Motorcycle riders in California can usually ride year-round. But even more motorcyclists will hit the roads and highways as the weather continues to warm up. Before the summer riding season gets into full swing, it’s important that both new and experienced motorcyclists know California’s rules of the road.
Although most laws for driving a motorcycle are the same as when you’re driving any other motor vehicle, there’s at least one motorcycle-specific law everyone should know. The lane-splitting law is unique to California and officially went into effect on January 1, 2017. Before your next ride, remember these important rules of the road for motorcyclists from your Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer.
General Driving Laws
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) says that together with courtesy and common sense; right-of-way rules promote traffic safety. Statistics show that right-of-way violations are the cause of a high percentage of accidents with injuries in California. A Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer advises you to yield your right-of-way anytime it will prevent an accident.
The max speed limit on most California highways is 65 miles per hour, but you can drive 70 in posted areas. Any Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer will tell you to always obey posted limits, which vary based on road type and location. These limits are also based on ideal driving conditions, but California has a “Basic Speed Law.”
According to California’s basic speed law, you cannot ever drive faster than is safe for current road and weather conditions, regardless of the posted speed limit. If it’s raining, the road is rough, there’s a lot of congestion or any other reason that warrants a slower speed, you must slow down. This is especially relevant when you’re on a motorcycle that doesn’t handle road hazards as well as an automobile in the first place.
Lane Splitting Law
Lane splitting, also called lane sharing, is a motorcycle-specific traffic rule. California became the first state to formally legalize lane splitting with a bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown in August 2016 that went into effect on January 1.
The law defined the practice of motorcyclists driving between two rows of either stopped or moving vehicles and authorized the California Highway Patrol to develop further guidelines, such as maximum speed limits during the procedure. These guidelines aren’t currently complete, so the safety standard is still “safe and prudent” riding.
That being said, motorcycle riders definitely can’t split lanes if it requires crossing two solid yellow lines, which always indicates no passing of any kind.
Hire a Top Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a person you know is injured in a motorcycle accident in SoCal, a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys can help 24/7. Give us a call at 323-REAR END (323-732-7363) for your free consultation today!