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Biker and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog

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.

Tag Archives: helmets

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

Watch out for Counterfeit DOT Certified Helmets – Look for Revised DOT Labeling.

Watch out for counterfeit helmets bearing DOT labels
Watch out for counterfeit helmets bearing DOT labels

Novelty and/or Counterfeit DOT motorcycle helmets may look the part, but many, if not all, fail to meet federal safety standards.

These dubious novelty and/or counterfeit helmets feature a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved label, but most are counterfeit, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In other words if you buy a cheap helmet that you think is DOT certified because it has a DOT label, you may be buying nothing more than junk.

It is important that if you want to wear a DOT helmet for safety purposes while riding your motorcycle that you ensure you are buying a helmet manufactured by a reputable helmet manufacture.

To help combat counterfeiters, the NHTSA has revised the DOT labeling for motorcycle helmets that now reads “DOT FMVSS No. 218 Certified,” which is an acronym for the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218.

Effective May 13, 2011, all new motorcycle helmets must have one of these new labels in its interior, which show that the lid met federal standards for “Impact Attenuation,” “Penetration” and “Retention System,” such as the strap.

Besides reading “DOT FMVSS No. 218 Certified,” the label will also identify the motorcycle helmet manufacturer, precise model designation and also month and year of manufacture.

According to the FMVSS No. 218, “Each helmet shall be labeled permanently and legibly, in a manner such that the label(s) can be read easily without removing padding or any other permanent part.”

And of course, the DOT logo sticker must be present at the lower rear of the motorcycle helmet.

The NHTSA says these new labeling requirements will enhance overall motorcycle safety based on the following statistics:

  1. A motorcycle helmet that meets the DOT FMVSS No 218 requirements drops the risk of dying in a motorcycle crash by 37 percent, the NHTSA reports; and
  2. If fewer helmets are created that don’t meet the federal standard, the NHTSA reports that between 22 and 75 lives may be saved.

It is good to see the NHTSA trying to save the lives of motorcyclists by attempting to weed out scumbag helmet counterfeiters. However, there is a good chance that the new labels will also be counterfeited.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Website

Some Simple Motorcycle Safety Tips – They Can Be Life Savers!

Califonria Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez
Califonria Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable motorist on the road. A motorcyclist who is involved in a collision with a four wheeled motor vehicle such as a car, pickup truck, etc., it at a severe disadvantage.

Often times motorcycle accidents result in the death or disability of the motorcyclist. It is not hard to lose a limb, seriously damage internal organs, or to become paralyzed in a motorcycle crash if you are not careful.

Therefore unlike with other motor vehicles, bikers and motorcyclist must adhere to strict safety measures to prevent motorcycle accidents, and to ensure survival if they are in fact in a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle Safety Tip # 1: Wear a DOT Helmet

I know, I know, many in the biker community say “bullshit” I am not wearing a helmet, yada yada yada. Others wear toy novelty helmets in States where helmets are mandatory.

Research has clearly shown that serious brain injuries and death can be avoided by wearing a good helmet. A very common motorcycle accident scenario is that a rider is thrown off of the motorcycle, landing on, or hitting his or her head. For those wearing a good helmet, a serious head injury can be avoided by simply wearing a helmet. Hell you might have a severe headache if you land on your head in a motorcycle accident, but at least you are still alive!

Low impact head injuries can also be fatal. A recent case was reported when a stationary motorcyclist lost his balance in the driveway, his motorcycle fell over; he struck his head on the concrete driveway, and later died of his injuries a few days later. He died because he did not have a helmet on. The result was tragic and could have been easily averted by simply strapping on a helmet.

A helmet is certainly not an iron clad guarantee that an accident or serious injury won’t happen. However, wearing a motorcycle helmet will certainly improve the chances of survival in a motorcycle accident.

Tip 2: Wear Proper Protective Motorcycle Clothing

Motorcyclists should always wear the proper equipment while riding their motorcycles for protection. The goal is that you not only want a protective layer between you and the elements, but you also want to be clearly visible to other motorist.

Motorcycle accidents can be quite horrendous on the skin. Bikers and motorcyclist can be thrown off of their motorcycles and skid or slide along the pavement. Without protective clothing or footwear, your body can slide unprotected against pavement, concrete, stone, glass, and other dirt and debris on the road, which will literally peel off your flesh, or embed into your flesh. This can have disastrous consequences for you, and cause severe pain and suffering that could have easily have been avoided.

I will admit, in the old days I was not so smart. I would wear a t-shirt with a vest. Now, I am not willing to take a chance simply because I was too stubborn or egotistical to wear proper riding attire.

Tip 3: Stay Sober and Well Rested

Dahhhh. If you are too tired or shit faced drunk, and/or on other mind altering substances, your reflexes and ability to react while riding your motorcycle can be severely impaired.

Motorcyclist should avoid riding when very tired, and regularly take short breaks. Alcohol and Other Drugs can also seriously affect your ability to ride, and should be avoided when riding a motorcycle.

If you think drunk driving in a car is dangerous, drunk riding is at least ten times more dangerous for you on a motorcycle. At least in a car you have some protection. On a motorcycle, there are no second chances. You need to be on your game.

Stay off of the mind altering substances while riding a motorcycle, even one beer can impair you on a motorcycle. Also take frequent breaks to avoid fatigue.

Tip 4: Adhere to Traffic Laws

A significant number of motorcyclists involved in motorcycle accidents are riding without a proper motorcycle license or endorsement. Motorcyclists should ensure that they are properly licensed, and always up to date on their knowledge of local traffic laws. You should obey all traffic laws whenever possible.

