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Freeway lane changer costs California motorcyclist his life

If you want to save on gasoline, feel the wind on your face and breeze easily through California traffic, a motorcycle is often the right choice. The mode of travel has dangers, however, from bikes' slim profile to inattentive drivers that can act like they are the only ones on the road.  Our California Legislature has upheld a motorcyclist's right to pass between cars in adjacent lanes, yet motorists do not take the care to make sure the motorcyclist is safe as he/she passes legally.

A 50-year-old man was fatally injured on a freeway north of San Diego when he was ejected from his motorcycle after being hit by a car. California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers report that the collision occurred in the early hours of a Saturday morning when a sedan changed lanes without acknowledging the motorcycle.

The 20-year-old San Diego man who was driving the car was not injured and he was not suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to the CHP. However, the rider was pronounced dead at the scene after emergency crews converged on the overpass.

Failure to yield to motorcyclists at intersections and on multiple-lane highways is one of the leading causes of fatal motorcycle accidents in California. The presence of motorcycles is another reason for car and truck drivers to pay extra attention to the small and fast-moving vehicles.

If a collision cannot be avoided, motorcyclists are at greater risk for severe injury, permanent disability and death than the drivers or passengers in cars, trucks and buses. Victims of negligent drivers may be eligible for reimbursement for medical expenses, compensation for lost wages and other court-awarded damages to rectify the damages and injuries of the accident.

Source: Fox 5 San Diego, "Temecula man killed in motorcycle crash," Aug. 5, 2017

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