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Safety: One Key to Avoiding a Motorcycle Accident

Thursday, December 21, 2017

If you are a motorcyclist, you likely know that you have to take even more precautions on the road than people driving cars or other larger vehicles. There are several things you can do as a motorcyclist to reduce your chances of being involved in a crash, whether with a vehicle, another motorcyclist, or something else.

  • Make yourself visible. Wearing bright, reflective clothing as well as having reflective devices on your motorcycle can help. You should also avoid riding in a motorist's blind spot. At times, this may mean slowing down, speeding up, or changing lanes.
  • Always give yourself enough room to ride safely. This includes giving yourself enough road to safely stop or switch lanes if the motorcyclist or driver in front of you stops suddenly. Never try to slip into a small gap in traffic.
  • Be aware of drivers and other motorcyclists around you. When needed, adjust your speed or take a different route to avoid someone who does not appear to be paying attention to others or who appears to be impaired.
  • Always use your turn signal when turning or changing lanes. Use it early, especially if you are unsure if the motorists around you are paying attention.
  • Use caution when lane splitting. California formally legalized lane splitting for motorcyclists last year. So far, we are the only state to do so. Lane splitting should only be done in stopped or slow-moving traffic. When lane splitting, follow the California Motorist Safety Program guidelines. You should not travel more than 10 MPH faster than other traffic. Avoid lane splitting when traffic is traveling 30 MPH or faster. Never use lane splitting as an excuse to weave unsafely between lanes of traffic, and always watch for motorists who may not be watching for you.  
  • Wear protective gear. In California, all motorcyclists are required by law to wear at least a helmet. Other protective gear, such as gloves, a heavy jacket, long pants, and boots, are also important. While protective gear will not prevent an accident, it can reduce your chances of being seriously injured if you do crash.
  • Never ride impaired. Some people assume this means not drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs before riding. It is about more than that, though. Even over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs could impair your judgment or influence your reaction time. If you are unsure how a medication is going to affect you, avoid riding your motorcycle until you are sure you can do so safely. Even riding while tired could increase your chances of being in an accident.
  • Be aware of road conditions. When possible, avoid traveling on poorly-maintained roads. Watch for potential road hazards, including debris. If other motorists appear to be slowing down or weaving around something, anticipate that there might be something on the road, and be ready to react appropriately.
  • Be aware of weather conditions that might impact your riding ability. Fog can make it harder for others on the road to see you, which means you may want to give yourself extra space. Wet roads may also cause a riding problem. While icy roads are rarely an issue in our area, slow down and make the appropriate accommodations if you are riding in an area where you may encounter slick or icy roads.
  • Maintain your motorcycle. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and in good condition, and make sure your lights are working properly.

While being a safe motorcyclist will reduce your chances of being involved in an accident, you cannot control the actions of others on the road. Unfortunately, drivers do not always pay attention to motorcyclists. If you were the unfortunate victim of a crash caused by someone else while you were riding your motorcycle, contact us. We serve clients throughout Southern California, and we will happily provide you with a free consultation.

Why Helmets Are So Essential In Motorcycle Accident Cases

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Have you recently suffered from a motorcycle accident in which you were not the negligent driver? Were you wearing a helmet during the accident? If not, you run the risk of potentially losing your case. Why?

Liability Requires Negligence

Negligence is one of the main influences in deciding liability in a motorcycle accident case. If the driver of the vehicle that struck the motorcycle was driving too fast for conditions, ignored signal from the motorcyclist, or was passing in a no-passing zone, they were driving in a negligent manner. As a result, this behavior makes them liable for the injury.

However, negligence can also be passed on to the driver of the motorcycle. For example, if they were driving too quickly, failed to signal, or otherwise drove in a dangerous way, the judge may decide that they were liable. One controversial point that upsets many motorcycle drivers is the influence that wearing a helmet can have on liability decisions.

Failure To Wear A Helmet May Be Negligent

When you fail to wear a helmet while driving your motorcycle, contributory negligence may be argued by the defendant. What does this mean? It means that many of your injuries were caused by the lack of a helmet. Many judges consider improper helmet safety a negligent behavior and are likely to either negate some of the costs of the lawsuit or eliminate them completely.

This is particularly true in the case of states that have mandatory helmet laws. A lack of a helmet is seen in these states as just as negligent as driving too fast, failing to use turn signals, or drinking before driving. Judges may actually throw out these cases if the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet.

If you are worried about your motorcycle accident lawsuit because you weren't wearing a helmet, please contact us today. We can help you build a case that will negate your lack of helmet and get you the money you deserve.


