ESSEX, California – Motorcyclist James Melvin Wood, 59, of Yucca Valley was killed Thursday night in a head-on crash after the driver of a Kia allegedly drifted into his lane from the opposite direction on National Trails Highway near Mountain Springs Road, according to a press release issued by the San Bernardino County Sheriff Coroner Department.
California Highway Patrol and San Bernardino County Fire Department emergency workers responded to the scene of the motorcycle accident and ultimately pronounced Wood dead at the scene of the collision. Woods was driving alone on his 2006 Kawasaki motorcycle.
The CHP is investigating the cause of the crash, but preliminary evidence suggests the driver of the Kia was traveling eastbound when he or she veered into Woods westbound lane and caused the 7:55 p.m. crash, the report said.
California Liability Motorcycle Accidents
Under California law, a negligent driver is liable for the injury or death of another motorist or pedestrian and will be held accountable to them. Negligence is a civil wrong that someone doesn’t intend to happen, but their conduct fell below the standard of care required and they caused damages to someone else as a result. One example would be someone who fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed into another vehicle. The driver would obviously not intend to cause the crash, but they shouldn’t have driven the vehicle if they were too tired.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle fatalities have dropped in California, following a decade-long rise in deaths. In 2010, 353 motorcyclists were killed, a 37 percent drop from the all-time high for California in 2008, according to the latest statistics compiled by the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic System Report.
In the United States, motorcyclist injuries made a significant drop, down roughly 9% to 82,000 injuries reported in 2010 compared to 90,000 injuries the year before. Fatal accidents were slightly up, 4,502 deaths were reported in 2010 compared to 4,469 in 2009.