Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016
Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Sturgis 2015
Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Sturgis 2015

I have been a personal injury attorney for almost 20 years. I have been riding motorcycles over 40 years. The one thing I can say for certain is that a motorcycle with 2 wheels, has much less traction than a car with 4 wheels.

Further, a motorcycle wheel has much less traction than a car wheel, because the motorcycle wheel is rounded, whereas a car tire l is flatter and has more area of rubber on the pavement.

With that being said, it’s very important for motorcycle riders to not tailgate, and to keep a safe distance and speed from the car in front of them, so they can stop in case the car comes to a sudden and unexpected stop.

I know of many instances where individual riders, groups of riders, and even motorcycle clubs have had mass accidents, because the people in the front are tailgating or riding to close to the cars in front, the car suddenly braked, causing a chain reaction crash.

I just gave a consultation to a gentleman who in his mind thought he was not at fault, when he had to lay his motorcycle down on a freeway on-ramp because the car in front of him came to a sudden stop.

Apparently there was a crosswalk on the on-ramp, and a pedestrian was within 20 feet of the crosswalk when the car stopped. In the biker’s mind, the car should not have stopped for the pedestrian. It never occurred to him that he should have kept a safe distance from the car in front of him so that in case the car stopped he could stop.

I had to tell him that it was he, the motorcycle rider, that was at fault in that instance.

Not only do motorcycles take more time to stop in an emergency situation than a car because of less traction area on the pavement, but the consequences of crashing can be catastrophic to motorcycle riders.

Basically it’s not worth your life. I know guys who tailgate when they ride. It drives me crazy to ride with these guys, and I absolutely will not stay with them, I will stay back so that in case the cars brake they’re going to eat the back of the car not me.

Ensure that you keep a safe distance and speed from the car in front of you, and anticipate that the car may slow down or suddenly stop. If you ride with this in mind you will be a safer motorcycle rider.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © February 2, 2016

Filed Under: Articles,Biker and Motorcycle Law,Brakes,Cagers,California Motorcycle Accident,Editorial,Education,Motor Vehicle Accidents,Motorcycle Accidents,Motorcycle Safety Tips,Riding Your Motorcycle,
Monday, August 17th, 2015
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Yellowstone National Forest
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Yellowstone National Forest

As a personal injury attorney who is an expert in motorcycle accident cases, I get reports of motorcycle accident cases from all over the country on a daily basis.

This particular summer, seems like the worst summer for fatal motorcycle accidents that I’ve ever seen. Many of the motorcycle accidents are caused by negligent cars and cagers, but many are caused by drugs and alcohol, or excessive speed, on the part of the motorcycle rider.

Here are examples of some of the reports I received within the last 21 hours:

Uncasville man dies following Friday motorcycle crash

An Uncasville motorcyclist died at the hospital following a Friday afternoon crash in North Stonington, according to state police. Alexander Morales, 61 …

Police ID man killed in Fair Lawn motorcycle crash

Elgendy’s Harley Davidson motorcycle was traveling northbound on River Road, he said, with the Ford F-150 pickup truck, traveling southbound, …

Man injured in South Berwick motorcycle collision

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — A collision between a motorcycle and car sent one man to the hospital Sunday morning, according to a dispatcher with …

Ramp Was Closed After Deadly Motorcycle Crash

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The ramp from State Route 104 to U.S. 33 southbound was closed after a deadly motorcycle crash late Saturday afternoon.

Two seriously injured in motorcycle crash

County police summoned to the scene at Ritchie and Cedar Hill Lane at about 9:37 p.m. found that a southbound Honda motorcycle had struck the …

Lenexa man dead in motorcycle accident, Shawnee woman hospitalized

Police on Saturday released the name of the driver of a motorcycle who died Friday evening in a crash in the 19100 block of Prairie Star Parkway in …

Police say Bigelow man killed in motorcycle crash

Associated Press, news source 8:17 p.m. CDT August 15, 2015 … Arkansas State Police say a Bigelow man has been killed in a motorcycle crash.

Sheriff: Speed, alcohol factors in fatal motorcycle crash

Speed and alcohol appear to be factors in a crash that killed a motorcyclist in Green County Saturday night, according to a release.

