Lane Splitting in California—It’s Legal, But Is It Safe?

Lane Splitting in California

It’s Legal… But Is It Safe?

Lane Splitting in California—It's Legal, But Is It Safe?It’s a fairly common occurrence on many of California’s busy roads. Cars are backed up at an intersection or light, or even on the freeway, and a motorcycle will navigate between them to move forward. It’s common because it’s legal. It’s called lane splitting (or occasionally “lane sharing) and has been permitted under California law since 2016. Though it may be legal, there’s no consensus on whether the practice is safe.

In 2015, the University of California at Berkeley conducted a study on the practice. The data gathered indicates that lane splitting is relatively safe, but only under certain conditions. The two most important factors affecting safety are the speed at which the bike is traveling and the speed at which surrounding traffic is moving. Lane splitting becomes unsafe when the motorcyclist exceeds 50 miles per hour or exceeds the flow of traffic by more than 15 miles per hour.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has indicated that lane splitting may reduce congestion and increase safety. Citing the fact that lane splitting is legal in many foreign countries, NHTSA would like to see further safety studies on the practice.

The American Motorcyclist Association, a national group that lobbies for bikers, says lane splitting is generally safe, provided the biker is traveling at a reasonable speed and paying attention to other motorists.

Contact Our Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have successfully represented personal injury victims in California for more than 30 years, including people hurt in motorcycle accidents. We’ll take the time to learn what happened to you, and what your injuries are, so we can tailor our counsel to get the outcome you want. Contact our office online or call us at 1-866-288-6010 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Minimize the Risk of a Motorcycle Accident in 2020

Measures You Can Take to Reduce the Likelihood of Injury

Minimize the Risk of a Motorcycle Accident in 2020If you’ve been a motorcycle enthusiast for any length of time, you know it’s a two-edged sword. There’s nothing quite like the feel of the open road, wind in your face, taking in California’s spectacular scenery. But motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than other types of vehicles. Statistics indicate that bikers are 28 times more likely to sustain a serious or fatal injury in a crash than travelers in passenger vehicles. You can, however, take measures to minimize the risk of a motorcycle accident:

  • Drive defensively—The evidence is pretty conclusive—other drivers generally don’t look out for bikers on the road. That means you have to take concrete measures to protect yourself. Keep an eye on the motorists around you. Look for signs that they might be turning without giving a signal. Keep a safe distance behind the motorist in front of you in order to maximize your reaction time. Watch out for potholes, loose gravel, or debris on the road.
  • Improve your skills—Take a safety course or learn new techniques for handling your bike. Go to a vacant parking lot and practice and practice for a while.
  • Make certain other drivers can see you—Wear bright clothing. Keep out of blind spots. Always use turn signals and hand signals. Consider driving with your headlights on at all times.
  • Make certain your bike is road-ready—Check the brakes, throttle, horn, and turn signals before you get on the road. Make certain your tire pressure is good and that you have plenty of fuel.

Contact Our Experienced Motorcycle-Accident Lawyers

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have provided aggressive legal counsel to personal injury victims in California for more than three decades. We will listen carefully to learn the specific details of your claim, as well as what you need to compensate you fully for all your losses. Contact our office online or call us at 1-866-288-6010 to schedule a free initial consultation.

The Importance of Having Motorcycle Insurance in California

How Proposition 213 Affects Your Right to Compensation After an Injury

The Importance of Having Motorcycle Insurance in CaliforniaIn California, as in other states, all motorists (including motorcycle operators) must carry a minimum amount of insurance. Nonetheless, many drivers, including bikers, either fail to obtain the necessary coverage or carelessly let their policy lapse. Obviously, if you have no valid insurance policy in place, you can’t look to an insurer to cover your losses after an accident. In California, Prop 213 also may prevent you from recovering damages in a lawsuit, even if another party was at fault.

The Effect of Prop 213 on a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim in California

Prop 213, known as the Personal Responsibility Act of 1996, bars uninsured drivers from recovering a general damages award in certain circumstances. General damages typically include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of companionship or consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. Prop 213 states the following:

  • An uninsured motorist can never collect general damages, regardless of fault.
  • An uninsured motorist may be able to collect compensation from an at-fault party’s insurer for medical bills and other out-of-pocket losses.
  • Passengers on or in a vehicle driven by an uninsured motorist may collect general damages in a lawsuit.

