5 Things You Didn’t Know California Law Says About Motorcycles
Riding a motorcycle can be a fun and thrilling activity, and is enjoyed by millions of Americans. Unfortunately that also involves a lot of misunderstandings with motorists. When drivers get mad at, or even cause an accident with a motorcyclist, they often have no idea the motorcycle was legally in the right.
5. Lane Splitting Is Perfectly Legal (When Done Safely)
It’s one of the most common gripes drivers have with motorcyclists. They can’t stand when they split lanes. Often times the reason it annoys them is because the driver feels lane splitting is illegal. This cannot be further from the truth. As long as they follow certain speed restrictions and do so safely, the California Vehicle Code absolutely allows lane splitting. If you’re a car in traffic, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your side view mirrors and be aware motorcyclists are present.
4. Yes, You Have To Wear A Helmet
No matter what you think about helmet laws being a violation of your freedom, fashion sense, or both — it’s the law. Why should you wear a helmet? Because it keeps you from dying when crack your head open on the concrete. Need statistics? Fine… you’re 42% less likely to die in a crash if you wear a helmet, and 69% less likely to suffer head injury. Not only that, but if you’re not wearing a helmet and get hurt in an accident — the insurance company will be all over you. Wear a helmet.
3. Headphones Or Earbuds? One Ear At A Time
It’s a new law in California this year, that motorcyclists cannot have headphones or earbuds in both ears at the same time. Whether part of the helmet or separate from, you may only have one ear occupied at a time. The Bluetooth headset in the right ear that a lot of riders use is just fine, so long as it isn’t accompanied by a second one in the other ear.
2. Don’t Make A Left Turn In Front Of A Motorcycle. Seriously, Don’t.
Motorcycles are like any other vehicle out there and should be treated as such. Cars pulling a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Turning in front of a motorcycle to turn is not only illegal, but really, really unsafe. Broadsiding a car that turned without looking is a pretty large part of the catalog of motorcyclist’s nightmares.
1. Don’t Be Jealous. Motorcycles May Use The Carpool Lane
It’s the greatest privilege one can enjoy on any highway in California — the carpool lane. It lets you zoom past traffic, but only if you’ve got someone riding with you. But don’t get angry at the motorcycles in that lane. They’re ultra-low emissions vehicles (smaller engines) and are allowed by law to take that lane. There’s no amount of haterade that can change the law. They’re allowed to do it so make your peace with it.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident and it was someone else’s fault, it’s important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Fill out our form below for a free consultation to go over your case.