2 Charleston County motorcycle deputies involved in accident

Shortly before 12:30 p.m., two of the motorcycle deputies from the Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit collided with each other while on a special event escort …

Above is just a small example of the motorcycle accidents that have taken place over the past 21 hours. It is hard to fathom how many motorcycle accidents occur on a daily basis.

California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

I have been riding motor driven two wheeled vehicles since I was a kid. I have been riding street motorcycles since I was 16. I have been in motorcycle clubs, I have been riding clubs, and ridden with thousands of people over the years. I ride on my motorcycle thousands of miles per year. I can tell you from personal experience the things that will make you most safe riding.

  1. Wear proper motorcycle riding gear. This means good helmet, good jacket (armor plated jackets are readily available), denim pants, good riding boots, and gloves. I see too many idiots on the road riding in shorts, tennis shoes or flip-flops, and even with no shirts on. When you go down the only protection you have is what you are wearing.
  2. Always anticipate that the cars on the road do not see you. If you ride as though the people you are on the road with do not see you, you will be much safer. It is a documented fact that most people riding in cars, trucks, or other motor vehicles, do not see motorcyclists. For some reason the way human beings are wired, they are not looking for motorcyclists. We can literally be right in front of them, and they do not see us. Another issue is the ubiquitous use of cell phones and texting drivers now, which is an epidemic. If you act as though you are invisible, you will ride safer.
  3. Do not ride fast. Speed is the number 1 enemy for motorcyclists. It will kill you in an accident that is not your fault, and it will cause accidents that are your fault. If the speed limit is 80 miles an hour that does not mean you should be riding 80 miles an hour on the freeway. Unlike people in cars or trucks who have 4 more wheels to stop with, to balance with, and to turn with, motorcyclists have two wheels only. We have a lot less tire area, and friction between the pavement to work with. Riding slower will give you more time to stop, to take turns more safely, and allow you to identify potential hazards. To be frank it also makes riding more enjoyable.
  4. Do not tailgate. I not only ride with people who tailgate, but I see many motorcyclists tailgating behind cars. These people are idiots. I never tailgate on a motorcycle. What do you think is going to happen if you tailgate a car and the car suddenly stops? A few years back an entire motorcycle club in Oregon was taken out by an SUV that stopped suddenly in traffic. The same thing happened in Arizona when multiple members of motorcycle club were killed when they hit a truck. I know of many instances where entire packs of bikes have gone down because one or two riders in the front deciding to tailgate behind vehicles. California law requires that vehicles keep a safe distance between them and the car in front of them. It is just common sense only for motorcyclists but for cars and trucks as well; do not tailgate.
  5. Do not use drugs or alcohol when riding your motorcycle. This is not just a cliché or saying. When you are on a motorcycle you need 100% mental function, and even then sometimes you get yourself in dangerous situations. If you use drugs or alcohol you exponentially increase your chances of wrecking your bike. Do not do it.
  6. Keep your motorcycle in proper working order. There was recently a Harley-Davidson recall on 2014 touring models for an improperly placed brake line, that in time could cause too much pressure to be put into the brake line and that could cause the front wheel to lock up. If the front wheel locks up on you on a motorcycle 99.9% of the time you are going to go down. One idiot from a major motorcycle magazine was making fun of the recall saying that in the old days a real biker would not have to take their motorcycle back to the dealer simply to get a tie wrap placed around the improperly placed brake line. He went on to say there was an unwritten contract between the biker and the motorcycle manufacturer, that the motorcycle manufactured can put out crap, and it was the biker’s responsibility to fix it. This guy is a moron. He is one of those types of guys who does not think that an injured person should go to court to get compensated for their injuries. This guy is so out of touch, he should not be writing for a major motorcycle magazine. The bottom line is you as a rider, have a duty to inspect your motorcycle to make sure the tires are properly inflated, have proper tread, and that basic maintenance is done on the bike, so that when you are riding at 40 mph plus, your engine, transmission, or wheels don’t suddenly lock up, or blowout. Unlike in a car, the situation what a mechanical malfunction occurs is much more dangerous. It is up to you to make the probability of this happening less likely by proper preventive maintenance. However, it is also the responsibility to take your motorcycle in what any recalls occur.
  7. Do not ride your motorcycle when you’re in a bad mood. You definitely do not want to be a road rager on a motorcycle. If you’re in a bad mood or pissed off, it’s better to calm down before you get on your motorcycle.
  8. Do not ride in bad weather unless you have to. Yes I know there are a lot of Midwesterners and East coasters who have very bad weather to contend with compared to me here in Southern California. These people always badmouth us Californians for being sissies when it comes to riding in bad weather. I don’t care how much of a badass you are, when the pavement’s wet, your tires have less traction. Hydroplaning on 2 wheels is much worse than hydroplaning in a car or truck that has 4 or more wheels. Taking a turn on wet pavement on a motorcycle is much more perilous than on dry pavement, especially at high speed. Unlike in a car, truck, or other motor vehicle, we and motorcycles do not have windshield wipers. If you have a car, you should ride your car on rainy and wet days. If you absolutely have to ride in bad weather, make sure you have a good motorcycle rain suit, a full-face helmet, keep your speed down, and anticipate that you will lose traction.

