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Motorcycle safety becomes more important in season

Spring brings motorcycle season to the nation at large and specifically to California. The Golden State is home to the largest population of motorcycle enthusiasts in the country, and many more come to the deserts and shores of the region for the extra thrill.

There are several hazards that affect bikers in the congested streets of San Francisco to the arid open roads of Death Valley. Many of them involve other drivers on the road, who often do not see motorcycles until they are dangerously close to a collision.

Lane splitting, the process of driving between stopped rows of cars on a multi-lane road or highway, often proves to be a dangerous or even deadly practice. A new California law, Section 21658.1 of the state's Vehicle Code, defines lane splitting and its impact on road safety. The practice is only legal in specific circumstances.

Motorcycle helmets are a vital defense against serious injury, permanent disability and death in the case of a motorcycle crash. Many attempts to exclude older riders from California's helmet requirement have failed because the numbers show helmets save lives. More than three-quarters of motorcycle fatalities before the requirement was passed in 1987 were people above the age of 21.

Victims of serious motorcycle accidents in which another driver is at fault may have a case for financial damages, including reimbursement for medical expenses and compensation for pain and emotional distress during recovery. An attorney can help victims and their loved ones plan and file a civil lawsuit to forward a case toward a jury verdict or negotiated settlement.

Source: California Highway Patrol, "California Motorcyclist Safety," accessed April 20, 2018

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