Common Causes of Motorcycle Freeway Collisions

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Riding your motorcycle down the freeway, speeding along can be an exhilarating experience, but that doesn’t change the fact that it can be a dangerous place for vehicles, motorcycles in particular.  Due to a motorcycle’s slim profile and exposed nature, not only can they go unnoticed by drivers, but if a collision does occur, motorcycle drivers are significantly more at risk for serious injury. This means that a crash that could lend to a few scrapes in a car driver could end up seriously maiming a motorcycle driver since they are not encased in that protective shell.

Common causes of freeway motorcycle accidents include:

  • Driving at unsafe speeds
  • Driving while distracted
  • Failing to check blind spots
  • Driving too closely to other vehicles

Aside from the negligence of other drivers, motorcycle crashes can often be made worse by defective motorcycle parts and poorly functioning safety equipment. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, motorcycle riders may be entitled to a substantial sum from monetary damages in order to cover medical bills, vehicle damages, rehabilitation expenses, and even pain and suffering. However, these damages are only available to you if it is the other driver’s fault. If it was found that a motorcycle driver was driving recklessly, then the other driver, in turn, might seek damages.

If you were in a motorcycle accident on the freeways around Los Angelescontact us today. The personal injury lawyers of Freeman & Freeman believe in sharing the road and make sure the victims are taken care of when that doesn’t happen.

Smart Motorcycle Helmet Promises to Help Reduce Risk of Accidents

Monday, August 11, 2014

A motorcycle helmet is the most effective and potent tool that a motorcyclist has in helping reduce the risk of accident. After all, Thousand Oaks motorcycle accident lawyers believe that it's very important that motorcyclists reduce the risk of accidents, because they are at a much higher risk of being injured, compared to the occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash.

A new motorcycle helmet, however, doesn't only help reduce the risk of a fatality in an accident by helping protect the skull during impact, but also provides additional tools to help the motorcyclist prevent a crash in the first place.

The smart motorcycle helmet is called the Skully AR-1 helmet, and according to the founder, the idea for the helmet was literally his dream. One night, he dreamt of a helmet that would have GPS functionality, would provide him with HUD directions, and would even let him know exactly what was behind his motorcycle. He woke up in the middle of the dream, spent an hour looking for a prototype of this helmet, certain that something like this probably existed somewhere in the world.

Now, his dream is becoming reality. The Scully AR-1 is not just any motorcycle helmet. This helmet includes an elaborate and sophisticated network of microprocessors, sensor systems, and is equipped with a Heads-Up Display. The helmet includes GPS navigation facilities to aid motorcyclists, and the Heads-Up Display helps motorists get directions, without having to look away from the road.

The whole point of the helmet is to make sure that the motorcyclist is paying 100% attention to the road, and does not have to take his hands off the handle bar or his eyes off the road at any point in time. The system also includes a rearview camera system that gives the motorcyclist a complete 180° view of the scene behind the rider, functioning similarly to a rearview camera system on a car.

Fact: Motorcycle Helmets Save Lives

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

In California, the number of people being killed in motorcycle accidents dropped substantially in the years after mandatory motorcycle helmet laws were introduced in the State. The decline was as substantial as 40%. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that motorcycle helmet laws save lives, many states around the country are actually considering repealing their helmet laws.

According to an infographic that was published recently in the New York Times, motorcycle fatalities seem to increase substantially in the months after the repeal of motorcycle helmet laws without any exception. The infographic specifically focused on Texas and Arkansas, which decided to repeal their motorcycle helmet laws in 1997. As soon as those laws were repealed, the state saw a substantial increase in the numbers of people being killed in motorcycle accidents. The laws were repealed as a result of pressure from motorcycle advocacy groups.

Several other states have also followed suit. For instance, Florida recently changed its laws to require that only riders below 21 wear helmets while riding. The number of fatalities in that state has increased since that change. Many of those new fatalities involved motorcyclists who were not wearing helmets at the time of the accident.

Similar changes occurred in Pennsylvania in 2003 and Michigan in 2012. Currently, there are 19 states in the United States that have universal helmet laws, and of these, at least eight are considering laws that will change the requirement that all motorcyclists wear helmets.

According to a study conducted by the University California-Los Angeles, motorcycle fatalities in the state of California actually dropped by 40.3% from 1991 to 1993. The state transited from the lack of a motorcycle helmet law to implementation of helmet laws for all riders during this time. It was estimated that 239 deaths were prevented as a result of the law.


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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.