There are many more safety tips I could give you about riding motorcycles. I’ve learned many of these from personal experience, and from observing. I welcome you to make comments with your own safety suggestions.

I am a real deal expert in motorcycle accident cases. If God forbid you a bit of an accident anywhere in the state of California give me a call at 800-816-1529 extension 1. I will personally talk to you about your situation and we can discuss together what to do.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2015

Filed Under: Articles,Brakes,Cagers,California Motorcycle Accident,Editorial,Education,Fatal Motorcycle Accident,Motor Vehicle Accidents,Motorcycle Accidents,Motorcycle Safety Tips,Norman Gregory Fernandez Ride Reports,Personal Injury,Riding Attire,Riding Your Motorcycle,Tires,
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
Alvaro Horacio Arroyo
Alvaro Horacio Arroyo on right, pictured with his mother 20 minutes before he was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident

On March 30, 2013, Alvaro Horacio Arroyo, was enjoying a day with his family.

He is pictured here on the upper left with his mother just 20 minutes before he was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused due to a negligent elderly person who made a left turn in front of him.

He was the jovial father of four sons, Alvaro – age 13, Alessandro – age 9, Ali – age 7, and Alden – age 2.

He was a loving husband to a blind and disabled wife Rosa.

He was a loving brother to Marisa, Nancy, Hector, Elmer, and Jesse.

He was a loving son to mother Agripina.

Alvaro was known as a kind and jovial person; the kind of person who made friends with everyone. He was the kind of person who made everyone laugh, and who everyone wanted to be around.

He was a role model to his children, and never balked at lending a helping hand to anyone that needed it, most of all his family.

On March 30, 2013, Alvaro decided to take his niece Bianca, for a ride around the block on his 2012, Yamaha YZF R6 motorcycle.

Bianca happened to be the primary caregiver for Alvaro’s disabled wife Rosa, and is herself also married with kids.

On that fateful day on March 30, 2013 as Alvaro and Bianca went for a short ride around the block where they lived, a car driven by a careless and  negligent elderly person turned left directly in front of them.

Having no time to react or maneuver or stop, they hit the vehicle.

Alvaro suffered massive head trauma and died of his injuries on April 5, 2013.

Bianca suffered severe injuries to her right leg, and the right side of her face which required multiple surgeries to both.

Her recovery will be slow and painful and she will need much more medical treatment and therapy to recover.

Rosa and Bianca now both need help living day to day, as well as their children.

The children of Alvaro and Bianca are suffering untold emotional distress, and at their young age do not really full comprehend the tragedy that has happened to the family simply because a negligent driver was not paying attention to what they were doing while driving.

Alvaro was a registered organ and tissue donor. With his wife’s approval, Alvaro’s organs were donated in an attempt to save other people’s lives. One Legacy he leaves is that he has helped other people to live by donating his organs.

This tragedy has left Alvaro’s family with no money to live.

