Motorcycle Speeding Collisions & Injuries
Motorcycles, Speeding, And Personal Injuries 101
[Content Updated 04/14/2021] Speeding is defined as "exceeding the posted or presumed speed limit, such as driving too fast for conditions, or street racing." And speeding on a motorcycle is far more dangerous than speeding in a car. Moreover, a motorcyclist hit by a speeding driver often dies or suffers lifelong personal injuries. Sadly, this remains a dangerous form of driving behavior often overlooked as a factor in motorcycle liability claims. In another discussion here, we talked about inexperienced riders and how they cause many motorcycle accidents. One must also understand popular culture and the youthful connotation associated with riding a cool bike.
Movies with names like: “Fast and Furious.” "Biker Boyz," and cool satellite T.V. personalities like Jesse James, or Mikey and Paulie over at OCC, all drive the coolness of riding bikes that look fast even when parked. All these celebrities bring to the discussion is that speed and acceleration are some of the top cool factors of riding.
Ehline Law is called to action when a rider experiences riders driving too fast to cause injury to others. And we also help in cases when a bike fails or rapidly accelerates, killing or wounding its rider, passenger, or other people. First, the additional tactical benefits of speed can also kill or maim a motorcyclist with impunity.
And when someone else's negligence causes this harm to riders, the victims need a champion lawyer. Ehline has excellent, proven results and multi-millions of dollars recovered for the voiceless people we speak for. And we act swiftly to put your case in the pole position to legal victory. Below our magnificent trial attorneys will cover speeding and motorcycle accidents 101.
- Popular Bikes are Fast Bikes
- Responsibility Comes With Speed
- Accident Avoidance
- Damages Mitigation
- Speeding is Illegal
- Safety Hints
What Is The Speed Law For Motorcycles In California?
Although there are no minimum speed laws per se, there are basic prima face and other speed limits that peace officers may consider in traffic regulation enforcement. Below are the sections a court, cop, prosecutor, or jury may consider assigning fault to a speeding-related motorcycle accident.
The Popularity Of Fast Bikes Is At An All-Time High
Let’s face it, the slowest stock race bike is faster than the fastest high-performance motorcar, almost without exception. As today’s men reach middle age, many get bit by the urge to remain young. (mid-life crisis, etc.) Of course, this is not the only driver of motorcycle sales.
The TV personalities we discussed earlier also helped made the biker lifestyle something to be sought after. But before all of this, tattoos, leather, and the gruff biker look were more for society's fringe elements. Sadly, just as your reflexes begin to slow and you head towards the big 5-0, you're now zig-zagging between lanes on a fast bike.
Even for the younger rider, with better reflexes, he still lacks a more seasoned adult rider's situational awareness. And bikes keep getting faster and more powerful. And speed is an essential driver of motorcycle sales. Young or old, avoiding the risk of speeding is difficult. But fast bikes have downfalls for all classes of riders.
The most recent data demonstrates consumers bought around 1.1 million motorized bikes in 2006 alone. And since that time, the numbers have picked up. Certain bikes are so fast they can accelerate from 0-60 in seconds. At such a quick rate, even experienced professional riders won’t recommend them.
With Great Speed Comes Great Responsibility
What are some things that lead to speeding, and what can we do to obviate some of the temptations to speed when it is most dangerous to do so? An element of riders become speed demons in virtually any situation. It could be bumper-to-bumper traffic.
But people speeding on a motorcycle generally accelerate when traffic is moving at a brisk pace. But sometimes vehicles, including bikers will speed up when traffic stands still. Most experts say lane sharing stands out as a hazardous maneuver unless you are very careful. And it remains unsafe for bikers to barrel down the lanes much faster than the flow of traffic.
Also, many times they fail to signal. Often riders attempt to pass on the right. But then a parked vehicle opens a door in their face.
Responsible bikers need to beware of risks and take measure to avoid the following:
- Rushing to get somewhere too fast.
- Speeding up to beat the yellow light.
- Unsafe lane-splitting in heavy or even light traffic.
- Road rage and revenge tactics. (kicking rearview mirrors off of inconsiderate cars, tailgating, flipping people off, trying to scare them, causing them to panic, etc.).
Always remember that poor visibility is a significant reason riders can get run over. Cars don't see them fast enough to avoid them. A driver who doesn’t see it coming will often freeze like a deer. And this causes obstructions for everyone else. A rider coming at you too fast is often just a blur. So slow down, especially at intersections.
Above all, speed in and of itself is a powerful magnet to the daredevil and thrill seeker alike. Speed kills and provides a great deal of pleasure from the sensations it brings to your nervous system.
The olfactory gets lit up, and the visual department is overwhelmed with the blurs and colors briskly passing by at high speed. Plus, the hearing becomes flooded with the pipes' sounds and the wind blowing in your face. So this can be incredibly fun stuff!
There remains an added benefit of the sex appeal of bikes. So the allure of the image it represents can create power in the minds of riders and their admirers. But speed hinders the reaction times of all motorists. Also, fast riding, and even riding, even at low rates, remains incredibly dangerous to people on motorcycles.
Speeding Remains A Problem For Motorcycle Riders
Blasting down the freeway on a crotch rocket is not uncommon for riders. But often, riders don't know how fast they're going. The apparent advantage of getting to a location faster can be a drawback too. Although lane splitting is legal in California, many motorists don’t see the riders.
Others don’t think it's legal for the rider to share their lane. Many riders who commute to work assume they can leave home later if they ride a bike. This looming lateness to work could cause the riders to rush in and out of traffic lanes at a standstill. So as you can see, it is always more accessible and more of a temptation to speed when you're a rider.
In any event, speeding is illegal. The police can throw you in jail if you risk it. Plus, it places other people’s lives in the hands of the rider. If anything, riders should be more careful, not less. High-speed driving lowers reaction times and makes it take longer to stop or slow down.
