Every vehicle is dangerous to the operator and others on the road. After all, the weight, power, and speed of motor vehicles can kill or seriously injure someone in a collision.
Motorcycles are especially dangerous. They provide almost no protection for riders in a collision. They are inherently unstable and have a high power-to-weight ratio. These factors make motorcycles more difficult to control than automobiles and trucks.
Studies connect training, experience, and accident risk for motorcyclists. Fortunately, California motorcycle safety courses can reduce your risk of a motorcycle accident. Call Mission Personal Injury Lawyers today at (619) 777-5555 to schedule a free initial consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer.
How Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in San Diego
Mission Personal Injury Lawyers has been helping accident victims in San Diego since 2010. Over the past 12 years, our firm’s San Diego motorcycle accident attorneys have recovered tens of millions of dollars for clients while amassing a 99% success rate.
The firm’s lawyers have earned many honors and awards, including:
- 10.0 Superb rating by Avvo, its highest rating
- Designation as San Diego Super Lawyers by SuperLawyers.com
- Best of the Bar by the San Diego Business Journal
The legal team with Mission Personal Injury Lawyers can help with your case by:
- Negotiating a settlement agreement on your behalf
- Hiring experts and internally investigating your case
- Filing a lawsuit and bring your case before a jury if necessary
Even if you’ve been cautious, a motorcycle accident can have devastating consequences. Contact Mission Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss your accident and the compensation you might be eligible to seek for your injuries.
How Common Are California Motorcycle Safety Courses?
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) runs the California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP). This program teaches a course required by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain a motorcycle license.
CHP has instruction sites all over the state. Although CHP runs the program, it uses certified instructors to teach the classes. In other words, a highway patrol trooper will probably not be the one to teach your CMSP class.
CMSP classes are fairly common. There are 86 sites that teach the beginner class required for motorcycle applicants who are under the age of 21. San Diego County has eight instruction sites, available from Camp Pendleton in the north to Chula Vista in the south.
These sites also teach beginner classes for riders over the age of 21. The California DMV does not require this course for motorcycle license applicants who are 21 or older. However, the DMV still recommends that older applicants take the course.
California leans heavily on the CMSP because research shows a link between inexperience and motorcycle accidents. About 20% of motorcycle riders do not have a motorcycle license. Unlicensed motorcycle riders make up 40% of motorcycle fatalities. Thus, unlicensed riders have twice the odds of dying in a motorcycle crash compared to licensed riders.
Not all of these unlicensed riders failed the CMSP. But a lack of training combined with inexperience, a lack of knowledge, and a lack of skill can put a motorcyclist in a dangerous position while riding.
Overview of California Motorcycle Safety Courses
The CMSP includes five hours of classroom instruction and ten hours of hands-on instruction. The hands-on instruction teaches riding skills so thoroughly that the DMV waives the riding test for most applicants who pass the CMSP.
You must have a certified motorcycle helmet to attend the course. You do not need a motorcycle, however. The training site will provide motorcycles for the hands-on portions of the course.
During the CMSP, you can learn:
- How to manage fear
- Steps to identify the parts of a motorcycle
- Using the clutch
- Starting and braking
- Avoiding a skid
- Shifting gears
- Proper turning and cornering
- Negotiating curves and changing lanes
- Crossing obstacles, like railroad tracks
- Low-speed maneuvering
- Limited-space maneuvering
- Emergency maneuvering
At the end of the CMSP, you must pass a skills test. To pass the test, you must:
- Ride in a narrow tracking path that is one foot wide
- Weave through a row of five traffic cones
- Ride in an outlined circle and weave through another row of five cones without pausing
- Ride slowly between two parallel lines that are one foot apart, then ride in a circle without pausing or going outside the lines
- Ride in a straight path while shifting gears, perform a U-turn, return in a straight path while shifting gears, and stop smoothly
You must also identify the starter, kill switch, clutch, throttle, gear selector, headlight dimmer, brakes, turn signals, and horn.
Benefits of Taking the CMSP
If you are under 21 years old, you must take the CMSP to receive your motorcycle license. If you are over 21 years old, taking the CMSP allows you to:
- Avoid the skills test for your motorcycle license
- Request an insurance discount
- Learn the skills you need to reduce your odds of a motorcycle accident
Motorcycle accidents have a greater chance of causing serious or fatal injuries. Compared to automobile drivers, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a crash and four times more likely to get injured in a crash.
Because motorcycles provide little protection to riders, they often suffer injuries to the arms and legs — even in a minor crash — if the motorcycle tips over and slides. In a severe crash, motorcyclists can get ejected, leading to head, neck, and back injuries.
Worst of all, liability for these crashes often lies with a careless or distracted automobile driver.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our San Diego Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Even with proper training, you can still get injured if a car hits your motorcycle. Contact Mission Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation with an experienced San Diego motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your accident and the compensation you can seek for your injuries.