Car accidents that involve motorcycles can be particularly deadly. As you might guess, a person riding a motorcycle that ends up in a collision with a motor vehicle is at serious risk for major, life-changing injuries or even death. According to the United States Department of Transportation, in 2015, the number of fatalities of those driving motorcycles was almost 29 times more than the fatalities suffered by those driving motor vehicles.
If you have been injured in motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact California motorcycle accident attorney Johann Hall today for a free consultation regarding your potential case. There may be time limits on your ability to recover from the at-fault party (often referred to as the Statute of Limitations), so it is important to call a lawyer right away. Below are five facts that you should know about motorcycle accidents in California.
1. The State of California Requires the Use of a Helmet When Riding a Motorcycle
According to the California Vehicle Code §27803, all riders and passengers of motorcycles are required to wear a U.S. Department of Transportation compliant motorcycle helmet when riding a motorcycle. Helmet use is important because the majority of serious injuries that occur due to motorcycle collisions on the roadway involve head injuries. Generally, head injuries are reduced when motorcycle riders wear a motorcycle helmet.
2. In 2016, Almost Half of all Motorcyclist Deaths Nationwide Happened on the Weekends
In the year 2016, about forty-eight percent of all motorcyclist deaths over the country as a whole occurred during the weekends. Additionally, these deaths were also more likely to occur after 6 pm on the weekends when compared to weekdays. More motorcycle collision-related deaths occurred between the hours of 6 pm to 9 pm than any other time-period during weekends in 2016.
3. In 2017, Fatal Motorcycle Collisions Dropped by Almost Thirty Percent in California
In 2017, there were only 406 motorcyclists that were killed on the state roads in California. This was a significant drop of about twenty-eight percent down from the 586 motorcyclists that were killed on California roadways in 2016. Nationwide, there was only a drop of around 5.6% during this same time period, so this change in California is significant.
4. The State of California is Currently the Only State to Formally Legalize Lane Splitting
Lane splitting is defined by the California Vehicle Code (Section 21658.1(a)) 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.”
In January of 2017, the State of California formally enacted legislation confirming the legality of lane splitting for motorcyclists. Prior to the passing of this law, California was in a “grey” area, meaning that the practice of lane splitting was not prohibited, but at the same time, it was not necessarily legal either.
With motorcyclists on the roadways in California now having the ability to lane split, it is expected that more people on the road in other vehicles will be more aware of the motorcycles around them passing in between lanes. This is expected to increase road safety in the years to come. Without the ability to travel via lane splitting, it is more likely for motorists to be rear-ended, to add to traffic congestion, and even to overheat. Lane splitting is safe when done properly.
Lane splitting has many proven benefits. First, lane splitting motorcyclists were injured less often during collisions. Lane splitting motorists also tend to be less likely to be under the influence of alcohol while riding their motorcycles, and further, tend to be less likely to carry a passenger along with them as they ride.
5. Many Motorcycle Collisions Occur Due to the Same Common Issues
There are multiple different causes of the majority of motorcycle collisions in California. Motorcycle collisions often occur due to speeding, by either the motorcyclist or the driver of the motor vehicle involved in the collision. In addition, many motorcycle collisions occur due to the failure of either involved party to use a turn signal properly. A final common cause of motorcycle collisions in the presence of a dangerous intersection. Intersections with low visibility at night can be particularly dangerous.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident that someone else is at fault for, contact California motorcycle attorney Johann Hall right away. Attorney Johann Hall can meet with you to evaluate your case and get you started on the path towards winning compensation for your injuries.