A California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer who really rides that you can count on.

If you have god forbid been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in California, give me a call anytime 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x.1,  to discuss your case.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
  • I can get you medical treatment even if you do not have medical insurance,
  • I will send my investigators to you so you do not have to come into the office.
  • I will work to get your motorcycle fixed.
  • I will work to get you all the compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and more.

I am not some marketing scam that you have seen posting flyers all over motorcycle rallies, or biker rags nationwide. I am not “an association of lawyers” who has attorneys paying me money to advertise for them nationwide, and then farms cases out to them. I don’t pass out trinkets and goodies at motorcycle rallies to make you think that I am something I am not. I am not some generic non-riding personal injury attorney who has designed a fancy website to get you to think that they are biker lawyers, which they are not, I am a real deal biker like you. My firm and I handle the actual cases that come in. We say what we are, and are what we say, experts in motorcycle accident cases.

Read my blog below. I am an expert in motorcycle accidents. Like you I am a real biker who rides, and I am an expert in personal injury cases.

Don’t be suckered into signing up with a firm because of fancy advertising, or who do not ride motorcycles, who says they ride just to get you to sign up with them. Don’t be fooled by fancy ads. I am a top rated attorney who rides in the wind just like you.

Enjoy my articles below, there are hundreds of them!

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

Category Archives: Riding Your Motorcycle

Articles related to riding your motorcycle

A new helmet mounted wireless braking light is coming out!

A new helmet mounted wireless braking light is coming out!

Visibility is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to the hazards of riding a motorcycle, however a new product introduced at the Consumer Technology Association (CES) 2017 promises to solve that problem while adding even more passive features.

For the first time, there is now a smart helmet accessory that provides the first wearable brake light linked to smartphone application.

Developed by a French startup that are experts in the development of interconnected objects for motorcycle safety, it is called the Cosmo Connected.

The device has a straightforward as well as clever design, which can fit on all kinds of helmets using an adhesive and a special clip-on support so that you’re able to attach it to your helmet, and conveniently remove it if not required, it can also be worn on an additional helmet.

The Cosmo Connected emits a red signal light at visual eye level towards the driver of the vehicle behind the biker for additional visibility while braking. When not decelerating, the device continues to flash so the rider can be seen.

The braking light will switch itself on even when slowing down without having utilizing the brakes. We all know how dangerous it is when we downshift on our motorcycles when there are cars behind us, because even though we are slowing down by using engine braking, there is no brake light. Maybe in the future motorcycle manufacturers will design the brake light on a motorcycle to come on during deceleration, this is a critical feature.

Produced from durable plastic to withstand all-weather conditions, the gadget weighs in at no more than 200 grams and is designed to easily detach from the helmet in case of an accident.

On the subject of accidents, the Cosmo Connected will through your smart phone app call rescue personnel within 3 minutes, giving them the emergency alert plus, the GPS coordinates from the rider’s location, as well as the rider’s health profile. As a possible option, the app can be set-to alert friends or family in case of accident as well.

This device will have the ability to hook up with your smartphone through Bluetooth and will give low-power notifications once it is time to recharge the battery. If all works out, the Cosmo Connected will be on sale as of May 2017.

Below is an advertisement video from the company.

As a longtime motorcycle rider who rides thousands of miles per year, if this device is a simple and inexpensive as I think it will be, I will be the 1st one to buy this device and attach it to my helmet. Even with a ½ helmet, or a beanie helmet, this device could not hurt at night.

I am excited about some of the new things I’m seeing on the motorcycle market these days.

By California motorcycle accident lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, January, 2017

I will make an exciting announcement in the next month!

DSC01254I know many people do not like surprises, but I have a big surprise that’s coming that will revolutionize the way motorcycle accident cases are handled nationwide.

As many of you know I have been utterly disgusted at the marketing tactics that have been directed towards motorcycle accident victims by 2 outfits in particular that in bad taste plaster motorcycle rallies in advance with a bunch of their advertisements.

Who the hell wants to go to a motorcycle event to have a bunch of non-riding personal injury attorneys posing as motorcycle lawyers bombarding them with advertisements every single place they look. I sure the hell don’t.

