Motorcycle Lane Splitting – Safer For Motorcyclists

California takes first step to establishing lane-splitting guidelines for motorcyclists
LA Times
September 1, 2016

While motorcyclists and car drivers still don’t agree.

Several motorcyclists’ groups objected to that language, finding the speed limit too low. Other groups and individuals, who believe that lane splitting is dangerous regardless of the speed, objected to the proposal on principle.

AMA: Study Finds
Lane-Splitting Increases Rider Safety

“Perhaps one of the most dangerous situations for any motorcyclist is being caught in congested traffic, where stop-and-go vehicles, distracted and inattentive vehicle operators, and environmental conditions increase the risk of physical contact with another vehicle or hazard,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “Reducing a motorcyclist’s exposure to vehicles that are frequently accelerating and decelerating on congested roadways can be one way to reduce rear-end collisions for those most vulnerable in traffic.”

Differing Perspectives

The survey also found that a large majority of motorcyclists exceeded the speed of the surrounding traffic by 15 MPH or less while lane-splitting. When asked “How much faster than the rest of traffic do you go when lane-splitting?,” 30%, 47%, and 14% responded traveling 5MPH, 10 MPH, and 15 MPH faster than traffic, respectively.

Motorcyclists and their advocates need to educate auto drivers.

Their position is that lane-splitting is a safe and beneficial strategy for motorcyclists if done in areasonable manner, and that the success of legalized lane-splitting in any US state will bedependent upon high levels of knowledge among non-motorcycling road users.

Motorcycles – Shared Roads & Shared Responsibility

Many motorcyclists receive extensive safety training and endorsements yet still become victims of a motorcycle collision. But the reality of any motorcycle collision is that it can happen to anyone, regardless of age or experience. Most collisions occur when a vehicle driver fails to see a motorcyclist and turns in front of the rider. When these collisions occur, the rider is ALWAYS on the losing end. There is no excuse when vehicles fail to take reasonable, necessary steps to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

California alone has 862,705 registered motorcycles and more than 1.4 million licensed riders, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The law requires that both riders and drivers share the road with awareness and caution for ALL users. But according to the California Highway Patrol, the number of people killed in motorcycle-involved collisions has increased by nearly 11 percent, from 475 killed in 2013 to 527 killed in 2014. In 2014, over 400 riders were either killed or seriously injured in San Diego County alone!

Coastline, cliffs, mountains, and arid desserts are some of the scenery that makes southern California such an attractive area for motorcycle riders. The temperate year-round climate ensures that riders will never be prevented from riding on account of the weather.

The danger of many of these beloved rides is that motorcyclists have to share the road with larger vehicles whose drivers frequently don’t see the motorcycle. With so many motorcyclists in San Diego County, motorcycle accidents are often mentioned in nightly news reports and the morning newspaper.

In automobile vs. motorcycle accidents, the motorcyclist is always the losing party. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the majority of motorcycle accidents occur during the summer months from May through August, with over 50% of accidents happening on non-interstate major roads. In motorcycle vs. motor vehicle accidents, the motorcyclist always sustains worse injuries than the other driver, with many of these accidents resulting in broken bones and sometimes fatalities.

The following list includes a few of the motorcycle accidents that have occurred in San Diego County during the statistically high-incident summer months:

July 24, 2016 – Motorcyclist killed in car collision in San Marcos

July 16, 2016 – Motorcyclist killed after head on collision with car in Potrero

July 10, 2016 – Couple killed in motorcycle crash on I-5 in San Clemente

July 8, 2016 – Motorcyclist killed after losing control in 2 car accident in Mission Bay

July 8, 2016 – Motorcyclist killed, another injured, after collision by hit-and-run driver in Tierrasanta

July 6, 2016 – Motorcyclist killed after driver loses control of her vehicle in Pauma Valley

June 20, 2016 – Motorcyclist killed in crash near Julian

May 2, 2016 – Carlsbad motorcyclist killed in DUI car collision while lane splitting

While there are many precautions a motorcyclist can take to be safer on the road, neither the perfect speed nor very cautious driving can protect a rider from injury or death when an accident is caused by another motorist. Too often motorcyclists are assumed to have been speeding or driving recklessly and get blamed for an accident they didn’t cause. Insurance companies and insurance defense attorneys will try to make the accident the motorcyclist’s fault in order to minimize the compensation they’ll have to pay to the rider.

