Motorcycle Speeding Collisions & Injuries

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Motorcycles, Speeding, And Personal Injuries 101.

 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 are a significant cause of many motorcycle accidents. One must also understand popular culture and the youthful connotation associated with riding a cool bike.

Joe got pai for motorcycle accident

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. And one thing all these celebrities bring to the discussion is that speed and acceleration is one of the top cool factors of riding.

Ehline Law is called to action when a rider experienced, or even experienced riders driving too fast, 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. To begin with, 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.


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 the enforcement of traffic regulation. Below are the sections a court, cop, prosecutor or jury may consider in assigning fault to a speeding-related motorcycle accident.

  • CVC Section 22349 - Maximum speed limits.
  • CVC Section 22350 - Basic Speed laws.
  • CVC Section 22400 (a & b) - Minimum speed limits.
  • CVC Section 22352, et seq. - Prima Facie speed limits.

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 especially reach middle age, they too are often bitten 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 was more for the fringe elements of society. 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 the situational awareness of a more seasoned adult rider. 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.

So 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? Obviously, an element of riders become speed demons in virtually any situation. It could be bumper to bumper traffic.

But speeding on a motorcycle generally occurs when traffic is either moving at a brisk pace. But it also happens when traffic stands still. Lane sharing stands out as a particularly dangerous maneuver. Bikers eventually 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 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, but also 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 sounds of the pipes 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 reaction times of all motorists. Also, fast riding, and even riding, even at low speeds, remains incredibly dangerous to people on motorcycles.

Speeding Remains a Problem for 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 easier 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 make 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.

Accident Avoidance at Higher Speeds.

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, just 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 and the Law.

Speeding beyond the law's limitations raises both civil and criminal aspects of the California law. For example, riding at 100 mph or greater is chargeable as a criminal felony.

Causing a speeding accident at that speed is also negligent, but also probably negligence per se. (liability is presumed). So if you are traveling too fast or even too slow for safe road conditions, you can propel people into a danger zone.

Speeding and causing a wreck remains the greatest single cause of motorcycle collisions. And if a motorcyclist gets hurt from their speeding, their degree of recovery would be reduced. The reductions come out of the lawsuit's payout, based upon their particular degree of fault.

Safety Hints for Motorcyclists

Here are a few steps towards lessening your fault in a future traffic collision.

Also, this should help you improve your riding experience.

  • Always ride where you can see the other driver in their own mirrors when in back. That's right. When in stop and go traffic, and when slowing stay on the left, or right rear of vehicles in front of you. Also, make sure you're not in their blind spot. Veer into their mirrors so you can see them. This means they should also be able to see you! If you do have to slow, be aware of who is behind you and cut left or right when safe. In any event, becoming sandwiched between two cars remains possible. Most of all, use common sense to avoid dangerous situations.
  • Always try and make eye contact if possible. No, this doesn’t mean veer constantly at people’s heads or faces. What it does mean is that you look at opposing vehicles for strange, ignorant, unusual, and erratic behavior. Look into the car driver’s rearview mirrors if you are wishing 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? This means you need to look left, and look right. You need situational awareness of where vehicles were just seconds ago. Also, you should always be scanning and using your memory to anticipate the movements of the other vehicles. An example of a crutch is the side view mirrors. 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 the road conditions to your sides and rear. But there are also blind spots for bikers. Mirrors are a mere tool. Rely on other skills that training and experience hone.
  • 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 of 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. Your basically 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. In fact, 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 important. Wearing special gear that is visible at night helps a lot. Look to buy reflective orange vests. Be a professional. Represent!


Our experienced attorneys are the riders’ friend. And we 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. Prepare for the dangers of driving too fast. And if run over, call us. We offer a no win no fee promise.