I will be at the annual Laughlin motorcycle rally at the end of this month, and I am quite positive I will see the same BS marketing outfits bombarding bikers with their advertisements.

The fact of the matter is yes sometimes motorcycle riders do get into accidents, sometimes motorcycle riders need the assistance of an experience motorcycle lawyer to get them help.

I have been riding motorcycles over 30 years, I have been in motorcycle clubs, I have ridden motorcycles all over the world, and I have done many motorcycle cases all over the state of California. I have put thousands of miles on motorcycles of various types. I know what goes on out there on the street and on the freeways. I am known in the motorcycle community nationwide, and I have finally had enough of looking at these outfits basically sucking the blood of motorcyclists of who have been in accidents.

There is another sort of generic personal injury attorney that advertises for motorcycle cases as well. These are simply generic personal injury law firms that take all types of personal injury cases, and do not have any specific expertise related to motorcycle accident cases other than them applying general personal injury theory to your motorcycle accident. How the hell is this type of attorney going to know what happened in your case if they can’t even describe how the gears are shifted, what counter steering is, or explain to a jury why you have a right to be on the road with cars?

The new organization that I’m starting is going to be a premier motorcycle accident resource nationwide. There will be a lot of hoops that I will have to jump through to get this thing going, and I am jumping through them now. I have been contemplating doing this for many years, and I am finally now doing it.

I am hoping to partner with some of the largest entities in the nation so that we can provide real value to you motorcyclists and bikers out there, my people, because I am one of you, and I want to help you if God forbid the time comes when you have an accident and you need help.

I will be attacking these entities had on and exposing them for what they are, and above all I will be the go to resource for motorcycle accidents nationwide.

In the meantime, if you a motorcycle accident, or any other type of accident in the state of California, continue to give me a call at 800-816-1529 and I’ll take care of you.

Soon, this will move to a nationwide set up for motorcycle accident cases.

By California biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, © April 8, 2016

The dangers of following too close while riding a motorcycle

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

This summer is turning out to be a real meat grinder

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

A Ladies first ride on the back of a Harley Davidson

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez with his girlfriend Yvonne
Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez with friend Yvonne

Last weekend I took a friend Yvonne for her first ride on the back of a Harley Davidson. As a matter of fact she has never ridden on the back of a motorcycle before.

The lead up to the ride was classic. She was excited, and scared at the same time. We discussed the ride for a week before actually taking it.

I have been riding for so many years that I take it for granted that everyone knows how to ride or be a passenger on a motorcycle. So when Yvonne expressed her anxiety over riding as a passenger and the potential danger involved, I realized I would have to school her about everything.

I first told her about the gear she would need, i.e., leather jacket, jeans, boots, helmet and gloves. I told her she could gear up online, or go to a local Harley Davidson dealership if she wanted.

I went with her to look at a few things. She informed me that she had a jacket, and jeans, and that all she needed was a helmet.

I ordered her a Hawk modular helmet with the built in sun screen and clear visor, so that sunglasses would not be necessary on the ride, all she would have to do is flip the latch like a fighter pilot, and  the sun visor would go down.

I could tell she was scared and excited.

On the day set for the ride which was September 21, 2013, I arrived at her house in the afternoon. She had arranged with one of her girlfriends whose old man has a Harley, to meet us at Cook’s Corner in Orange County.

Due to my timing which was a bit late, her friend told her that we could meet up at a biker place in San Juan Capistrano instead of Cook’s Corner.

When I got to Yvonne’s home, her kids and across the street neighbor were all there to meet me, check out the motorcycle, and send Yvonne off on the ride.

It was great meeting everyone, but it delayed our ride for a bit as I answered questions about the motorcycle, etc. It distracted Yvonne as well, but what the hell, it was to be her first ride on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle and it was going to be fun.

Her gear was in fact not truly suited for motorcycles, it was more suited to high fashion. Her jacket looked like a leather motorcycle jacket, but it was in fact made of some other softer material. Her boots kind of looked like female motorcycle boots, but they were too thin for riding. She had those jeans that all the women are wearing that look like they have holes all over them. Hell when I was a kid, we made all our jeans look like that from playing, we did not pay for it, this is another story.