Don’t jeopardize your right to full compensation! If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, due to the fault of another party, it is possible to file a claim against the negligent party and obtain compensation for the medical expenses and general damages due to the injuries incurred.

Here at The Goetz Law Firm we specialize is representing motorcycle collision victims and their families. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle collision, don’t hesitate to get the representation you deserve. Call for a FREE case consultation.

Motorcycle Crashes – what we are learning

Motorcycle Crashes

JUNE 2016


  • In 2014, 4,586 people died in motorcycle crashes, down 2.3 percent from 4,692 in 2013, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report.
  • In 2014, 92,000 motorcyclists were injured, up 4.5 percent from 88,000 in 2013.
  • In 2013, motorcyclists were about 26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled and five times more likely to be injured.
  • There were about 8.4 million motorcycles on the road in 2014.

Two motorcyclists die in Douglas County crash; woman arrested on suspicion of DUI

Two motorcyclists die in Douglas County crash; woman arrested on suspicion of DUI

Uninsured driver was driving drunk, received DUI and reckless driving charge. Killed 2 motorcycle riders and injured another.

Uninsured Motorist insurance coverage can protect you and your loved ones from uninsured drivers.

The motorcyclist, 58-year-old Brian Lehner of Parker and passenger Jacquie Lehner, 56, were ejected and died at the scene.

Another motorcycle, driven by 28-year-old Joseph Bartoletti of Colorado Springs was also hit.

Two motorcyclists killed in accident with semi on Highway 85

Two motorcyclists killed in accident with semi on Highway 85

Remember to always look for motorcycles.

There are far oo many crashes like this where the semi truck turned left in front of the motorcycle. Semi truck drivers and auto drivers have a surprising habit of turning in front of a motorcycle coming and not yielding right of way turning left in front of a motorcycle with no possible way to stop in time. Even in parking lots this happens. Some people say the front windshield can help a driver spot the motorcycle easier but nothing is better than drivers actually taking the time to look and make sure they have the right of way to make their turn.

when a semitruck crossed the highway eastbound on Weld County Road 18, police said.

Police said the motorcycle then slammed into the right front tire of the semi and went under the truck, bursting into the flames.

Someone in Malibu May Be Sabotaging Canyon Roads to Keep Motorcyclists Away

Someone in Malibu May Be Sabotaging Canyon Roads to Keep Motorcyclists Away
Ride Apart

[…] According to first person accounts, someone may be intentionally pouring oil in a number of places and prior to the entry of some corners. […] Whether or not anyone has actually set out to harm motorcyclists, evidence of excess oil on the roadway is worth noting and passing along. […]

Worst roads for motorcycles

Worst roads for motorcycles
San Diego Union Tribune
July 11, 2011

[…] That makes the intersection of Route 76 and Palomar Mountain Road — also known as South Grade Road — far and away the worst motorcycle spot in the county, according to data culled from the state Department of Transportation and the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System. […] Tied for second were two intersections: Otay Lakes Road at state Route 94 in Jamul; and state Route 78 at Wynola Road in Julian, with 16 accidents each. […]

Nebraska's motorcyle helmet law is still needed

Nebraska’s motorcyle helmet law is still needed

[…] Due to the decrease in helmet use for the under-21 group, the NHTSA found, the incidence of serious traumatic brain injury for riders in that age group was 38 percent higher than in states with a universal helmet requirement. […] The number of injury crashes involving motorcycles increased from 1,146 in the two years before the change to 1,571, an increase of 37 percent. […]

Motorcyclist killed by cement lorry in hit and run outside luxury car showroom in west London

Motorcyclist killed by cement lorry in hit and run outside luxury car showroom in west London
Evening Standard

[…] A motorcyclist has died after a hit and run collision with a cement lorry on a busy high street in west London. […]