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Keeping California Motorcycle Riders Safe

A motorcycle in pieces on the road following a motorcycle accident.

With its scenic roads and beautiful landscapes, California’s Bay Area is a great place to ride a motorcycle. However, motorcycle riders face significant risks on the road, especially when other drivers are negligent or careless. Accidents can result in severe injuries, and it's crucial for motorcyclists to be aware of their legal rights.

If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident, it's essential to understand your legal options. Consulting with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you navigate the challenges of your case, ensure your rights are protected, and work toward securing the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a time to highlight the importance of sharing the road safely with bikers. By staying vigilant and informed, vehicle drivers can contribute to safer roads and reduce the likelihood of motorcycle accidents.

Common types of motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle accidents can occur in various ways, each presenting unique dangers to riders. Some of the most common types of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Rear-end collisions: These accidents happen when a vehicle crashes into the back of a motorcycle, often at intersections or in heavy traffic. Drivers who fail to maintain a safe following distance or drive distracted are at the most risk of rear-ending a motorcyclist.
  • Left-turn accidents: A frequent scenario involves a car making a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle, leading to a collision. Drivers may misjudge the speed of the motorcycle or fail to see it altogether, especially at intersections.
  • Lane-changing crashes: When a driver fails to check their blind spot or signals improperly while changing lanes, they can collide with a motorcyclist riding in the adjacent lane.
  • Intersection accidents: These accidents occur when a motorcycle and another vehicle collide at an intersection, often due to a driver running a red light or stop sign, or failing to yield the right of way.

Vehicle drivers also need to remember that lane splitting by motorcyclists is legal in California. Intentionally blocking or impeding a motorcyclist in a manner that could endanger the rider is illegal. This includes actions such as opening a vehicle door to obstruct a motorcyclist. Additionally, drivers occupying the far-left lane should move to the left side of their lane to provide motorcyclists with sufficient space to pass safely.

Tips for drivers to prevent motorcycle accidents

Here are some essential safety tips for all motorists to enhance road safety and prevent accidents with motorcycles, courtesy of the California Highway Patrol:

  • Check mirrors and blind spots: Always ensure to check your mirrors and blind spots thoroughly, particularly before making any lane changes or turning. This helps to avoid collisions with vehicles in adjacent lanes or unseen motorcyclists.
  • Signal your intentions: Signaling your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic is crucial. This communicates your actions to other drivers, including motorcyclists, and allows them to adjust their driving accordingly.
  • Stay alert and anticipate movements: Maintain a high level of alertness while driving and anticipate potential movements by other motorists. This proactive approach helps you react swiftly to unexpected situations, minimizing the likelihood of collisions.
  • Avoid impaired driving: Never operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or fatigue. Impaired driving significantly impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction times, increasing the risk of accidents for everyone on the road.
  • Practice courtesy and share the road: Practice courtesy and respect toward all road users, including motorcyclists. Sharing the road involves yielding when necessary, giving sufficient space to other vehicles, and maintaining patience, contributing to a safer and more harmonious driving environment for everyone.

Injured bikers have legal rights

Our team at Clancy & Diaz, LLP, is dedicated to helping injured motorcyclists navigate the legal system and obtain the financial recovery they need to move forward with their lives. For instance, in one case, we recovered $199,999 for a motorcyclist who was injured by a tow truck.

If you or a loved one was injured in a Bay Area motorcycle accident, our attorneys are here to help. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation. We want you to tell us what happened, detail your injuries, and learn how an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. Our offices are in Walnut Creek, Antioch, Pittsburg, and Benicia, California.

After my motorcycle accident, I was in a great deal of pain and unsure of how to navigate the unfamiliar waters of dealing with insurance companies and whatnot. From the get-go, his friendliness, knowledge, responsiveness, and professionalism were confidence-inspiring. No one could have gotten me a better outcome given my particular set of circumstances. The important part for me is that his trustworthiness and my confidence in his abilities from very early on allowed me to relax and just focus on healing. - Actual client

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