After I chastised her a bit about her motorcycle gear (it was all in good fun), I told her that next time she needed to gear up properly.

I then instructed her on how to get on and off the motorcycle, where to put her feet, telling her not to ever put her feet on the ground until I tell her it is okay, not to move her body around when the motorcycle is stopped, and to tap my shoulder if she needed to use the head, etc.

I then instructed her on her helmet. Since the Hawk Modular with two visors is an advanced DOT helmet compared to the fake brain bucket helmets out there, I took some time with her. I did not expect her to learn how to do everything with the helmet on the first shot, and she did not learn everything on the first shot.

It is me the rider of the motorcycle to ensure my passenger knows the rules and how to use everything.

She made a comment on the weight of the helmet. I told her she would get used to it. She did get used to it.

We finally took off on the motorcycle. I went slow on the streets of Coto de Caza where she lives. (This is the same place where all the “Real Housewives of Orange County” live.)

We then left the gated community and got on the street. I could tell she was nervous, hell it was her first time riding on the back of a motorcycle.

Shortly thereafter she relaxed a bit, but every time she got nervous she would give a little yell, or clench her legs tightly around me. I enjoyed the clenching the legs part J

We rode to San Juan Capistrano and had a good lunch. We then went over to this biker bar across the street, where I had an alcohol free O’Doul’s, and she had a cocktail.

Later we rode back to her place.

Towards the end of the ride I could tell that Yvonne was much more comfortable on the motorcycle. She was a quick learner, and she conceded that she needs to buy a new pair of boots and a real motorcycle jacket.

I think she enjoyed the ride.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Biker Lawyer; California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, © October 1, 2013

Had a close call on the freeway with road debris yesterday

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Malibu, CA
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Malibu, CA

Yesterday, Sunday, January 13, 2013, I rode my motorcycle from Palmdale, CA to Huntington Beach, CA as the first part of my move to Huntington Beach, CA.

Since I am moving this Sunday, January 20, 2013 to Huntington Beach a distance of approximately 100 miles, and I have to drive my car on the day of the move, I had to ride my motorcycle to Huntington Beach in advance of the move because I would not be able to do it on moving day.

It has been freezing cold these past few days; there is some sort of artic cold front that has been coming through. Before daylight on January 13, 2013, temperatures were about 17 degrees where I live, and it supposedly felt like 3 degrees with the wind. Imagine how cold it would have been on the motorcycle.

I decided to not ride in the morning, but to wait until midafternoon to do the ride. It was still freezing cold, at least for a southern California guy like me.

When I got on the motorcycle, it was in the 40’s at my home, but quickly got down to the 30’s in Acton and Agua Dulce.

It was a great ride, but a freezing ride. My hands and feet quickly went almost numb. There was a very real danger of hypothermia.

While riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide on the 405 freeway south, past the Los Angeles International Airport, at around 70 miles per hour in the Diamond Lane, the car in front of me suddenly kicked up what appeared to be the remains of a hot tub or some sort of fiberglass tub.

I quickly grabbed my front brake, realized I was going too fast to avoid it, or to swerve away from it (there was no time), so I accelerated through it and held on tight.

The debris hit my motorcycle hard on the front fairing and the lower fairing which is attached to the right engine guard. Although traffic was going fast, there were a lot of cars around.

I shook my head in utter disbelief. I have been riding on the street on motorcycles since the age of 16 and I have never hit road debris which was this bad, ever.

As I type this I am having flashbacks of the incident. I realize now that I was riding too close to the car in front of me, violating one of my own rules. Had I kept a safer distance from the car in front of me, I would have had more time to react to the debris.

I was damm lucky that my front tire did not roll up on the debris and get stuck on it, which would have caused me to crash for sure. As a matter of fact there are many scenarios with the large amount of debris that was kicked up in front of me which could have caused me to crash. Had I locked my brakes up, or swerved to avoid it, I would have surely crashed.

Luckily, I was able to power through it.

Again, keep a safe distance from the car in front of you while riding your motorcycle, because on a motorcycle there are no second chances.