When sharing the road with other larger and heavier vehicles, the rider is always at a disadvantage. Simply put, they have less time to maneuver and avoid hazards.
We in the biker community have all heard “loud pipes save lives.” And this is all true! But sadly, loud pipes can prevent riders from hearing dangers, such as EMS sirens. So a healthy balance in the engine noise and external audio perception is needed to obviate risks. Staying visible is always essential in safe motorcycling. One idea for riders in danger and coming into traffic is to increase visibility by flashing their bike's emergency signals.
Also, they can flick their headlights on and off, rev their motor, signal with their free hand, and wear an orange safety vest. (military service members are required to do so).
So if your bike is entering traffic too fast to reduce speed in time, or your accelerator gets stuck, make an effort to alert fellow motorists. After all, that is the right thing to do.
Most of all, it could potentially save lives. But other than that, don’t deliberately speed. So obey the speed laws. Watch your step. Be safe.
Mitigating Losses When Riding At Higher Speeds.
As discussed throughout this website, preparation is the key to winning a personal injury case. Safety courses and equipment are a no-brainer for any rider. Ensuring you avoid accidents altogether is most vital in having a long, healthy life. So safe riding practices need to be at the forefront. Be mature; stop showing off your fast bike in a dangerous, flashy manner.
Focus on keeping yourself and others safe. Being a life taker or having your own life snatched away should be something no rider faces.
Speeding a motor vehicle up beyond the law's limitations raises both civil and criminal aspects of California law. For example, riding a motorcycle at 100 mph or more can be charged by the District Attorney as a criminal felony.
And a car, truck, or bus driver causing a speeding accident with a motorcyclist at that speed is not only negligent, but they are guilty of gross negligence and recklessness. Someone driving their car that fast and crashing is probably also negligent per se. (liability is presumed). So if you are traveling too fast or even too slow for safe road conditions, you can propel people riding motorcycles into a danger zone.
Speeding and causing a wreck remains the most significant single cause of motorcycle collisions. And if a motorcyclist gets hurt from their speeding, the court will reduce their recovery amount based on their portion of fault for causing the crash or worsening their injuries. The court reductions will be subtracted from your lawsuit's payout, based upon your particular degree of responsibility, assuming you were the motorcycle rider battling over fault.
Here are a few steps towards lessening your fault in a future traffic collision that should help you improve your riding experience:
- Always ride where you can see the other driver in their mirrors when in the back. That's right. When you are riding in stop-and-go traffic, you must stay left or right vehicles when slowing your bike in front of you. If you can stay off the front vehicle's rear end, you can lane-split and move to the traffic signal, passing the cars to your left and right. Staying directly behind a car makes you a target for being sandwiched and pinned in a rear-end collision. Also, you must make sure you're not in a motorist's blind spot. Competent cyclists will peer into the other motorist's mirrors to try and make visual contact. If you take this step, you can assure yourself the other motorist can see you! If you have to slow down in road traffic, be aware of cars behind you. If you remain vigilant, you can cut left when safe. In any event, a motorcyclist becoming sandwiched between two vehicles remains possible. Most of all, riders must use common sense to avoid dangerous riding situations.
- Always try and make eye contact if possible. No, this doesn’t mean you must constantly look at people’s heads or faces. It means that you look at opposing vehicles for strange, ignorant, unusual, and erratic behavior. Look into the car driver’s rearview mirrors if you wish to pass or share lanes. See if that driver in front or to the side of your bike is looking at you. Read the body language and skill of other motorists. Learn to size them up. Are they old and not all there? Or are they young and restless? Maybe they are daydreaming? Is she applying makeup instead of paying attention? In general, look out for the other person. Mostly, it is them not keeping their eyes on the road.
- Rely on all your senses and crutches. What does this mean? We all have that sixth sense. Using your senses competently means you looking left and look right. You need situational awareness of where vehicles were just seconds ago. Also, it would help if you constantly were scanning and using your memory to anticipate the other vehicles' movements. An example of a crutch is using your side view mirrors only. Over-reliance on your rearview mirrors will get you a trip to the funeral parlor in the flash of an eye. These are a crutch to help form an overall picture of your sides' road conditions and rear. But there are also blind spots for bikers. Mirrors are a mere tool. Rely on other skills that training and experience hone like looking around!
- Don’t Crowd Lanes With Cars. As you approach on-ramps or off-ramps, don't be riding next to a car or be closely following. Out-of-towners are notorious for making a sharp turn left or right to get on or off an exit or entrance. Keep in mind that people less familiar with the area are less likely to see a rider. So look for out-of-state plates or rental car stickers and plate frames. Take extra care to allow yourself reaction times for anticipated dangers. You like a street lawyer gathering evidence of potential threats.
- Look at the Military Model. The Marines require their personnel to wear orange safety vests. They must ride with bearing and discipline. They must behave as they do while in uniform. So this means no screwing off and remaining highly visible to other motorists. Wearing proper footwear, and not tennis shoes, etc., is essential. Wearing special gear that is visible at night helps a lot. Look to buy reflective orange vests. Be a professional. Represent!
Our experienced motorcycle attorneys are the motorcycle riders’ friends. And we will work like devil dogs to get victims of rider catastrophes money for their injuries and bills. Our lead counsel, Michael P. Ehline, is a former U.S. Marine and cut from the “live free or die” jib. We are available for a free consultation at 213-596-9642 24/7. You must prepare for the dangers of driving too fast. But if you get run over, you know you can call us for the best local Los Angeles legal representation. We offer a no-win fee promise and a free consultation as evidence of our client commitment. You can also use our convenient online contact form for faster service from California's Ehline Law Firm today.