The Accident Gets Worse

You may have seen my post about how The Scout was in an auto accident.  He was in very heavy traffic eastbound on the 101.  He pulled into the number one lane in front of a car that was at a dead stop.  He used his directional signal.  (I have been nagging gently reminding him on this one for years…)

A motorcycle came up from the rear and hit The Scout’s trusty steed on the left rear tail light.  Though The Scout had looked in his rearview mirror, he never saw the motorcyclist.  The motorcyclist was doing that classic thing they do…drive in between the lanes.  All the passenger vehicles were going 3-5 mph and the motorcyclist estimated that he was doing 25-30 mph.

Is it legal for motorcycles to drive between lanes like that?  It must be, because we got the police report yesterday and they determined that the accident is The Scout’s fault.  They said he did an unsafe lane change, or more specifically that he wasn’t driving in a lane.

Actually, that’s what the motorcycle was doing—driving in between lanes.  So we’re over here scratching our heads and WTFing.  We’d always heard that if you get rear-ended, it’s the other guy’s fault.

If anyone has any recommendations on how to proceed (fight it?  crumble like a biscuit?) I’d appreciate the input.

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9 Responses to “The Accident Gets Worse”

  1. barbra Says:

    Yes, motorcycles are allowed to do that. This is because their engines need airflow so they can’t do stop-and-go, 5 mph kind of traffic.

    I was blathering about my recent accident as we were leaving last night. I was stopped on the freeway behind another accident, when I was rear-ended: a car merging clipped my left rear bumper. But the driver says he was already in the other lane and I merged into him (again, I was not moving, I was at a dead stop). There’s no police report so it’s just word vs. word. The insurance companies are probably sending it to arbitration. It will take a while to figure it all out. BLEEECHH.

    Enjoyed meeting you last night, though!!

  2. howey Says:

    Motorcyclists may lane split but must not exceed 5MPH above traffic flow or 25 MPH. If traffic is moving at 25 MPH+ you are expected to stay in a lane like an auto.

    It isn’t enough to check the rear view one must also turn one’s head to check the blind spot, but even then sometimes an accident can’t be avoided. I hope every one recovers from the accident and the secondary insurance company trauma.

    I won’t ride my motorcycle on the freeways during rush hour, fortunately I don’t need it to commute but rather for back road meandering.

  3. howey Says:

    Crumble if it is the fastest/cheapest thing to do.

  4. Jason Says:

    Kelly–I enjoyed meeting and chatting with you a bit! I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  5. JCK Says:

    Hi Kelly!

    I really enjoyed meeting you last night. Small, small world. 🙂

  6. AP Says:

    Where did everyone meet Kelly?

  7. Rattling the Kettle Says:

    Depends on how much crumbling will cost.

    My wife was in an accident a couple of weeks ago. Some idiot reversed into her. His insurance determined that she was 10% at fault, for not taking evasive action. Insurance people are just assholes like that.

  8. Jenn @ Juggling Life Says:

    It is legal for motorcycles to split lanes in California (but not in many other states).

    I was making a left turn into a parking lot in heavy traffic (cars had stopped to let me make the turn since they had a stop light anyway. A motorcycle hit me broadside.

    Even though the police determined tht the motorcycle was fully at fault, the insurance companies decided to split the fault so no one would have their rates raised. Boy was I pissed.

    I hope it works out for you.

  9. AP Says:

    I do hope things work out for you, by the way…hope you didn’t think I was making light of the situation.

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