I need to listen to and follow my own rule!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, © January 14, 2013

Techniques and Tips for New and Experienced Motorcycle Passengers

California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez North of the Golden Gate Bridge
California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez North of the Golden Gate Bridge

Riding on a motorcycle with a friend is one of the most fun things you can do. It could be a much more enjoyable experience if the passenger understands and follows quick and easy rules. To become the kind of passenger riders wish to ride with, try to remember the advice given below:

Wear clothing that will give you some protection in the unlikely event of crash or accident. At the minimum, you should wear the following to safeguard yourself:

Footwear that protects your feet and your ankles (hiking boots are excellent).

Durable pants–leather is most beneficial; if you don’t have or cannot get leather, you will need to get by with jeans, work pants, or something like that. An abrasion resistant jacket that zips or buttons in close proximity to the neck (again, leather is advisable should you have it; a nylon flight jacket or parka are satisfactory, and a Levis-type jacket will do in a pinch).

Durable gloves.

Eye protection–ideally, the helmet you borrow or own needs to have a face shield for comfort in addition to eye and face protection. If it does not, goggles are excellent, and glasses (dark or prescription) will do.

It’s also wise to make an effort to dress appropriately for any weather.

If you have not ridden as a motorcycle passenger very much, you probably do not realize how hot or how cold it can be on a motorcycle ride. If it is hot, it will feel a lot hotter when you are riding; when it is cold, it will feel a lot colder when you are riding. Ask the rider for assistance or tips on dressing for any anticipated weather conditions. When choosing comfortable attire, try not to compromise your minimum level of protection as described above.

On hot sunny days, one trick would be to wear an extra-large white shirt over your jacket. It’s going to reflect a great deal of heat and help keep you cool. (This is not one of my tips, but it is recommended by other riders) In general, it really is easier to dress safely and comfortably for just a cool day compared to a hot one. Lastly, don’t wear anything loose and floppy (like a long scarf or bell bottom pants) which could get caught in the rear wheel, sprockets, drive chain or belt, or any other moving area of the motorcycle. You could injure yourself, and might cause an accident.

Wear a securely fastened helmet which fits properly. Most riders have extra helmets and will also be glad to loan you one.

A helmet should be a snug fit; it shouldn’t be possible to twist it around on your head. The strap should be pulled as tight as you can get it without choking yourself out. You can try for fit, and also to find out if the strap is tight, by holding the chin bar of your full face helmet, or the side edge of an open face helmet, directly over your forehead, and attempt to pull the helmet backwards off top of your head. In the event the helmet ends up on the back of your head, tighten the strap or get a helmet which fits.

Under no circumstances should you ride with a helmet that will slip easily over your head with the strap on. The rider can instruct you on the best way to put on your helmet properly. If you ride often, you will eventually want to buy your own personal helmet. Just about any motorcycle shop will help you choose a suitable helmet which fits you correctly.

Before you decide to attempt to get onto the motorcycle, make sure that the passenger foot pegs are down. (They fold when not being used, and it is easy for the rider to forget to put them down for you.) If you do not know where the foot pegs are, have the rider point them out to you.

Also, beware of the exhaust pipes. Make sure you know where they are, and do not let your leg or any area of your body touch them when you get on or off of the motorcycle. They can and will give you a severe burn all the way through the heaviest pants if you touch them with your legs or another part of your body.

It is actually customary to get on or off the motorcycle from the left side. Always wait for the rider to inform you its okay to mount or dismount. Should you begin to clamber on (or off) when the rider does not expect it, the sudden motion of the motorcycle can and may be disconcerting to the rider. You might even pull the motorcycle over.

The best way to get on a motorcycle and the method almost all passengers should use is to extend your right leg over the rider’s portion of the seat, and then slide gently up onto the passenger part of the seat. Put your feet on the foot pegs and that’s it.

If you aren’t able to do that because you are a small person or perhaps a child, this method may work: put your left foot on the left passenger foot peg, lean your whole body all the way over the motorcycle, and gently step-up until you can swing your right leg over the seat and ease yourself down. You need to keep yourself low and lean over the center of the motorcycle as much as possible when you jump on, to help the rider keep the motorcycle balanced. The extra weight of your body, if it’s too far out of line with the weight of the motorcycle, could pull the bike over.

A person reasonably in close proximity to a normal size (man or woman) should never need to use this method to mount a motorcycle, and a heavy person should not attempt it under any circumstances.