They are in extreme need of help. The family is accepting donations through their PayPal account at:

lupiruz@msn.com

To make a donation simply go to PayPal by clicking here, and send your donation to email address:

lupiruz@msn.com

Services for Alvaro will be held at:

Forest Lawn Cemetery
1500 E. San Antonio Dr.
Long Beach, CA 90807

Visitation service and viewing will be:

Friday, April 19, 2013 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Memorial and Funeral will be: Saturday, April 20, 2013 2:00 pm

Rest in Peace Alvaro…………..

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Filed Under: Articles,Cagers,California Motorcycle Accident,Fatal Motorcycle Accident,Motor Vehicle Accidents,Motorcycle Accidents,News,Passenger Injuries,Wrongful Death,
Sunday, March 4th, 2012
Motorcycle riders listening to safety semiar in Orange, California
Motorcycle riders listening to safety semiar in Orange, California

Motorcycle riders gathered on Saturday afternoon in Orange to hear safety tips from a former police officer.

Retired Orange police Cpl. Mark Camarillo led a seminar, “Smarter Safer Riding and How to Avoid a Traffic Citation,” at Irv Seaver Motorcycles

About 100 people sat and stood inside the dealer’s future service shop at 607 W. Katella Ave. for the seminar.

Camarillo told the crowd to use hard stopping, use common sense, to always use a turn signal, know the speed limit and also to ride defensively.

“I want to go home to my family every single night,” Camarillo said.

He also told the motorcycle riders to hold with the speed limit – plus or minus 5 mph.
“I fight the urge to ride aggressively,” Camarillo said. “It gives you time to react and time to stop. It’s less stressful on yourself. (Speeding) creates stress you probably don’t realize is happening to your body.”

He explained riders – and drivers – should always look left, right and left again at every light.

“It’ll save your life,” Camarillo said. “It gives you a chance to look back. That is a crucial thing to do.”

Since retiring from the Orange Police Department, Camarillo said he rides a BMW motorcycle and that people drive differently now that he’s not on a black-and-white.
“I get tailgated now, and I never got tailgated before. I wonder why?” he joked with the audience.

Many audience members said they didn’t know prior to the presentation that it was legal to turn left across a single double-yellow line, including Jennifer Chung and her son Kyle Tran, 15, of Westminster. The two were curious to listen to tips originating from a former police official. For Chung, riding is a family affair. She often takes her son on the back of her Kawasaki Ninja.

“A presentation such as this is always of interest to BMW drivers,” said Larry Troffer of San Clemente.

“If there’s anybody that can provide me some suggestions, I’m always interested,” said Bill Reitz, president of the BMW Club South Coast Riders. The group boasts 99 members and holds meetings once per month followed by a 65- to 100-mile ride.

Camarillo also said the Ortega Highway is the deadliest route, accompanied by Santiago Canyon Road.
He told the target audience that driving on the line between the lanes – known as lane splitting – is unsafe but legal. He suggested driving only 10 mph faster than the speed of traffic when splitting lanes.

“If traffic is doing 30 miles per hour, should i split it at 40? Why? I’m not getting there faster,” Camarillo said. “Everybody has to decide whether it is worth it or not.”

Owners Evan and Lois Bell of Irv Seaver Motorcycles are bike aficionados. This year, they celebrate the 100th anniversary for the business.

“Our most wonderful vacations have been on motorcycles,” Lois Bell said. The two have ridden through Europe, South America, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland, Japan and Germany.

“If those individuals listened, it probably saved some lives,” she said.

  • Motorcycle safety tips
  • •Use sound judgment.
  • •Drive the speed limit – plus or minus 5 mph.
  • •Practice hard stopping.
  • •Always use your turn signal.
  • •Avoid getting grease, oil or diesel fluid on your tires.
  • •Know the speed limits.

Orange California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Website

Filed Under: Articles,Biker and Motorcycle Law,Brakes,Cagers,Fatal Motorcycle Accident,General Legal,Motorcycle Accidents,Motorcycle Safety Tips,Regulations,Riding Your Motorcycle,
Sunday, December 11th, 2011
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

It has been estimated that approximately 90% of all motorcycle riders are weekend riders only. That is, they only ride their motorcycles on Saturday or Sunday only.

