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Is Motorcycle Lane Splitting Safe?

Motorcycle Riding, Motorcycle SafetyIs motorcycle lane splitting safe? Motorcycle riding can be exhilarating especially when motorcyclists can navigate the road quicker than most automobiles. Motorcyclists can garner attention from vehicle drivers because of their motorcycle’s loud noise and eye-catching designs. However, despite the attractiveness of motorcycles and their swift performance, some motorcyclists ignore safety rules when they decide to ride in lanes between two vehicles. While most drivers may be trying to assess the amount of space they have to drive between other vehicles, a motorcyclist can change and split lanes before vehicle drivers can complete their road assessment. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of motorcyclist deaths have occurred over the past four years. Most of the factors that have led to motorcycle deaths include speeding, alcohol abuse, and racing. These factors may also be linked to lane-splitting.

Lane-Splitting Injury Statistics

A recent study revealed that the frequency of lane-splitting is a growing trend particularly citing over 900 collision incidents which occurred over a 15 month period during 2012 through 2013. The injuries incurred from lane-splitting included brain, neck, torso, and extremities injuries. Although the number of motorcycle collisions peaked close to 6,000, the lane-splitting collision statistic is alarming due to the catastrophic impact this type of riding has on drivers who are not comfortable with motorcyclists riding too close to their vehicles. One of the pros cited among interviewed motorcyclists indicated claims of safety specifically during parallel vehicle riding. Additional reasoning included increased motorcyclist visibility, ease of lane changing, and reduction of lane crowding. Although some motorcyclists claim these benefits, these claims are based on their perception and not the perception of vehicle drivers who may or may not see them coming. Many motorcyclists have shown their ability to assume that vehicle drivers anticipate their arrival and will wait for them to pass. These assumptions have proven to be wrong particularly with the evidence of motorcyclists’ deaths.

Legal Action Regarding Lane-Splitting

Despite the number of motorcycle deaths and injuries, efforts have been made to legalize lane splitting in the state of California. Several bills have been presented before California legislation however, one bill was retracted, one rejected due to insufficient lane-splitting benefit evidence, and one is being evaluated. Although some motorcyclists have been successful in their lane-splitting skills, others have not been as fortunate to meet their intended destination when they chose this type of road-sharing technique. Despite several attempts to have a bill passed regarding this issue, lane-splitting is permitted in California. However, this allowance has shown how quickly injuries can occur when motorcyclists are not restricted by law to drive within a specific distance of other moving vehicles. Vehicle drivers are expected to adhere to driving laws when it comes to being aware of other motorists and pedestrians. Motorcyclists on the other hand are exposed to higher injury risks. Maintaining a proper speed and distance with regard to the traffic around you is key to making lane split travel safer but, accidents can and do still occur on many California freeway and roadways every year due to the practice.

Steps to Take If You’ve Been Injured

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, legal help is available. Accidents can’t always be prevented despite the number of precautionary measures that are implemented while riding a motorcycle. No one can guarantee the action of a motorcyclist or a vehicle driver. A motorcycle injury attorney can help you claim the personal injury benefits you may be entitled to. Some of these benefits include compensation for:

• Physical therapy
• Attendant care
• Occupational therapy
• Lost wages

These benefits are important to your recovery process. If you don’t claim these benefits, you may encounter financial difficulty especially when your health insurance company will not pay for accident-related medical expenses. You will also need help when trying to submit a claim to your auto insurance company. Motorcycle accidents can be catastrophic due to the significant impact it has on the motorcyclist who does not have the extra protection of a vehicle’s body. This is why it is important to seek legal assistance as early as possible. Your recovery process may take longer than you expected so you will need benefits in place to protect your financial future. If you’re ready to receive help for your injury, contact a motorcycle injury attorney today.

Sources:
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812035.pdf

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