It’s all a matter of balance; the rider may not be sufficiently strong enough to hold a large motorcycle upright should you cause it to get out of balance.

To dismount, just reverse the process you utilized to jump on. After some practice, getting on and off will become second nature.

Once you are on the motorcycle, plant your feet on the passenger foot pegs and keep them there under all circumstances. You do not want to bring your foot into contact with the ground, rear wheel, drive chain, belt, or the hot muffler.

Never make an attempt to assist the rider to hold the bike upright when it’s stopped by putting your foot down. Keep the feet safe by keeping them on the foot pegs at all times.

Place your hands on the rider’s hips. This is the best way to keep hold of the rider, and it keeps you in touch with the rider’s movements. Keep your weight centered over the motorcycle. Try not to move around any more than is necessary, particularly when the motorcycle is stopped, because it affects the balance of the motorcycle.

Motorcycles turn by leaning (banking like an airplane), not by steering like a car. So don’t be alarmed when the motorcycle leans over to go around a corner.

To set yourself into the right position perfectly for any turn, just look over the rider’s shoulder towards the turn. When the motorcycle is turning right, look over the rider’s right shoulder; when it is turning left, look over the rider’s left shoulder. You don’t have to do anything else; looking naturally over the rider’s inside shoulder will automatically put your weight exactly where it belongs in a turn. Keep your body in line with the rider’s body to prevent the motorcycle from leaning greater than the rider intends. (When going straight, it does not matter which shoulder you gaze over.)

Never lean beyond a turn; you could cause a crash that way.

When the rider applies the brakes, it creates a forward weight transfer on the motorcycle. In the event the rider is forced to brake hard, as in an emergency, this forward weight transfer will be very apparent to you; you’ll be forced up against the rider, and you will begin to slide forward on the seat.

Don’t panic. Try to keep back, off of the rider. Resist sliding forward by pressing your feet up against the foot pegs; make use of your thigh muscles to manage your position on the seat. Should you slide forward, you may force the rider forward, decreasing the rider’s control of the motorcycle. Additionally, it moves the weight distribution of the motorcycle forward, reducing the weight on the rear tire and therefore the traction of the rear tire, which makes it much more likely that the back tire will begin to skid. Obviously, none of this is desirable. Try to keep yourself from jamming up into the rider by using your foot pegs and your thighs.

You will be an active participant in the ride by staying alert and being prepared. Help the rider search for potential danger, and stay prepared to hang on and hold yourself back in the event you anticipate a need for sudden braking.

Likewise, in the event the rider is forced to swerve the motorcycle in order to avoid a hazard in the road, you have to be prepared for a sudden lean and change of direction.

It’s also possible to assist the rider by scanning for animals that may run into the street. Dogs and deer are particularly unpredictable, and you might see a deer on a hillside above the road, or perhaps a dog in somebody’s yard, before the rider. (After all, the rider is concentrating primarily on the street.)

In the event you spot a hazard of any type that you think the rider is unaware of, rap the rider on the appropriate shoulder, and point at the hazard in a manner that brings it to the rider’s attention.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, call the real California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Website

Common Factors Behind Motorcycle Accidents

motorcycle accident sceneMotorcycle accidents can be tragic as well as upsetting events.

The stats speak for themselves. Serious bodily harm as well as death is often the result of a motorcycle accident. Of the actual motorcycle accidents that do occur, roughly one out of every five motorcycle riders is actually fortunate enough to come away from the experience with just minimal bumps, bruises and abrasions. The lack of a protective buffer around the biker and the road inevitably leaves bikers in a very vulnerable situation. Generally there tend to be many common causes of motorcycle accidents, of which the most frequent, and clearly the predominant cause, is definitely a consequence of other motor vehicle drivers to some extent not seeing and recognizing motorcycles within dense traffic.

A number of reports offer support to this particular claim because they advise that virtually 66 % of almost all accidents involving a motorcycle and another car or truck are a direct end result of the motorist in a vehicle turning into the lane of the motorcycle and violating the motorcyclist’s right of way. It has likewise been advised that motorcyclists are 27 times more prone to die in a collision than are people in the other car or truck and they are also five times more prone to sustain an injury. Anyone can see then, the disastrous effects of car-motorcycle accidents.

