A motorcycle rider suffered serious injuries after a recent crash in Pacific Beach. According to reports, the April 5 accident occurred when the rider was attempting to split lanes to avoid police officers, who were pursuing him for an apparent speeding violation. As he tried to maneuver between two cars that were stopped at a red light at the intersection of Garnet Avenue and Fanuel Street, he clipped both vehicles and flew off his motorcycle.
Responders arrived to take the rider to the hospital, where he was treated for serious (but not life-threatening) injuries.
Lane splitting safety in California
While California does not ban lane splitting, many other states do. This is because drivers often do not expect a motorcycle to approach from somewhere outside the normal lanes of traffic, and therefore may run into a rider when attempting to make a turn or change lanes.
The California Motorcyclist Safety Program recommends that riders take the following precautions if they do decide to lane split:
- Do not travel more than 10 miles per hour faster than traffic, as accidents tend to be more severe at higher speeds.
- Avoid lane splitting when traffic is going 30 MPH or faster.
- Always attempt to split between the two furthest left lanes of traffic. This is where most drivers are used to seeing riders split lanes.
- Be aware of your surroundings and use good judgement regarding whether it’s safe to move between lanes of traffic. If weather or road conditions are poor, it's best to avoid the maneuver.
- As much as you can, try to anticipate the movements of other vehicles on the road and be ready to take evasive action if a car changes lanes.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car or motorcycle accident you believe was the result of another party’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages. To learn more, speak with a skilled San Diego personal injury lawyer at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.