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California launches new motorcycle safety effort

Motorcycles are one of the best ways to experience the open road, and millions of bikers across the country agree. Groups and families enjoy a good Sunday outing on a Harley or Honda from California to Connecticut. At the same time, the risks inherent in motorcycling force riders to be vigilant for their own protection.

The California Highway Patrol is launching a two-month safety effort focused on increasing awareness of motorcycles among motorists and the best practices for motorcycle riders. The California Office of Traffic Safety partnered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to fund the program and reduce crashes.

The effort includes outreach on the dangers facing motorcyclists on California roads, as well as increased enforcement of common problems that can lead to damaging =- even fatal — hazards for bikes and their riders.

Several common dangers to motorcycle operators and passengers are often beyond their control. Cars and trucks making left turns, especially on multi-lane highways, may hit passing motorcycles going either direction. Bikes are also narrower with lower profiles and therefore harder to see in general for drivers, especially at high speeds.

Aggressive driving and/or speeding also creates hazards for motorcycle accidents, as visibility and reaction times are worse when drivers are going too fast. Driving in a reckless or rushed manner also leads to inattention by drivers, who can severely injure or kill motorcyclists in collisions.

Victims of motorcycle accidents may be eligible for reimbursement of medical expenses and compensation for lost wages during recovery. Consider your options with a legal advisor if you have been injured on the road.

Source: Sierra Sun, “Motorcyclists to be focus of California Highway Patrol safety,” July 30, 2017