Exceptions to the Rule

The driver of an uninsured vehicle may still be eligible for general damages when the accident occurs under the following circumstances:

  • The uninsured vehicle is owned by the driver’s employer.
  • The accident occurs on a private road.
  • The vehicle involved in the accident is uninsured, but the driver has insurance on another vehicle.

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have more than 30 years of experience successfully handling a wide range of personal injury claims, including injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents. We will takethe time to learn the details of your accident, as well as what you need to be fully compensated for your losses. Contact us online or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

Tips for Maximizing Your Safety on a Motorcycle—Part One

Things You Can Do to Reduce the Risk of Injury

Tips for Maximizing Your Safety on a MotorcycleFor many, riding a motorcycle can be a two-edged sword. There’s exhilaration and freedom you can’t get from anything else when you hit the open road with the wind in your face. But it’s an inherently dangerous venture, too. U.S. Department of Transportation statistics indicate that bikers are 28 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in a crash than someone in a passenger vehicle. In many instances, too, the causes of an accident are beyond your control. There are, however, some specific things you can do to reduce the risk of injury on a bike. Here’s our first installment:

  • Make sure your skills are finely tuned—Don’t be afraid to take a motorcycle safety course. In California, you may even be required to take a safety class or pass a driving skills test. Even if it’s not mandatory, it’s a good idea.
  • Take advantage of safety gear—A helmet, leather pants and jacket, good boots and gloves are essential. You also might look into new airbag technologies available for motorcycles.
  • Keep your bike in top condition—Keep a checklist to go through every time you get on your bike, so you know that brakes, lights, tires, steering and other mechanical conditions are satisfactory.
  • Make certain other drivers can see you—The most common response by other motorists after a collision? I didn’t see the motorcycle. Minimize that risk with brightly colored clothing or reflective tape. Make certain you always use mechanical and hand signals, and ride with your headlights on in the daytime.
  • Give yourself some room—Always allow yourself adequate space and time to stop in the event of an emergency without hitting the vehicle in front of you.

ContactWeber & Nierenberg

At the law office of Weber & Nierenberg, we have protected the rights of injured people in California for more than three decades, including those hurt in motorcycle accidents. We will take the time to listen carefully in order to learn the details of your case, and we will help you seek full and fair compensation. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

The California Motorcycle Safety Program (CMSP)

California Highway Patrol Administers Training for Bikers

The California Motorcycle Safety Program Statistics support what most motorcyclists already know—there’s an inherent risk to riding a motorcycle on California’s roadways. While the best you can do to protect yourself from the carelessness of other drivers is to pay close attention at all times and to drive defensively, you can sharpen your own skills and minimize the risk of injury.

Pursuant to California law, the California Highway Patrol has the responsibility for administering the state’s official motorcycle safety and training programs. The 15 hour Motorcycle Training Course (MTC) is a requirement for bikers under the age of 21. You must complete the program to get the motorcycle endorsement for your California drivers license. The basic program includes five hours of classroom learning and 10 hours on the road. A premier program is also available, with 7.5 hours in the classroom and 13.5 hours on the road.

The MTC is not limited, however, to new and younger bikers. In California, to receive your Class M1 or M2 (motorcycle) operator’s license, you must either complete the MTC or take a driving test at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Many older bikers choose to complete the MTC, so that they can waive the motorcycle skills test.

The DMV estimates that, through 2019, more than 1.2 million bikers have participated in the California Motorcycle Safety Program. The California Highway Patrol also offers advanced skills and safety training programs, encouraging motorcyclists to be lifelong learners.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than three decades of experience with personal injury claims to men and women across California. We understand that every situation is unique, so we’ll take the time to listen and learn, so that we can help you seek full and fair compensation for all your losses. Contact us online or call us at 1-866-288-6010 to set up a free initial consultation.

California Jury Awards $21.5 Million in Motorcycle Injury Claim

Improper Lane Change Determined as Cause of Accident

A California jury returned a verdict in a motorcycle accident claim determining that the injured biker’s losses totaled $21.5 million. The man was injured in 2017 on the 405 Freeway in southern California. According to trial testimony, the defendant, who worked for a car dealership in Irvine, changed lands without signaling and hit the plaintiff, who was traveling northbound. The impact of the collision threw the plaintiff off his bike and into the path of another vehicle.

