It has been a year since Caltrans posted an electronic message urging San Diego drivers to “Share the road. Look twice for motorcyclists.” Unfortunately, this safety message was not well received, prompting many in highway safety to wonder why?
It seems that many California drivers are not so “thrilled” to be sharing the road with motorcyclists—especially when motorcyclists choose to ride in between the lanes of traffic (even though it is legal in California). Aggressive and reckless California motorcyclists may be giving the rest of us a bad rap—and that can lead to catastrophic motorcycling accidents.
Lane Splitting—the Hot Debate
Lane splitting refers to the practice of riding a motorcycle between or through lanes of traffic, in order for the motorcyclist to pass slower-moving traffic. In California, lane splitting is legal, although much anecdotal evidence suggests it may be risky for motorcyclists. According to press reports , while the California Highway Patrol (CHP) allows lane splitting, they caution that it must be done safely. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), however, warns against sharing lanes all together.
If they split lanes unsafely, motorcyclists might be ticketed under provisions of California Vehicle Code Section 22350 (governing excess speed), under Section 21658 (lane changes), or 21755 (allowing passing only on the right-hand side).
Yet, not everyone is in agreement that lane-splitting is unsafe. The American Motorcycle Association actually advocates sharing lanes because it can save lives by helping bikers avoid rear end collisions.
While the debate over lane splitting seems likely to continue in California and elsewhere, California motorcyclists should continue to ride with caution. If the recent anger over last year’s Caltrans message taught us anything it’s that California motorcyclists need to watch out for themselves. Other drivers simply don’t notice motorcyclists on the road—and even when they do, they may be less inclined to share their road.
In addition to driving defensively, obeying all traffic laws, and wearing protective gear, California motorcyclists need an lawyer on their side who can protect their rights to ride on ALL California roads.
If you are injured in a California motorcycling accident, a California motorcycling lawyer will hold the negligent party responsible for your accident—and your injuries. An aggressive and experienced attorney will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf so you can receive the maximum compensation you need to pay for damages, injuries, and lost wages.
Our California motorcycling lawyers understand the issues California motorcyclists face because we ARE motorcyclists. Whether you accident occurred in San Diego, Monterey, Los Angeles, or anywhere in the State of California, our lawyers will help you win the relief you deserve. Call us today at 1-800-4-BIKERS, and speak to one of our experienced and veteran attorneys today.
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