Additional causative factors

Generally there tend to be a wealth of additional factors behind motorcycle accidents that occur quite frequently. One in particular can be motorcyclists who are inexperienced and simply do not know the constraints of their machine These brand-new riders push their motorcycles to the limit, which, in many cases, far exceeds the speed limit. This brings about another major reason for motorcycle accidents. Needless to say, speeding is not only restricted to new and young motorcycle riders, as often older and more experienced motorcycle riders have been also guilty of operating their motorcycles past the speed limit. Many motorcyclists really like the feel of the wind blowing through their hair, the freedom associated with the open road and the thrill associated with riding fast just inches from the road however,, traveling over the speed limit can result in dire consequences. A quick slip of the handlebars or an unforeseen obstacle ahead of the motorcycle can easily send the motorcycle reeling out of control. Therefore, speeding can be extremely dangerous and it’s also frequently the reason for many motorcycle accidents.

An additional common cause of motorcycle accidents can be a consequence of the motorcyclist’s carelessness. In cases where the motorcycle accident does not include another car, truck, or vehicle, the failure of the motorcycle rider to reduce speed when making a turn or simply under-turning as well as over braking in the turn are causes of motorcycle accidentrs in some instances. There can to be many various other things that may cause physical harm to the motorcycle rider after the initial motorcycle accident. Fuel leakage and spills in the post-crash phase can introduce a fire hazard and are common within approximately 60 % of all accidents sites.

Be careful out there when riding your motorcycle.

Riding within 5 miles per hour of the speed limit and wearing proper protection as well as a good helmet can make your ride more enjoyable, and increase your odds of survival in the event you are in an accident.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, call the real California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

Former Police Officer Gives Tips on Motorcycle Safety

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

A Life Changed in an Instant, the anatomy of a Motorcycle Accident

northridge-motorcycle-accident ** December 19, 2011 Update: I regret to inform you that David Landowski the rider of  the motorcyle, age 53, died of his injuries Sunday night. May he rest in peace.

The following news was reported today as a short blurb in the press.

Northridge – California A motorcyclist suffered severe injuries during a two-vehicle crash in Northridge, California police said today.

The traffic accident occurred about 6 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Lindley Avenue and Rayen Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division.

According to police, Charles Giarratana, 62, driving a red Ford Explorer northbound on Lindley Avenue made a left turn onto Rayen Street where he struck David Landowski, 53, who was going southbound on Lindley Avenue on a white and purple-colored KTM 620SX motorcycle.

Landowski, a resident of Canyon Country, was transported to an area hospital with severe injuries. It was not immediately known if Giarratana, a resident of Reseda, was cited or arrested. Anyone who saw the traffic crash was asked to call the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division at (818) 644-8036.

The only people who would probably read and care about news such as this are people that ride motorcycles, their friends and family, and the people in the article.

It is doubtful that average people would even read let alone care about a man on a motorcycle being hit by a negligent idiot in an SUV.

For me, a California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and an actual motorcycle rider, this article brings forth many thoughts.

The vast majority of motorcycle accidents on city streets are caused by some idiot making left turns in front of or into a motorcycle rider because they do not look for motorcyclist, they do not see the motorcyclist, or they think they can beat the motorcyclist before they turn.

The innocent motorcyclist may not even see the negligent driver making the left turn until they are right in front of them, or not at all.

Their life is changed in an instant.

I wonder if David Landowski riding his KTM 620SX motorcycle saw Charles Giarratna turning before he hit him? I wonder if Charles Giarratna has any clue what damage he has caused to the life of David Landowski simply because he did not look before he made the turn, or tried to turn before David rode past him?

Either way one thing is certain, David Landowski’s life will never be the same again.

The newspaper article stated that David Landowski was transported to the hospital with severe injuries. I pray for him and his family that he will survive. If he does survive he will probably suffer months or even years of excruciating pain, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress, not to mention loss of income, a career, or a job, tremendous medical bills, and maybe not ever being able to return to a normal life.

Some riders such as David will never be able to ride a motorcycle again, some lose limbs, some suffer permanent debilitating injuries, and some never recover.

