California Motorcycle Accidents.
Motorcycle crashes are complex and involve the interaction of humans, vehicles, and other environmental factors. There is no typical motorcycle crash but motorcycle crashes typically result in serious injuries or death. One of the most common motorcycle accidents involve left turns.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") reports that forty-two (42) percent of fatal motorcycle crashes involve another motor vehicle turning left while the motorcycle was going straight, passing or overtaking a vehicle. This sounds similar to lane splitting which is not legal except in California.
Lane splitting is defined by Vehicle Code Section 21658.1 as "...driving a motorcycle, as defined in Section 400, that has two wheels in contact with the ground, between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, including on both divided and undivided streets, roads, or highways." As such, it's not unusual for vehicle drivers to see motorcycle riders maneuvering between two cars. The California Highway Patrol ("CHP") provides some guidelines and recommendations for lane splitters.
The CHP's guidelines include splitting lanes when the flow of traffic is 40 mph or less. In addition, the CHP recommends motorcycle riders consider the following:
- Consider the total environment when you are lane splitting (this includes the width of lanes, the size of surrounding vehicles, as well as current roadway, weather, and lighting conditions);
- Danger increases at higher speed differentials;
- Danger increases as overall speed increases;
- It is typically safer to split between the far left lanes than between the other lanes of traffic;
- Avoid lane splitting next to large vehicles (e.g. big rigs, buses, motor-homes, etc.);
- Riding on the shoulder is illegal; it is not considered lane splitting;
- Be visible – Avoid remaining in the blind spots of other vehicles or lingering between vehicles; and
- Help drivers see you by wearing brightly colored/reflective protective gear and using high beams during daylight.
As such, being aware of your surroundings and taking action to avoid risk will certainly keep both motorcyclists and other drivers safer. To learn more about this topic we recommend that you read our latest article regarding motorcycle accidents. Follow the link provided below.
Contact A Motorcycle Accident Attorney.
It's very important to discuss your case with a qualified attorney. Do not hesitate to contact Arellanez Legal by calling (951)888-2464 for a free consultation or by providing a date and time that will work for you via our easy-to-use contact page.