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Motorcycle Accident Archives

California motorcycle accidents: staying safe

Even though California's temperate climate means that motorcycling is possible year-round in many areas, the warmer temps and additional sunshine of spring and summer bring out motorcyclists in droves all across our great state. According to data provided by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, there are more than 884,000 registered motorcycles in the state, and 1.4 million residents have a motorcycle license.

Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Guidelines Tossed in California

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about lane-splitting in California, and how to do it as safely as possible so as to minimize your chances of getting crushed, doored or destroyed. California is the only state in the country that allows this controversial practice, and many riders hail it as a great way to navigate the traffic jams the state is notorious for. In that blog post, I included a list of safety guidelines largely based on material I found posted on the California Highway Patrol website. Some of the ideas included splitting only in the farthest left lanes, only riding 10 mph faster than the flow of traffic, and splitting only when traffic is moving at a rate of 30 mph or slower.

Lane Splitting May Be Legal in California, But It's Not Always Safe

In most states, "lane splitting" -- the practice of passing between vehicles on a bike or motorcycle -- is illegal, and with good reason. As a rider myself, I know that maneuvering your bike between two cars, sometimes in motion and sometimes with only inches of space on either side, is a recipe for disaster. When you're splitting lanes, sometimes it's impossible to be sure that the cars you're passing can actually see you in their rearview or side mirrors. One wrong move by a car can easily launch a lane-splitter from his or her bike and onto the road.

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