Motorcycle Riding in California: Drive Defensively, Creatively
San Jose Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Theres nothing quite like the freedom of riding a motorcycle. But the lure of motorcycle riding also brings with it pronounced dangers. Motorcyclists can take steps to protect themselves an reduce the chance of being involved in a motorcycle accident, including wearing the right gear, riding defensively, and always being alert to their surroundings.
In addition to knowing how to protect themselves, motorcyclists should be aware of two exceptions to Californias approach of requiring motorcycle riders to follow the same rules as car drivers.
Lane Sharing and Lane Splitting
Because motorcycles are smaller and easier to maneuver than cars, California law allows their riders to use two tactics that cars and trucks cannot use.
Lane sharing occurs when two vehicles, either two motorcycles or a motorcycle and a car, use the same lane side-by-side. Lane sharing can be done only on roads with two or more lanes going in the same direction.
Lane splitting is riding between two lanes, splitting them down the middle. Motorcyclists may do this when traffic is slow or stopped. In addition to saving time, this can help motorcycle riders avoid the exhaust fumes that build up around rush-hour traffic.
Both lane sharing and lane splitting are controversial among motorcyclists. Some say that these are safe, practical maneuvers; others argue that they put the rider at too much risk. While both are legal in California, only some motorcyclists use them.
Injured California Motorcyclists
No matter how defensively they ride, sometimes motorcyclists cannot avoid drivers who are negligent. Motorcycle riders can sustain serious injuries in accidents with cars and trucks, including traumatic brain injuries, spine injuries, broken bones, and cuts and bruises.
A motorcyclist who has been injured by a negligent car or truck driver can seek damages for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Some potential jurors may harbor bias against motorcyclists, believing that the rider caused an accident by splitting or sharing a lane - even when the motorcyclist was injured because of the other drivers mistakes. An experienced California personal injury attorney, however, understands that potential jurors may be biased against motorcycle riders and will strive to uncover those erroneous beliefs during jury selection.
If you have been injured in a California motorcycle accident due to another persons negligence, speak with a personal injury attorney who will explain your rights.