As of January 2010, there were 1.3 million people licensed to operate a motorcycle in California, and there were over 800,000 motorcycles registered in the State for use on public roadways. Rising gas prices have converted an increasing number of commuters out of their cars and onto motorcycles. A tragic consequence of this trend is an increasing incidence of motorcycle accident deaths and serious injury. Despite the fact that fewer than 3 percent of registered passenger vehicles nationwide are motorcycles, they account for nearly 9 percent of all passenger vehicle occupant fatalities. According to recent California Highway Patrol accident statistics, an average of 1 traffic collision was reported about every single minute. Of these, 1 person was killed about every 2 &frac12; hours as a result of a traffic collision. And, 1 person was injured about every 2 minutes as a result of a traffic collision. Of these totals, motorcycle electric vehicle Rear Suspension AX100 motorcyclecollisions numbered 12,350, with 429 deaths, equaling 10 percent of all people killed on California public roadways. According to data compiled by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, it is estimated that for every mile traveled by vehicle, motorcyclists are approximately 35 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic collision. After an all time low in 1998, beginning in 1999, the number of motorcycle accident victims began to increase in California. These growing statistics continue to rise to this day. Motorcyclists killed in 2008 increased 164.5% from 1998 and the number of motorcyclists injured in motorcycle accidents increased 85.8% over that same year. Licensed motorcycle drivers in 2008 increased 45.6% over 1998. In 2008, there were 529 motorcycle accident victims killed of which 71 did not indicate that safety equipment was used and there were 11,764 motorcycle accident victims injured of which 1,613 did not indicate that safety equipment was used. Motorcyclists killed in collisions increased 12.1% from 2007. Motorcycle accident victims injured increased 5.0% over that same year. There were 563 motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions of which 378 were the driver at fault. According to these figures, 67.1% of motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions were at fault. Of the 563 motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions, 204 (36.2%) were involved in fatal collisions where the motorcycle operator was the sole party involved. Of these, it was the motorcyclist's fault 91.6% of the time in solo motorcycle fatal collisions. In 2008, alcohol involved fatal collisions decreased 8.0% and alcohol involved persons killed also decreased 9.0% over the previous year. As a result, 2008 was the second straight year to show a decrease in the number of alcohol related fatal collisions and people killed in these collisions. Motorcycle motorcycle shock absorption damping Manufacturersriding is fun and exhilarating, but these statistics show that it is also serious business. Experienced riders know that there is no such thing as a minor fender bender when you are on 2 wheels. With all the distractions facing drivers of 4 wheeled vehicles today, it is even more imperative than ever that motorcycle riders pay attention to the road themselves and take the utmost care when riding on public roadways. Have fun. Ride free, and always ride safe.