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Splitting lanes on a motorcycle is legal-but it is hazardous! Here’s a case where a slow moving motorcyclist sustained a horrible injury which may or may not have been intentional on the part of the automobile driver.

The case involved a motorcyclist who was riding with his friend on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. The accident occurred at an intersection with a red light. Once the light was red, the motorcyclists rode between the cars by splitting lanes with the intention of placing themselves first at the light. As the motorcyclists rode slowly between the vehicles, a driver opened his door. The motorcyclists foot was caught by the door and the door pierced the boot of the motorcyclist causing a severe injury to the motorcyclist’s foot including lacerations which cut his muscle and tendon. The case was settled for $98,000.00. The lesson to be learned here is although splitting lanes is legal, it is dangerous. Best not to do it.

The second accident also occurred at an intersection when a motorcyclist was passing through an intersection and a driver made a left turn hitting the motorcyclist. The motorcylists was severely injured. The case settled for policy limits of $100,000.00. This is a classic motorcycle accident. Please use caution when proceeding through intersections. Try to make eye contact with the opposing driver. Don’t hesitate to use your horn.

The lesson to be learned from both of these accidents is that motorcyclists should have as high uninsured motorist limits as they can afford. AAA, for example, offers UM coverage up to $1,000,000. If you get hurt and the responsible driver doesn’t have enough coverage, this is the only way for YOU to be protected. Up your UM as soon as possible.

Sanford Jossen represents motorcyclists. He does so because he has ridden motorcycles for the past 52 years and continues to ride.