California motorists are not strangers to the practice of lane splitting. Think back to the last few times you were navigating a significant flow of traffic on one of the Golden State’s many crowded freeways. At any point, did you encounter a motorcycle? Did that motorcycle happen to travel between you and the vehicle next to you, even though the vehicle next to you was already traveling in the next lane over? This practice is referred to as lane splitting.
Since the beginning of the year, a specific kind of crash has been plaguing California’s busy freeways. These crashes are almost always preventable and are almost often tragic catastrophes. When drivers are intentionally or unintentionally forced to navigate wrong-way traffic in high-speed action movies, the event tends to be thrilling. When drivers are intentionally or unintentionally forced to navigate wrong-way traffic in real life, fatal collisions tend to result.
Earlier this week, we began a discussion about DUI recidivism. We observed that while it is surprisingly easy for responsible adults to be arrested for a single, unintentional and ultimately accidental drunk driving incident due to the ways alcohol metabolizes in the body, repeat drunk driving offenders pose a significant threat to public safety.
When individuals drive while intoxicated, their behavior endangers their own lives and the lives of everyone within range of their vehicles at any given moment. Oftentimes, sincerely responsible adults drive while illegally drunk based on a misperception that they are actually sober. Because alcohol metabolizes differently in the body based on a host of factors, one can feel sober and still be illegally "drunk" for the purposes of legally operating a motor vehicle.
Just north of Los Angeles, a motorcyclist nearly got into an accident with another motorcyclist. Now, we know that's not exactly the most thrilling bit of a news. In fact, you may not even consider it news at all. However, there is one element involved in this near-head-on crash that caught our eye -- and it will certainly catch the eye of the motorcycle community.
There is an inherent danger to many of the activities we participate in every day. Most of us acknowledge but refuse to worry about most of these dangers, such as the risk of getting into a car accident. If we constantly worried about such risks, we would be largely unable to live productive lives outside our homes.
Motor vehicles accidents are not just something we hear on the news, happening in some faraway place. Rather, it is the people here -- in our community -- who are injured or killed every year in fatal motor vehicle accidents.