Tip 5: Motorcycle Equipment Safety Check and Planning

Motorcyclists should inspect their motorcycles before each ride for loose screws or bolts, tire wear, etc. Motorcycle accidents often occur as a result of mechanical problems.

Plan ahead when riding in a group. Determine your route in advance and ensure that it agreed with the other riders. Review group hand signals, formations, etc.

Tip 6: Continuous Learning and Improvement

A large percentage of motorcyclists involved in motorcycle accidents have had no formal motorcycle rider training. Enrollment in a certified motorcycle training class is a good way to develop basic riding.

Once the basic techniques have been acquired, motorcyclists can improve accident-avoidance skills by taking an advanced motorcycle rider course or advanced program for motorcyclists that teaches defensive riding on your particular motorcycle.

Motorcyclists and bikers have the responsibility to protect themselves as much as possible.

By following these basic safety tips things can and will go a whole lot better for you if you ever go down!

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.

By California Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © 2010

Let’s Talk Real No B.S. Motorcycle Riding Safety; The Two Most Important Safety Items.

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.
California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez on the road.

First off let me start off by stating that I do not advocate mandatory helmet laws or anything like that. I feel that each motorcycle rider should have the right to wear whatever they want to wear while riding. The advice I am giving in this article is just that, advice. You can and will ultimately do whatever the hell you want to do. However, if this article helps someone be safe while riding a motorcycle, then so be it.

I personally think that the two most important things you should wear while riding a motorcycle are; a good helmet, and a good leather jacket. Let me explain.

Now I know that there are other what I consider to be mandatory motorcycle safety items that should be worn, such as gloves, boots, leather or heavy jean pants, etc., however, this article is about what I consider to be the two most important safety items.

I am a California motorcycle accident attorney. I handle motorcycle accident cases, and other types of personal injury cases for a living. I also happen to be a biker and a motorcyclist who rides a significant number of miles each year on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

I have seen a marked increase in the number of motorcycle accidents, and a substantial increase in motorcycle deaths in the past decade. Furthermore, it has been reported by many different sources that there has been a tremendous increase in the number of motorcycle accidents and motorcycle accident deaths in recent years. I am sure these all have to do with an increase in the number of motorcycle riders on the road.

Knowing this, I can think of a couple of things I would not like to happen, god forbid if I do go down. I would like to keep the grey matter between my ears inside of my skull instead of being splattered all over the road, I would like to keep my face, and rather than having all my skin rubbed off by the pavement, I would rather a leather jacket be the one that gets the brunt of the punishment.

Look we all know that wearing a helmet is mandatory in California and some other States. I for one don’t care if there is a law or not, I wear a full face modular helmet when I ride, and I suggest that you do the same. This is not rocket science; it is about surviving a motorcycle accident. It does not take a genius to figure out what happens when your head or face meets the pavement at 70 miles per hour; the pavement wins.

There is virtually nothing better to protect your upper body from a fall than a good heavy leather jacket. If you go down, it may still hurt, but the leather will take the brunt of any road rash. They even sell lightweight armor that can be worn under the jacket or inserted into the jacket. I know, sometimes it is too hot to wear a jacket, or you want to look cool. Well it is not cool to have permanent road rash scars all over your body just because you decided not to wear the jacket, or suffering as your skin heals from road rash.

We who ride motorcycles know two things, it is not a matter of if we are going down, it is a matter of when; and we sure the hell do not want to go down. I myself have been down 3 times in the past. God was with me, all of my mishaps were minor, and I only suffered minor injuries in two of them.

I have been involved in numerous close “scary” calls while riding, and if you are a motorcycle rider, you have been too. It is just the nature of the beast.

Once at the Palm Springs Biker Rally in 2000, I was only wearing a sleeveless T-Shirt, when I went down at low speed. It hurt, and caused some minor road rash on my left side where I laid it down. That small amount of road rash hurt like hell. Imagine what losing multiple layers of skin feels like; I sure don’t want to feel that. Wear a friggen leather jacket.

You can take this article as you will. Unlike some other poser fake biker lawyers, and motorcycle accident attorney’s out there advertising that they handle motorcycle accident cases, when they don’t actually ride motorcycles, or have any clue whatsoever about the issues related to riding a motorcycle and being a biker, I am the real deal. I, just like you, am a biker and a motorcyclist.

I will be here for you if you need me after a motorcycle accident; however, I would prefer to see fewer injuries because you were smart and were wearing proper safety equipment.

By California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., ©2009

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

Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm, The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates, are real bikers helping other bikers. Unlike some other so called "fake" motorcycle accident attorney's who do not ride motorcycles, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. actually rides a motorcycle.

We are experts in dealing with motorcycle accident cases.

We handle motorcycle accident cases, motorcycle passenger injury accidents, and other personal injury cases all over the State of California. We are real bikers and motorcycle riders who represent bikers and motorcycle riders who have suffered injuries due to motorcycle accidents and crashes. We handle Motorcycle Accidents, Motorcycle Passenger Accidents, Dangerous Conditions on public roads which cause motorcycle accidents, defective motorcycle cases, Cruiser Motorcycle Accidents, biker rights, criminal law, Car Accidents, Uninsured Motorist Claims, Wrongful Death, Torts, Cager and/or Car negligence, personal injury and Other Injury Cases. We have locations in Southern California and Northern California. We handle personal injury, and motorcycle accident cases in all over California including: Southern California, Central California, and Northern California.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or any other motor vehicle accident, you may call us 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or submit your case online here.