I am not sure how true this statistic is, because I sure see a lot of guys and gals riding their motorcycles to and from work during the week.

Hell, in some cities like San Francisco, there are hundreds of motorcycles and small scooters parked in downtown during working hours.

If the statistics are true that most people who ride motorcycles are weekend warriors, then that is a troubling statistic for me; here is why. The art of riding a motorcycle is in fact an art. The more you ride your motorcycle, the better you get at being a motorcycle rider.

Experienced riders, who take time away from riding their motorcycles, necessarily take time to become proficient riders again, and the only way to become proficient is to spend time back in the saddle.

Right now it is winter time and many motorcycle riders cannot ride their motorcycles because of the weather. They too will need to take it easy when they get back on their motorcycles when the weather breaks.

Therefore weekend warriors or people that have taken some time away from riding need to take it real easy when they get back on their motorcycles so that they can get used to riding again, even if they have taken 5 days off from riding their motorcycles in between weekends.

Another issue weekend warrior’s face is Sunday drivers; even Saturday drivers are Sunday drivers. What is a Sunday Driver? A Sunday driver is a driver of some kind of cage such as a car, truck, SUV, etc., that rides around on the weekends with their family in the vehicle, distracted by a family outing, and not paying attention for people riding motorcycles.

Therefore weekend warriors more than most motorcycle riders, need to take it real easy on their motorcycles. Do not speed, pay attention for cagers about to turn in front of you, and realize that your riding skills take time to come back after a 5 day absence from riding.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. © December 11, 2011

Filed Under: Articles,Cagers,California Motorcycle Accident,Editorial,Education,In The Wind,Motorcycle Accidents,Motorcycle Safety Tips,Riding Your Motorcycle,
Saturday, November 19th, 2011
California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez riding around a curve on Mulholland Highway
California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez riding around a curve on Mulholland Highway

Many motorcycle riders are seriously injured and die each year when they fail to negotiate turns or curves, and either end of in the opposing lane of traffic, or they lose control and crash.

It is unbelievable to me just how many experienced riders sometimes fail to properly negotiate turns or curves on the road, especially when riding canyon roads, or twisties.

What is the main reason for motorcycle riders failing to negotiate curves or turns? Excessive speed is the main reason.

If you ride too fast through a curve or turn, chances are you are going to either end up in the opposing lane, or you are going to crash.

What is the main way to avoid crashing on a curve or turn? Slow the hell down!

Many motorcycle safety courses teach that you should slow down before you enter a turn or curve, and never to brake or downshift while in a curve or turn. I say bullshit.

Look I have been legally riding motorcycles on the road for 32 years, since the age of 16. In my own personal experience, sometimes it is hard to judge if you are entering a curve or turn too fast.

If you have entered into a turn or curve too fast on your motorcycle, you need to do anything you can not to panic, not to cross over the yellow line into opposing traffic, and not to crash.

My rule is that if you are in a curve or turn too fast, do what you have to do to safely get through the turn or curve. If that means hitting the brake, do it. If that means downshifting, do it.

I have ridden with guys who absolutely refuse do brake or downshift in a turn or curve. I have also seen these guys both in front of me, and in my rear view mirror cross the yellow line into oncoming traffic. Thank goodness none of them have ever crossed the yellow line when a car was right there or they would have been a windshield bug splat.

They teach you in motorcycle safety courses that before you enter a curve you should direct your motorcycle to the farthest part of the lane away from the turn so that you can theoretically see around the turn more.

For instance if you are going into a left curve they say you should direct your motorcade more to the right so that you can see around the left curve, and if you are going into a right curve you should direct your motorcycle more to the left so you can see around the right curve.

They teach that you should not look at the road, but that you should look around the curve to where you are going and that your motorcycle will tend to go where you are looking.

Some say that you should put your knees close into the tank to help you get around the curve, and some say that you should concentrate on counter-steering to properly get around a curve.

I say they are all right to a certain extent.

