Dispelling Some Misconceptions About Motorcyclists and Riding
There are a lot of negative stereotypes about motorcyclists that unfairly tarnish the reputation of everyone who rides. For example, there are some studies that suggest the majority of accidents involving motorcyclists and passenger vehicles are caused by the car’s driver, not the motorcyclist, but common driver assumptions are frequently the opposite.
Lane Splitting Is a Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents
Lane splitting is not as dangerous as many passenger vehicle drivers believe. In fact, many studies show that lane splitting not only reduces time in traffic for all vehicles, but can actually improve motorcycle safety.
In California, one of only two states that has formally legalized lane splitting, only about 61 percent of passenger vehicle drivers know that it is legal. Many California drivers continue to disapprove of the practice of lane splitting to some degree. What most vehicle drivers likely don’t understand are the safety benefits of the practice.
Most riders use lane splitting (also known as lane-sharing or filtering) as a way to:
- Strategically position themselves to avoid collisions
- Distance themselves from larger vehicles or hazards
- Filter through slower moving traffic thus decreasing the chance of being rear ended
Most California riders safely participate in lane splitting. Motorcyclists who engage in lane splitting in California were also found to be:
- Riding during commutes on weekdays
- Wearing better safety gear than other riders
- Traveling at lower speeds
- Less likely to have been drinking
- Less likely to have a passenger
- Injured much less frequently during collisions
Most California lane splitters are commuting to and from work, and their ability to filter helps reduce congestion not only for themselves, but for all motorists.
Women Motorcyclists Are a Rare Breed
This is flat out false. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council women make up the fastest growing segment of motorcycle enthusiasts today.
Young, Reckless Riders Are Most Likely to Cause Motorcycle Accidents
The demographics dispute this widely held misconception.
In 2015, for example, 1,454 motorcyclists under the age of 30 were killed in accidents, while 1,796 motorcyclists over the age of 50 were killed in motorcycle accidents.
In 2016, 43 years was the average age of riders who suffered fatal accidents in the United States. The median age of riders in 2018 was 50, which is significantly older than it was 6 years prior when the median age was 45.
Motorcycle Riders are Rare
Just over eight percent of households in the United States owned at least one motorcycle in 2018, which was a record high. We’re not far from motorcycles being a fixture in one out of every ten households, which makes motorcycle ownership more common than many people realize.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident with another vehicle, it’s possible the other driver shares some or all of the fault. Insurance companies understand the bias against riders like you and will make it difficult for your family to collect the settlement you need to recover.
At the Motorcycle Law Group, we’re familiar with all the unfair stereotypes because our lawyers are riders. We also know how to counteract those false narratives. Let us fight for the compensation you need to get back on the road and on with your life.