Bring An Equalizer to the Fight. Choose a Firm That Was Created to Advocate for Victims.

Recent San Diego Crashes Highlight Importance of Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle RiderThere have been several serious motorcycle crashes on San Diego roadways in recent months. In two accidents, motorcyclists were seriously injured when vehicles turned into their path.

These accidents highlight the importance of motorcycle safety for both motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles. In fact, over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Most of the time, the motorist, not the motorcyclist, is at fault. In addition to turning into the path of a motorcyclist, other negligent behaviors of drivers include merging into and rear-ending a motorcyclist.

Lane splitting by motorcyclists is legal in California, but unfortunately many drivers fail to pay attention to what’s happening between the lanes. Drivers will often try to jump back and forth between lanes, and sometimes merge into passing motorcyclists causing serious injury. In other cases, drivers fail to detect that a motorcyclist is stopped at an intersection or miscalculate the amount of room they have to stop. Unfortunately, even a minor fender-bender with a vehicle can be deadly for a motorcyclist.

With this in mind, we ask all drivers to review the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s safety tips below.

Motorcycle Safety Tips for Drivers of Other Vehicles

  • Because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car's blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc.). Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you're changing lanes or turning at intersections.
  • Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle's speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
  • Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.
  • Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind.
  • Maneuverability is one of a motorcycle's better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with good road conditions, but don't expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.
  • Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because it can't always stop "on a dime."

If you or someone you love has been injured in a California motorcycle accident, contact experienced San Diego personal injury attorney Robert Vaage for a free consultation.