Motorcycles are a beloved mode of transportation in California, largely because of the climate and extensive motorcycle rider communities throughout the state. It is also an economical type of transportation that allows riders to navigate through congested traffic that is so common in the state as well. This issue is where the problems begin for motorcycle riders and other motorists alike now that “lane splitting” has been eliminated from the list of movement restrictions for motorcycle operators. This change in the law is without a doubt a danger enhancement when a biker attempts to ride the white line in between standard congested traffic and is particularly dangerous on an open highway at a high rate of speed. When the other situations that are also associated with motorcycles are factored in, the result is that many traditional motorists see them as potentially the most dangerous vehicles on the road. And the number of accidents involving motorcycles is an indication this is correct.
Motorcycles are involved in numerous accidents in California and often produce terrible accidents. It is easy for other motorists to strike a bike laying in the road when following too closely immediately behind the crash. Even a single motorcycle crash can become multiple vehicle accidents quickly and easily, especially in heavy traffic.
Motorcycle accident victims are often more severely injured than other victims in a crash because the bike offers no protection at all, and often can even “turn” on the rider following a crash because of lost control. This also means that medical treatment will be more extensive and many times the injuries are permanent, if not fatal.
Difficult to Recognize
Even the most knowledgeable drivers are often startled when a motorcycle comes nearby unsuspected, which can cause a passenger vehicle operator to jerk the wheel or make a driving decision without thinking. Impulsive knee-jerk reactions can result in a crash quickly in some situations, especially when the bike is not loud. One of the reasons certain bike manufacturers make loud pipes for motorcycles is because it makes them easier to hear, and ultimately to see. The safest issue while on the highways for a motorcyclist is being recognized in proper stopping distances by other drivers.
Added to these potentially dangerous situations is the fact that there are many stereotypes that suggest bike operators do not always comply with the highway rules and regulations, such as wearing a helmet. California has a very strict helmet law that covers each and ever passenger on a motorcycle, regardless of age or passenger status.