Reckless Car Drivers Put Motorcyclists at Risk

Over the 20 years we’ve been in business, the Salamati Law Firm has seen the disturbing and sometimes irreversible impact reckless driving has on its victims. We are still stunned at how responsible parties will do everything they can to minimize their actions. It is why we have steadfastly advocated on the behalf of victims and their families.

Some of the worst incidences we have covered are reckless accidents involving motorcycles. Here in California, driving can be a risk for everyone, but for the motorcyclist, the potential is heightened. Motorcycles lack the overall protection we get from cars, trucks and SUVs. When a driver haphazardly switches lanes or tries to race the yellow light, they are more often than not on the lookout for large vehicles. Many motorcycle accidents result from one driver not even seeing the cyclist before impact.

The Salamati Law Firm puts its legal expertise to work seeing that victims of motorcycle accidents are compensated for accident-related injuries and damages. If you or a family member in the Los Angeles area is a victim, give us a call to discuss your legal remedies.

What is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving, by law, can by any major moving violation that could cause injury to drivers, passengers, pedestrians or property. This is different from laws governing careless driving – which can include texting or eating – an offense that is more about distraction than anything. While these actions can lead to accidents, if no accident is involved, they are punishable by tickets and fines.

Reckless driving is more about a driver’s behavior showing a wanton disregard for rules of the road and safety of the community.

Reckless driving may entail:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Driving without headlights
  • Driving too fast to stop effectively on wet surfaces
  • Failing to obey red lights or stop signs
  • Driving under the influence

Can You Get Arrested for Reckless Driving in California?

While it is on the books as a misdemeanor, reckless driving is taken quite seriously in California. Depending on the act, one can be fined between $145 to $1,000 and possibly serve a prison sentence of five to 90 days. The penalization can increase based on a number of factors, including if you have a prior conviction. The DMV will put points on your license for offenses. The DMV could also count a conviction against the offender toward a future license suspension hearing. On top of that, your auto insurance payments are likely to increase or even be canceled.

If there is property damage or someone is hurt or worse as a result of reckless driving, the driver will be looking at felony charges such as vehicular manslaughter.

Reckless driving is a major factor in motorcycle accidents. The state is constantly looking for ways to increase the cyclist’s safety. One initiative could make California the first state to formalize lane splitting. This is the practice of cyclists riding on the lane line to move between cars. Unlike some states, lane splitting is not illegal here, but it has been an issue of debate in terms of safety and traffic confusion.

Reckless Driving Examples Involving Motorcycles

In regards to reckless driving and motorcycles, here are some common actions that have caused disaster. It should be noted a rider can be as responsible for any of these acts as someone behind the wheel.

Speeding
Often, when a motorcycle is involved, motorists are driving too fast to realize the smaller vehicle is in their line of fire.

Tailgating
It does not matter who is following whom, it is the cyclist who usually gets hurt. A car is too close when the motorcycle needs to stop short. The vehicle behind hits and sends the cyclist flying. Cars stop short and the cyclist behind them cannot stop in time. Again, the person on the motorcycle goes flying.

Failure to Signal
Everyone – including pedestrians – should know what a driver’s planning to do. But that is not always the case. Drivers suddenly changing lanes or making a turn without signaling creates a hazard that ends up in avoidable mishaps.

Running Red Lights & Stop Signs
The worst accidents outside of the highway take place in intersections. No one should be in such a hurry as to race through a red light or stop sign.

Distracted Driving
Our staff has heard all the stories. From the teenager trying to retrieve a dropped phone under their seat to the guy who turned his head – for a second! – to check out a woman, it happens. No one intends to have an accident, but it is amazing to see how many drivers do things that they know can cause one.

Inebriated Drivers
Personally, we believe they should make cars that will not start if the driver’s been drinking or using drugs. Until they do, the Salamati Law Firm will do whatever it takes to hold responsible parties accountable for the injury and damage they cause in this regard.

Failure to Yield
This is probably the biggest cause of motorcycle spills. Drivers deciding to change lanes or some other act without notice. A motorcycle may not be in their line of vision or the cyclist could be lane splitting (see above). Either way, the motorcycle is broadsided or ends up falling to avoid an accident.

Motorcycle Accident Reckless Driving Lawyer

Reckless driving is a threat to the safety of every person riding a motorcycle, sitting in a car or standing on a street corner waiting to cross. While it can lead to imprisonment, fines, license suspension or getting your license revoked completely, worse, we have seen it lead to brain injuries, fractured limbs, broken bones and more. Families can be inundated dealing by the consequences.

The Salamati Law Firm is here to give victims of reckless motorcycle accidents relief. If your life has been disrupted by reckless driving and leaving a rider hurt or worse, give us a call for a free consultation. The Salamati Law Firm promises compassionate, effective counsel and rigorous representation.

Additional Resources Regarding Reckless Driving & Motorcycle Accidents

  1. California Legal Code, VEHICLE CODE
    SECTION 23100-23135, http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=veh&group=23001-24000&file=23100-23135
  2. DriveSafely.net, “Motorcycle Safety Tips”, http://www.drive-safely.net/motorcycle-safety-tips/