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Motorcyclists' Guide to Lane Splitting

As of right now, California is the only state that allows lane splitting with motorcyclists, though several states are reviewing bills which may legalize the practice. It’s a hot topic. Motorcyclists claim it actually increases safety by giving them more control on the road and also maintain that it can decrease traffic congestion. Many drivers, however, disagree, citing that lane splitting puts motorcyclists in their blind spots and decreases visibility. Determining who is at fault in a lane-splitting accident can cause the victims a splitting headache.

Let’s look at some suggestions regarding lane splitting:

  • Don’t travel at more than ten miles over the speed limit. Excessive speeding creates a substantial increase in the risk of a collision.

  • Don’t split lanes if you’re moving over 30 mph. That’s right, no splitting on the highways. For the same reasons as previously mentioned, high speeds create more chances for dangerous collisions.

  • Try to avoid splitting in lanes near exits or ramps, or where lane changes occur.

  • Wear bright colors and make yourself as visible as possible to other motorists.

  • Don’t lane split unless you’re an experienced motorcyclist and familiar with the road and environment.

Following the suggestions doesn’t eliminate your chance for an accident, but it does help your case if you were injured in a collision. Because California is a comparative fault state, just because lane splitting is legal doesn’t mean you can’t be found at fault in an accident. Both parties will be looked at and if a biker is even partially at fault it could mean a reduction in any award they may win in court.

If you’re a confident motorcyclist who adheres to speed limits and traffic laws, lane splitting can offer a safe and fast way to quicken your commute. However, it doesn’t guarantee your safety on the road. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you should seek out legal assistance from an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Call Tanya Gomerman at 415-545-8608 today.

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