California Sees Rise in Fatal Motorcycle Crashes: “Lane Splitting” May Be to Blame

motorcycle with ambulance

A recent report provided by California’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System revealed that motorcycle accidents and related fatalities are once again on the rise.

An analysis of statewide crash data found that fatal motorcycle collisions have increased 23 percent since 2010.

The recent data shows a reverse of an earlier trend, wherein fatal motorcycle crashes were in a steady decline.

After reaching an all-time high in 2008, deadly motorcycle accidents in California plummeted 16 percent over the course of two years.

Motorcycle registrations have also increased since 2010, but many experts feel the increase is not enough to impact the rate of motorcycle collisions.

Los Angeles, Orange, and Sacramento counties have only seen a five percent increase in motorcycle registrations over the past six years.

Instead, experts attribute the increase to a riding practice known as “lane splitting.”

California is the only state that doesn’t explicitly prohibit lane splitting—riding a motorcycle along the dotted lines between lanes on freeways.

According to a report published by the University of Berkeley’s Safety Transportation Research and Education Center, motorcyclists who split lanes are more likely to rear-end other vehicles than those who ride inside the lanes.

Lane splitters are also more likely to be involved in weekday collisions during peak driving times, as many motorcyclists spit lanes as a faster way to commute to work.

Lane splitters are also at risk for broadside accidents. This type of accident occurs when a motorcyclist attempts to turn left and is struck on the side by an oncoming vehicle.

Broadside accidents claimed the lives of 133 California motorcyclists in 2012, and are the number one cause of motorcycle accident deaths.

Experts feel that lane splitting greatly increases the odds a motorcyclist will be involved in a broadside collision.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a motorcycle accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact an experienced Sacramento motorcycle accident lawyer at the Arnold Law Firm today.

Our team of injury lawyers have helped hundreds of injured California motorcyclists get the justice and compensation they deserve.

Call (916) 777-7777 today.