California has always had a few statutes that belie the stereotype that it is dominated by stifling regulations and reduced freedoms. One of those is the long-standing rule that the state highway patrol would not pull over riders who weave in between traffic. The state assembly is looking to change that with legislation that would prohibit so-called lane-splitting. Even though California motorcycles are not often involved in Colorado motorcycle crashes, the change in attitude may be significant. Colorado motorcycle injury accidents could be limited by more stringent regulations, but the state statutes have occupied a middle ground compared to the other 49 states. Riders can ride two abreast and do so without wearing a helmet. However, they remain unable to split lanes which can cause severe accidents when drivers do not see them during heavy traffic or when there is a significant speed differential.
Most states surrounding Colorado aim to prevent motorcycle crashes in similar ways. Arizona, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming all prohibit lane splitting, although most offer drivers the ability to ride two abreast in a single lane.
It is odd that California and Texas both buck the stereotypes of more regulation for the former and less regulation for the latter. Of the states noted, motorcycle collisions in Texas may end up being less likely because not only is lane splitting illegal, but all riders are required to wear safety helmets which can significantly reduce injuries.
More than 50 million people live in California and many have stories as riders who have tried to wend their way between cars and been terrified as a vehicle began to move in front of their path. On the other hand, motorists similarly have spoken of the terror of having a motorcycle pass them in traffic more than 30 MPH faster than them. A change in attitudes where motorcycle riders are seen as using the same rules could mean that motorists are forced to take them more seriously.
It does not change the fact that the worst Colorado motorcycle crashes come because riders aren't wearing helmets. Since they aren't protected by the metal shell of a car, helmets are increasingly important. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control indicates that the safety devices reduce the risk of death by nearly 40 percent and the risk of head injury by more than two-thirds. While Colorado motorcycle injury attorneys can help obtain the cash awards that can mitigate some of these, it's much easier to move forward in life with a broken leg than a head contusion.
Getting Help with Your Colorado Motorcycle Accident Case
If you've been in a motorcycle accident, your injuries could be significant. Medical bills might pile up and lost income could make bills tough to pay. Learn more about your legal rights:
Get a free consultation with an Anderson Hemmat & McQuinn personal injury attorney today. Call 303-782-999 or use the easy contact form to your right for a confidential review of the facts of your potential case. We look forward to helping you get the best possible outcome.