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What Time Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Occur in California?

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Posted By DAM Firm | October 20 2021 | Motorcycle Accidents, Personal Injury

When you go out on a motorcycle, you expect to arrive at your destination safely. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the careless or negligent actions of other drivers to cause motorcycle accidents in the state of California. Here, our Orange County personal injury attorneys discuss the time of day that most motorcycle accidents actually occur. Believe it or not, these incidents can be relatively predictable. Even though motorcycle accidents can occur at any time of the day, we want to examine when they are more likely to occur on the roadways of California.

The Most Dangerous Time To Operate A Motorcycle

The Most Dangerous Time to Operate a Motorcycle

Data available from the California Office of Traffic Safety shows that there were nearly 13,000 motorcyclists injured as a result of vehicle crashes during the latest reporting year across the state. Unfortunately, 474 motorcyclists lost their lives as a result of vehicle collisions during that same year.

But when is it most dangerous to operate a motorcycle?

Research available through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that the majority of motorcycle accidents occur during certain time frames. Overall, motorcycle accidents are more likely to occur on weekend evenings and nights between the hours of 3:00 PM and midnight.

However, we need to look further into this data to fully examine the risks that motorcyclists face, in particular, between the hours of 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM.

  • Between the hours of 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM, this is when more people are simply out on the roadway. This begins with rush hour traffic, something that Californians are well aware of. With more people on the roadways, there is a higher likelihood that motorcyclists will be involved in a crash.
  • Between the hours of 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM is when we see visibility began to decrease. The sun begins to set, and this can happen early, depending on the time of year. When the sun sets, this can increase glare for the motorcyclist and other drivers on the roadway. Additionally, when the sun goes down completely, visibility will decrease, which is a hazard for motorcyclists and other drivers.
  • The evening hours are when people head off to restaurants or bars. During the weekdays, this happens after work. Additionally, Friday nights and Saturday nights are when more people are out partying with the intention of consuming alcohol. Impaired driving is a leading factor of traffic and motorcycle accident fatalities across the state each year.

The NHTSA says that there is a 42% increase in motorcyclist fatalities during the six-hour time frame from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Every motorcyclist in California should be aware that this is when they face and most risk of sustaining a severe injury on the roadways.

Weekend Motorcycle Crash Data in Context

The data from the NHTSA shows us that motorcycle accident fatalities and injuries are skewed towards the weekends. Across the country, there is a significant increase in the number of injuries and fatal motorcycle crashes over the two-day weekend compared to these types of incidents that occur throughout the course of regular weekdays. Nearly the same amount of total motorcyclist fatalities happen on the weekends as do all other weekdays combined.

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