According to his attorneys, the plaintiff suffered serious and permanent injuries as a result of the accident. The parties could not agree on a reasonable amount of compensation for the injuries, so the case went to trial.

Witnesses testified at trial that the defendant suddenly shifted from the high occupancy vehicle lane and sideswiped the motorcycle. In addition to the driver of the motor vehicle, the plaintiff sued the car dealership that employed him, alleging that the driver was “unfit and incompetent” to perform the work he was hired to do and that the dealership was negligent in hiring and training him. Under the legal theory of respondeat superior, an employer can be liable for injuries caused by an employee, provided the employee was performing duties that were part of his job at the time of the accident. The driver was delivering a car for his employee at the time of the crash.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg for Proven Representation

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have successfully protected the rights of personal injury victims in California for decades, including those of people injured in motorcycle accidents. We take an individualized approach to every claim, learning the details of your accident and tailoring our counsel to get the outcome you want. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year 2020

To a joyful present and a well-remembered past. Best wishes for happy holidays and a magnificent new year.

Los Angeles Pulls Uber Scooter Permit

Uber Scooter PermitThe city of Los Angeles has temporarily suspended rideshare giant Uber’s permit to rent scooters and bicycles city-wide. LA officials say the company opted not to obey city rules regarding data sharing. Uber operates its scooter and bicycle rentals through a subsidiary named Jump. According to a spokesperson for the city of Los Angeles, Uber is the only one of eight licensed vendors to intentionally ignore the data-sharing provisions. Uber has indicated that it will file legal action against the city rather than comply with data-sharing mandates.

Lawmakers in Los Angeles say data sharing is a critical component of efforts to maximize safety and minimize the risk of congestion and increased traffic problems. They say the information allows them to accurately and efficiently track the number of scooters in use, as well as where they are parked, so that streets and sidewalks don’t become impassable. Uber, however, says the rules raise significant concerns about the privacy rights of its customers and potential misuse of personal data.

City officials counter that their privacy and confidentiality standards are such that those concerns are unfounded. They insist that the data collected is about only the scooters and bicycles and has nothing to do with the riders. Jump currently has a permit that allows it to rent as many as 5,500 scooters and bikes. The entire city allows just over 36,000 dockless vehicles on the roads.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg for Proven Representation

At the law offices of Weber & Nierenberg, we have provided comprehensive counsel to personal injury victims in California for decades. We provide an individualized approach to every claim, taking the time to learn the details of your accident so we can develop the best strategy to get the results you want. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

The MIPS Technology and Motorcycle Safety

The MIPS Technology and Motorcycle SafetyWhen you get on a motorcycle, you assume an inherent risk. In fact, for many motorcycle enthusiasts, that’s part of the allure. But that doesn’t mean you don’t want to take reasonable measures to maximize your safety.

There’s a technology for helmets called MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) that allows the helmet to slide relative to your head. MIPS technology has been scientifically proven to add more protection when your head is violently rotated, as can happen in a motorcycle accident. First used in helmets for horseback riders, MIPS replicates the movement of your brain’s cerebrospinal fluid, which your body employs as a natural defense against similar types of impact.

Accident statistics indicate that the bulk of head injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents result from the skull’s angled impact, usually with the ground. The MIPS technology was specifically designed to mimic and enhance the protection your body offers in response to such blows. The technology comes in the form of an insert that can be installed between the interior padding of your helmet and the EPS liner. To know whether a helmet has the technology, look for a yellow decal about the size of a dime.

Manufacturers of MIPS technology say helmet companies initially were reluctant to include it due to fearing that motorcyclists would not want to pay extra for the increased safety. They liken MIPS to the early days of airbag vests and jackets, which initially were dismissed by many riders who either failed to see their value or questioned their effectiveness. Those airbags are now becoming mandatory in some forms of motorcycle racing.

Contact the Experienced Lawyers at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring decades of experience to injured people in California, including people hurt in motorcycle accidents. We understand that every case is unique, and we will take the time to get the details of your accident so that we can employ the appropriate strategy to achieve the results you seek. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

Happy Thanksgiving 2019

Happy Thanksgiving 2019

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward

 
 
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Lane Splitting in California—It’s Legal, But Is It Safe?

Lane Splitting in California It's Legal... But Is It Safe? It's a fairly common occurrence on many of California's busy roads. Cars are ba... [Read More...]