A motorcyclist, who appeared to be Lane Splitting, was killed on Sept 22, 2015 in a crash on U.S. Highway 101 in Palo Alto. According to the CHP, the motorcycle collided with the rear end of a vehicle, the rider was ejected and suffered fatal injuries. He was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency personnel.
While the accident remains under investigation, it has been reported by most news outlets that the motorcyclist was driving fast in slow moving traffic.
It is too soon to say if the motorcyclist was driving “too” fast or just driving faster than the slow moving traffic. It’s unfortunate that the reports are quick to point a finger at the motorcyclist though.
It’s important to remember that California has an official statement that allows lane splitting or sharing when done in a “safe and prudent manner.” All too often, inattentive drivers can and do change lanes or swerve into your path without bothering to look. Many people think since the motorcyclist is lane splitting, he’s at fault not knowing that it is perfectly legal to do so.
One issue to safety right now is that some motorists take it upon themselves to discourage motorcyclists from lane splitting and intentionally block or impede a motorcyclist and potentially cause harm to the rider.
Another issue is when traffic is moving slowly and an impatient driver tries to hurry up and change lanes. Drivers need to be aware this is the most likely time motorcyclists split lanes and should always look back to ensure he can safely change lanes.
A bill was approved by the California House earlier this year to formally legalize the practice of lane splitting (sometimes called lane sharing) with restrictions. However, California bill AB 51 was put on hold this summer, but it is expected to be pursued in 2016.
Families of deceased Motorcycle Accidents victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost future income, pain and suffering . The driver of the car can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death if he is determined to be at fault. It is important to consult with an experienced California motorcycle lawyer for help in determining if there is a case and maximize compensation.