So the next time you read a little news blurb about some idiot making a left hand turn in front of a motorcycle rider and hitting him or causing the motorcycle rider to hit the car or truck because the car turned in front of the motorcycle, think about the fact that the motorcycle rider’s life was changed in an instant.

There is tremendous human pain and suffering, support to family lost, and life’s irreparably harmed in such little news blurbs.

The next time you are out riding in your car, SUV, truck, etc., look for us motorcycle riders. You do not want to have the thought of destroying someone’s life on your conscious.

By Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © December 17, 2011

Weekend Warriors

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

Riding your Motorcycle around Curves and Turns without Killing Yourself

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

Riding Your Motorcycle in Cold Weather Can Be Deadly.

cold-weather-ridingI knew that the title of this article would get your attention.

With winter and cold weather either here for some of us, or almost here for the rest of us, there are things about riding your motorcycle in the cold that you need to know.

Riding your motorcycle in cold weather can be deadly because of something called hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature.

Normal body temperature is around 98.6 Fahrenheit. Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature passes below 95 Fahrenheit.

When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system, and other organs can’t work property. Left untreated, hypothermia can eventually lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system, and to death.

As the temperature falls, the body shunts blood away from the skin and exposure to the elements. Blood flow is increased to the vital organs of the body including the heart, lungs, kidney, and brain.

Hypothermia most often occurs because of prolonged exposure to cold weather. Inadequate clothing for conditions may not provide enough insulation for the body to prevent heat loss.

Many of you may know that riding your motorcycle in cold weather can cause hypothermia.

I must admit, when I was younger, and did not know so much, I rode around in cold weather all of the time. Many times I was so cold; that my hands were numb, my feet were numb, and my crotch felt like it was frozen. No one ever told me about hypothermia, I just thought I was butt cold.

Luckily I live in an area that has yearlong riding, however, because of this I sometimes take it for granted, and ride in cold weather that I should not ride in, or I get stuck on the road, and am forced to ride home in very cold weather.

Coming from Southern California, I sometimes ride to other areas or States where it is much colder than it is here.

The trouble is that when you ride in cold weather and you’re not dressed properly, your body senses as well as core temperature start to drop, your decision making abilities start to slow down, and just like an intoxicated person, you start to have problems with simple tasks such as clutching and braking because your hands and feet start to go numb.
Many of you may be saying to yourself “why is he writing this, I already know about hypothermia.” Well I had heard about hypothermia as well.

However, in the past when I was freezing my ass off while riding my motorcycle, I never even had any idea that I could be suffering from hypothermia and that my life was at risk.

There is another risk when riding in cold weather as well, frostbite, however, let’s just stick to hypothermia.

wind-chill chartJust to show you how fast temperatures can drop at certain speeds while riding, I am attaching a wind-chill chart here which you can click to read.

Take a look, if you are riding at 60 miles per hour in 40 degree temperatures, the wind-chill factor is 25 degrees. You could get hypothermia in a matter of minutes without the proper riding attire on.

The point of this article is to make you aware of the danger.

There are many solutions out there for cold weather riding, from electric vests, gloves, pants, and insulated riding attire, to standard riding gear.

What is best for you or what is out there for cold weather riding, I will let you research on your own. There are many websites out there dedicated to this one subject.

The next time you are freezing your ass off on a motorcycle ride and you feel your hands and feet becoming numb, you will now think about this article and hypothermia, and maybe stop in a warm restaurant of motel somewhere to get your body heat back and to recover.

Yes it may be a hassle, but it is better to live to ride another day.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 10, 2011

An Example of Extreme Weather Riding, Reno 2011

A nice view from the Go Go Bar, Reno Street Vibrations 2011
A nice view from the Go Go Bar, Reno Street Vibrations 2011

My old lady and I just completed a run up to the Reno Street Vibrations Biker Rally this past weekend.

It was around a 450 mile run each way from our home, and sure was an exercise in extreme weather riding for us Southern Californians, who are used to mild temperatures.

The route we took was from the 14 freeway to Highway 395  to the 80, and to our hotel in Reno.

The day we rode up to Reno, Friday, September 23, 2011, started out to be a mild day. The weather was calm at 5:30am when we left our home, around 75 degrees.

