Drivers must share the road with bicycles and motorcycles

Summertime is finally here, bringing the sunshine and warmth that makes people want to feel the wind on their faces. Although it's important to be aware of road conditions all year round, summer months demand extra vigilance when it comes to smaller vehicles. Under California law, motorcycles and bicycles share the same roadways with passenger motor vehicles, like cars and SUVs. While fatal crashes are declining for bicyclists, they are on the rise for motorcycles.

Drivers should take extra care during the warmer months to be on the look out for mopeds, motorcycles and bikes of all shapes and sizes. Failing to check for smaller two-wheeled vehicles could result in an accident.

When you get on a bike or motorcycle, you know you're accepting some degree of risk. If you're in an accident, there isn't the outer structure of a car or truck to protect your body during the collision.You probably take special steps to protect yourself, including wearing a helmet, adding reflective materials to your clothing or bike and wearing protective clothing, such as leather. No matter how careful you are, a crash with a larger vehicle could still be devastating.

Smaller vehicles take more damage in accidents

Although bike and motorcycle drivers can be responsible for serious accidents, many times they are victims of people who weren't aware enough of who else was on the road. It only takes a few seconds for a distracted driver to cut into your lane or turn in front of you. That can lead to a collision or to you going down into the road to avoid a crash. In either scenario, you are likely to be severely injured. When a car that weighs thousands of pounds collides with a 300 pound motorcycle, the motorcycle inevitably receives more damage than the car.

Often, the motor vehicle driver can walk away unharmed. The person on the motorcycle, on the other hand, has a vehicle that is totally destroyed and injuries ranging from road rash to broken bones and head trauma. You shouldn't have to pay the price for someone else's mistake on the road. Whether it was distraction, negligence or chemical impairment, the other driver should be held responsible for engaging in behavior that caused you serious damage and injuries.

An attorney can help after a collision

Whether you were on a bicycle in the bike lane or on a motorcycle, obeying all traffic laws, working with a lawyer is your best option. Your attorney can help negotiate with insurance companies and review any settlement offers. You should never sign anything without first consulting with an experienced California personal injury attorney. Doing so will help you make more informed decisions and improve you chance of a positive outcome after a serious accident.

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