcycles
are single-vehicle crashes; Safety begins with the rider.
- Since 2014, riders 40 and older made up the
largest percentage of motorcycle fatalities, about 55% of all riders killed in
2013 and 54 percent in 2014, 2015 and 2016. (NHTSA)
- 48% of motorcyclist deaths in 2016 occurred on
weekends. Those deaths were more likely to occur after 6 p.m.
- About 26% of fatally injured motorcycle drivers
in 2016 had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08 percent.
- 68% of the female motorcyclists who died in
crashes in 2016 were passengers; The vast majority of male motorcyclists who
died were drivers.
Fatalities or catastrophic injuries are common: Spinal cord
injuries, brain injuries, back and neck injuries, fractures, amputations,
internal injuries, and severe “road rash” burns and abrasions. Injured
motorcyclists may have to endure reconstructive surgery or painful rehab and
perhaps deal with disability, disfigurement, and the psychological aftermath.
Harshbarger Law works with experts in many fields to help
establish liability and detail the case for monetary damages, including
punitive damages in appropriate cases.
Hospital bills following a motorcycle accident grow quickly.
Compound these medical costs with lost income if the victim cannot return to
work for weeks or months, and victims may not be able to support themselves or
loved ones in day-to-day living expenses.
Contact our specialists serving Southern California, Inland Empire including both San Bernardino and Riverside County. Harshbarger Law is also able to speak at events to answer questions specific to motorcycle injuries and accidents. Let our lead attorney, Mark Harshbarger, fight for your recovery if you are hit by a careless, uninsured, or underinsured motorist.