As we started riding north, the weather got hotter and hotter, cooled off, and then got hot again as the day went on.

You see highway 395 took us through the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, past Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in North America, up around 8,000 feet and higher, then through Carson City (Lake Tahoe is just above Carson City), and then to Reno which is basically in the Nevada Desert.

I usually wear a light long sleeve type of t-shirt on hot days to protect my skin from the sun, and blue jeans. I know I should wear an armored fabric type of jacket, and I am in the process of trying to find a good one.

My old lady also wears long sleeves, and usually always wears chaps as well.

On Friday, due to traffic conditions, an accident in a bad spot where a biker went down due to a defective road under construction, the heat, and the extreme traffic in Reno again due to construction and the fact that lane splitting is illegal in Nevada, Liz and I were totally spent by the time we got to Reno.

A view from the Reno Street Vibrations 2011
A view from the Reno Street Vibrations 2011

My new Electra Glide Ultra got so hot that it almost cooked that day.

We tried as best as we could to hydrate along the way, but I think that we over did it on Friday. We both almost suffered severe heat stroke by the time we got to Reno. We were both dizzy and sick upon arrival.

I was in such a rush to get to Reno; I ignored my basic riding principals!

In the future, I will make sure we take more breaks, hydrate more, and give ourselves more time to get to a long destination.

450 miles in one day riding two up, is a very long ride under any circumstances. In heat it can be tough.

On the way back from Reno, it was warm when we left, but soon, when we got up into the mountains, we suffered severe weather. There was lighting storms, rain, hail, and cold. Imagine going from warm to very cold in just a few miles.

I let Liz use my chaps since she left hers with a friend by mistake, I put a sweatshirt on, my leather jacket, my gauntlet gloves, and we proceeded through the severe weather.

Upon reaching Lone Pine, we stopped to get some food at the Mt. Whitney Restaurant. (A great local restaurant with damn good food.)

Lone Pine is a tourist town along the 395 which caters to people on their way to see Mt. Whitney and Yosemite.

When we walked into the restaurant to eat, we were all bundled up in leathers and more, all of the locals were in t-shirts and shorts. I took my jacket off and sure enough it was at least 80 degrees outside.

We went from warm in Reno when we left, to cold lighting storms, back to warm again, all within a 300 mile stretch.

I proceeded to take my leather jacket and gauntlet’s off again, and switch to light gloves, and then we got on the road again.

There was a 30 mile stretch after Lone Pine, just before Mohave and the 14, where I never was so afraid in my life while riding a motorcycle.

Out of no-where we hit cold, and 60-70 mile per hour wind gusts or more that literally almost knocked my bike over while we were riding.

The wind was hitting us from the side going north to south. When a gust would hit us it caused my head to jerk hard to the left. It also caused the bike to jerk violently, and I have a very heavy bike.

Liz and I had our intercom hooked up, and she was freaking out. I had to tell her to be quiet and not panic. The wind was so bad that I knew if I slowed down and tried to pull over there would be no way I could hold the bike up. I knew the wind would knock us over.

I knew the forward energy and centrifugal force of the tires turning made it safer for us to keep riding than trying to stop.

I was genuinely afraid like I have never been before in my life while riding. It was a horrible experience, especially in the pitch dark of the Mohave Desert.

When we got to a 76 truck stop in Mohave where the 14 hits the 395 we pulled over to get our bearings back. It was then that another couple pulled in on a motorcycle in a panicked state.

They were on a Harley Davidson Road Glide, they each had beanie helmets on with clear glasses on for eye protection, and they were even more panicked than we were.

The women got off of the back of her old man’s bike and literally hugged him and would not let go.

We discussed the fact that it was by the grace of god that we all made it through unscathed.

I put my leather jacket and gauntlet’s back on and we rode off watching the woman from the other bike hugging her old man like there was no tomorrow.

Moral to the story; when riding a motorcycle, be prepared for any weather.

I can’t wait for next year 🙂

Keep Both Wheels on the Road!

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

What do you have to watch out for the Most when Riding a Motorcycle?

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

The Biker Law Blog is published by California Motorcycle Accident Attorney & Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

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