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Between the stats: motorcyclists not always at fault for crashes

Even with lots of public education efforts, many people in the greater Los Angeles area still operate under the misconception that in a motorcycle accident, even if it is a multi-vehicle accident, the fault somehow lies with the motorcyclist.

While it is true that some motorcycle operators are not as responsible as they should be on the road, recent statistics suggest that many motorcycle accidents are not the fault of the motorcyclist, or, at a minimum, not the result of certain risky behavior.

The statistics also suggest that motorcycle riders are much more likely to get hurt seriously or die as the result of an accident. What this means is that there are riders out there in California and elsewhere who get hurt in an accident through no fault of their own and will likely need financial help to recover.

Specifically, as of 2015, a motorcyclist was six times more likely than someone in a typical passenger vehicle to die in a crash. Many more motorcyclists, 88,000 in 2015, get injured seriously enough for the injury to get recorded.

The statistics suggested that about one-third of motorcyclists involved in deadly accidents were exceeding the speed limit. Additionally, over one-fourth, about 27 percent, of motorcyclists were under the influence of alcohol at the time of a fatal accident. While these rates are slightly higher than those of passenger car drivers, it is important to note that in many if not most cases, the victim of a motorcycle accident was neither drunk nor speeding.

Overall, it is important for all those who travel on the roads of Alhambra and Los Angeles County, especially injured motorcyclists, to remember that accidents are not always the biker's fault. Injured motorcycle operators also have legal options to pursue those who are responsible for their injuries.

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