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Driving A Motorcycle: A Dangerous Mode of Transportation?


Driving a motorcycle is one of the most dangerous modes of transportation a single person can use. Unlike cars, which have an outer layer of steel and an inner layer lined by airbags, motorcycles provide riders with no lines of defense.  This leaves riders susceptible to serious injuries, such as head trauma or loss of limbs.

According to a 2016 Fatality Analysis Report, motorcycle fatalities have increased by 5.1 percent since 2015. Wearing protective gear, such as DOT approved helmets and leather motorcycle pants, will help keep you protected should you be involved in a collision. Despite this, riders should not engage in risky behavior to ensure they do not put themselves in harm’s way.

NHTSA’s 2016 Traffic Safety Facts[i]

motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 28 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes.
Twenty-seven percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2016 were riding without valid motorcycle licenses
motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were found to have the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers than any other vehicle types

One form of riding practiced by motorcyclists is lane splitting. While California law does not explicitly prohibit lane splitting, splitting lanes with other vehicles is risky for both the rider and the vehicle driver. It is common for drivers who do not ride a motorcycle, or know anyone who rides one, to be unaccustomed to sharing the road. Many drivers do not have the forethought to look in their rear-view mirrors for motorcyclists and move over to secure safe passage for the rider. This lack of awareness leaves riders exposed to injury, which is why it is pertinent for riders to be proactive when they are cutting through traffic by staying alert to their surroundings. Still, drivers should always be vigilant when they are behind the wheel of a car.

Acclaim Law Group recently represented a person who was a seasoned motorcycle rider. Despite his experience riding, he was involved in a collision caused by the negligence of another driver.  The impact of the collision threw him off his bike, over the vehicle that hit him, and onto the pavement. He sustained injuries to his ankle and wrist that required immediate treatment. Fortunately, he was wearing full motorcycle gear that protected him from further injury.

Whether you are gliding down the city streets, cruising down the coast highway, or splitting lanes with a PT Cruiser, make sure you are wearing protective gear and riding cautiously. Although drivers have a duty of care when they are behind the wheel, it is important that you do not rely on other drivers to keep yourself safe. No matter how seasoned you are as a rider, vehicle collisions happen, and it is up to you to keep your body protected. Stay alert and ride safely.

If you are a motorcyclist and have been injured due to the negligence of another contact a personal injury attorney La Mesa at Acclaim Law Group. We will answer any questions you may have, work to replace any gear that was damaged by the collision, and fight for your rights until you receive a proper settlement. For a motorcycle training course nearest you, call the Motorcycle Safety Foundation at (800) 446-9227.

Disclaimer: While we always seek to establish accuracy when publishing articles, this piece is not intended to provide legal advice, and should not be used as such. Each individual case will differ and should be discussed with an attorney or legal expert. If you would like to inquire about pursuing a claim against your insurance company, please contact a San Diego injury lawyer at (858) 252-0781 or email



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