However, when you are actually riding your motorcycle, you will find that you will at times have to look at the road and not just where you want to go when going around a curve, you will find that sometimes it is not safe to go to the farthest part of the lane away from a curve because of oncoming cars or debris on the shoulder, and you will find that concentrating just on counter-steering is sometime dangerous.

In the end the safest thing to remember when going around curves is to keep a safe speed period.

The one thing that will make you panic or feel uncomfortable more than anything when going around a curve whether it be on a mountain pass or on a highway curve is excessive speed.

If you first let off of the throttle, you motorcycle will naturally start to slow down because of the action of friction and the engine.

If you are still going to fast don’t be afraid to apply a little front brake, but not too much because you may lose control. I like to apply both front and rear brakes.

If the turn is wet applying too much rear brake may make you slide out.

If you are still going too fast, downshift into a lower gear if you can safely.

If there are cars or other motorcycles behind me, and I am downshifting into a lower gear to slow down, I also try to tap my brake a bit just so the persons behind me can see my break light so they don’t rear end me.

Even with plenty of practice and riding experience, riding through turns and curves requires current practice and experience.

The worst riders are sometimes the people with the most experience because they think they are the great riders so they sometimes do not exercise the caution that they should.

Riding a motorcycle is not like riding a bike. Each time you are out, you need to exercise caution and ride at a safe speed.

Keep both wheels on the road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 19, 2011

Filed Under: Articles,Brakes,Cagers,California Motorcycle Accident,Defective Roads,Editorial,Education,In The Wind,Motor Vehicle Accidents,Motorcycle Accidents,Motorcycle Safety Tips,Personal Injury,Riding Your Motorcycle,
Sunday, August 28th, 2011
California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Beach Ride
California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Beach Ride

As a California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer, I regularly deal with all sorts of different motorcycle accident cases that are caused by all sorts of different scenarios. As an actual rider of motorcycles, something that sets me apart from other lawyers who handle motorcycle accident cases, I know firsthand the risks and dangers of riding motorcycles.

I am always asked what do you have to watch out for the most while riding your motorcycle. I could write an entire book on this subject, however, I will do my best to answer the question in this short essay.

There really is no simple answer to this question. Motorcycle accidents are caused by other negligent motorists, lack of riding experience or knowledge, road conditions, loose debris, mechanical failure, excessive speed, tire failure, weather, animals, drugs and alcohol, even medical conditions of a rider.

All of these topics warrant a lengthy discussion.

However, in my practice and in my opinion, the single largest cause of motorcycle accidents is other motorists in 4 wheel or greater vehicles, we bikers and motorcyclist call these persons “cagers.”

The largest threats to a biker and motorcyclist from a 4 wheel motorist on his or her motorcycle are; (1) A motorist turning left in front of you, (2) A motorist cutting you off or hitting you while exiting a driveway or an ally, (3) A motorist cutting you off or hitting you while coming from a side street, (4) a motorist merging into you from the side while driving next to you or near you, (5) a motorist pulling out from the curb, and (6) getting rear ended.

Among all of the motorcycle accident cases that I handle, the threats articulated above are the main causes of motorcycle accident and motorcycle accident death cases that I handle.

There are some basic preventative measures you can take to minimize the chances of you becoming the next victim of a negligent motorist while out on your motorcycle.

Beyond taking a certified motorcycle safety course, and advanced course on your own motorcycle, not driving while intoxicated, wearing proper riding attire including a DOT certified full face or modular helmet, and making sure you have a proper motorcycle endorsement, there are a few tricks I have learned throughout the years that I will share with you.

(1) Don’t ride too fast for the conditions you are in.

Most motorcycle accident happen on city streets, and within a 5 mile radius from your home. If you are on let’s say a 4 lane street (2 in each direction), there are risks everywhere. Make sure you keep your speed down so that if you have to stop or slow down quickly, you can. Remember, the faster you ride, the longer distance it takes for you to slow down or stop.

(2) Cover your brakes at intersections or when you see a risk.

Covering your brake means to put your hand over the front brake lever to prepare to use your brake. You should cover your brake anytime you enter an intersection where you see a car stopped on either side of you, or a car waiting to make a left turn in the opposite direction. Why, because already having your hand on the brake lever will give you an extra second or two to hit the brakes and to potentially avoid and accident if one of the cars drives or turns in front of you.

