Understanding California Motorcycle Laws

California motorcycle laws are in place to protect the safety of motorcyclists and other motorists sharing the road. If you have been injured as a result of a motorcycle accident, our personal injury attorneys in San Diego, CA, can explain all applicable laws so you are as informed as possible when determining your legal options. Having a thorough understanding of these laws will make you a safer motorcyclist, and can support you following an accident. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, contact our law office to speak with an attorney.

Photo of a motorcycle couple smiling

California’s Universal Helmet Law

California is one of just 19 states in the U.S. that have a universal helmet law. This law requires all motorcycle riders and passengers of all ages to wear helmets that meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. Failing to wear a helmet could result in steep fines. Worse than that, motorcyclists not wearing helmets at the time of an accident are far more likely to suffer severe, life-threatening head and brain injuries.

Two California Motorcycle Laws You Need to Know

Since motorcycles are much smaller than passenger vehicles, different rules and standards apply. In addition to the mandatory helmet law, California also has laws regarding lane sharing and splitting. Although these actions are often frowned upon by other motorists and even the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), neither is illegal in California.

Lane Sharing

Lane sharing involves two vehicles sharing a single lane. This most commonly involves two motorcyclists sharing a single lane, but it may also involve a motorcyclist and a passenger vehicle. It is important to note that lane sharing is only legal on certain roads throughout the state, namely bigger roads with more than one lane going in the same direction.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is the act of a motorcyclist driving between two lanes of traffic, often at a faster speed than the vehicles on either side. Many motorists deem lane splitting even more dangerous than lane sharing, but the act is still legal within the state and many areas of the United States.

How these Laws Come in to Play After an Accident

Despite having the right to do so, if a motorcyclist is in an accident while they are lane sharing or splitting, the other driver involved may attempt to place the blame on the motorcyclist. Anytime a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, they should seek experienced legal counsel. A good lawyer can make a significant difference in helping victims seek the maximum amount of compensation for injuries and damages.

At San Diego Injury Lawyer, our attorneys can work diligently to establish the liability of the driver, individual, or entity whose actions lead to your accident so you can focus on recovery.

Because California operates under comparative fault standards, a judge may find both parties partially responsible. As a result, the plaintiff’s damages are reduced by the percentage they were at fault for the accident. At San Diego Injury Lawyer, our attorneys can work diligently to establish the liability of the driver, individual, or entity whose actions lead to your accident so you can focus on recovery.

Work with Attorneys You Can Trust

Contact our law firm online or call (619) 272-4028 to schedule a consultation with one of our respected attorneys. We can help you understand all your legal options and the complexities of your case after a motorcycle accident.