I know it sounds like a hassle, but if you do it everytime, it will become engrained into your muscle memory and you won’t even have to think about it in time.

Under certain circumstances, you may even want to hit your brakes while covering, to heat the them up so that you can stop faster, and to signal the car behind you that you are slowing down. The car behind you cannot see you if you let off of the throttle and use your engine to slow you down.

(3) Look at the tops of the wheels of a threatening car.

When you see a car stopped as you approach a driveway, a side street, or in the oncoming left turn lane, look at its wheels, especially the tops of its wheels if you can see them. If you cannot see the tops, look at the tire rims or hubcaps. The tops of the wheels actually move much faster than the actual car does, and it will give you an indication of whether the car is moving towards you or not. Your eyes will be able to perceive the wheels moving way before your eyes will be able to perceive the entire car moving forward. Don’t ask me why, it is just the way we perceive things.

Obviously if you are riding along and you see a car stopped at a driveway or a side street, and you see its tires moving, you better assume that they do not see you, and take evasive action. The best evasive action is to brake or stop and to not swerve because when you swerve you have less motorcycle tire contact than if your tires are straight up and down. The less tire contact you have, the more likely that you will not be able to stop in time, and/or lose control of your motorcycle and lay it down.

If you see an oncoming car in the left hand turn lane, and its tires start to turn in your direction, assume that they are going to turn in front of you, and take evasive action.

(4) Assume that other motorist cannot see you when you ride.

No matter how bright your clothing, how many lights you have on your motorcycle, how visible you think you are, no matter what you do, for some inexplicable reason, we motorcycle riders seem to be invisible to motorist in cars, trucks, or other motor vehicles. I am not telling you to try do anything you can to be more visible to other motorist, on the contrary, you should do everything you can to try to be more conspicuous to other motorist.

There have actually been studies done to understand how we human beings perceive things, and it has been found that we humans actually and not consciously selectively filter out certain things that we see for various reasons.

It seems that many people riding in cars, trucks, and other vehicles for some reason, filter us motorcycle riders out. After an accident these people swear that they did not see us, when they should have. Whether it is unintentional or not, some motorist flat out do not see us.

When you ride you have to assume that other motorist do not see you and you need to ride accordingly. If you ride as though you are invisible to other motorist, you will actually be a much more cautious and better rider.

Assume that the car in the oncoming left hand turn lane is going to turn left in front of you Assume that if you are on a two lane road with cars parked on the side that a car will pop out from the parked position. Assume that the car you see waiting to turn out of a gas station or waiting to make a right turn at the intersection will turn in front of you.

I know it’s not fair, but as a motorcycle rider, we have to be much more diligent about our own safety when we ride our motorcycles. Yes you may have the right of way, but that is not going to stop the negligent cager from hitting you and doing some major damage to you.

Exercising caution and some restraint, will make your motorcycle riding experience much more pleasurable, and above all, will allow you to make it home after your ride instead of in the hospital.

Keep both wheels on the road!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © August 28, 2011

Filed Under: Articles,Brakes,Cagers,California Motorcycle Accident,Car Accidents,Defective Roads,Editorial,Education,Fatal Motorcycle Accident,In The Wind,Motor Vehicle Accidents,Motorcycle Accidents,Motorcycle Safety Tips,Passenger Injuries,Personal Injury,Riding Attire,Riding Your Motorcycle,Tires,Wrongful Death,

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If you have been in a Motorcycle Accident ANYWHERE in The State of California, call me now 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, for a free consultation at 800-816-1 Law (800-816-1529), Extension 1.

Welcome, my name is Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. I am a real biker, and a real California Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer. Click on the About Me Tab on Top to find out more about me.
I created this site to provide information to the motorcycle and biker community, as well as general California Personal Injury, and Family Law Information to all.
On the Biker Law Blog you will find Biker and Motorcycle Legal Articles, News, Links, Safety Tips, Personal Injury, Family Law, and more.
If you wish to contact me or submit articles, you may do so by clicking on the above, or by clicking here now.

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