(561) 270-0913

Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Lane-Splitting

Riding a motorcycle is dangerous enough without a motorcyclist committing negligent behavior that can expose them and others on the road to harm. A dangerous motorcycle riding behavior that can cause a motorcycle accident is lane-splitting, when a motorcyclist rides between two slow-moving lanes of traffic going in the same direction. Motorcyclists take advantage of their small vehicle’s maneuverability to avoid sitting in traffic by riding through the middle of it.

However, lane-splitting risks are significant for motorcyclists, as traffic may clear up and open them up to motorcycle accident risk. A driver may switch lanes, not realizing a motorcyclist is riding down between the two lanes, and they can accidentally drive into them without knowing they were coming.

Motorcyclists driving through the middle of traffic too fast can lose control of their vehicle and fall to the ground, exposed to injury risk from cars having to advance through traffic. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident with a lane-splitting motorcyclist, you could file a motorcycle accident claim to pursue compensation for damages.

What is Lane-Splitting?

One way a motorcycle accident can occur is when a motorcyclist decides to avoid traffic by driving between stopped lanes of vehicles. Lane-splitting is when a driver rides between two lanes of traffic going in the same direction.

This is sometimes called “white lining,” which refers to the line that divides the lanes of traffic that the motorcyclist can ride on. Due to the size and maneuverability of a motorcycle, it can fit between two slow-moving or stalled lanes of traffic.

While there are dangers involved with this type of motorcycle riding, some suggest this is a good way to prevent further congestion of streets. A motorcyclist can avoid adding to traffic and avoid the risk of a rear-end accident caused by a driver not paying attention while moving through traffic.

However, whatever benefits can occur because of lane-splitting can be outweighed by the overwhelming danger presented by such a risky motorcycle riding action.

How Can Lane-Splitting Cause a Motorcycle Accident?

Lane-splitting can cause a motorcycle accident when traffic clears up when the motorcyclist is in the middle of the two lanes. It’s impossible to predict how traffic will advance, especially when you start at the back of a long line of traffic.

While lane-splitting may seem like a good idea at the back of the line, the front may clear up quicker than anticipated and can leave the motorcyclist in the middle of traffic moving at a regular pace. Regularly moving traffic can merge and shift lanes, possibly directly contacting the motorcyclist lane-splitting.

Drivers may not anticipate a motorcyclist driving down the middle of the lane and switching lanes without accounting for their presence, resulting in them hitting the motorcyclist. Someone who is lane-splitting can also lose control of their motorcycle for going too fast and falling from their motorcycle, caught on the ground between two lanes of traffic.

Severe Motorcycle Accident Injuries Caused by Lane-Splitting

A lane-splitting motorcycle accident can expose a motorcyclist to significant injury risk. Riding a motorcycle is dangerous because of the lack of protection a motorcyclist has. They do not have the safety advantage of the structure of a larger vehicle like a car, truck, or bus to protect them from impact. They only have a helmet to protect them from severe head injuries, but wearing one in all states is not required.

Motorcyclists can experience severe injuries when they experience blunt-force trauma from coming into contact with another vehicle or the hard ground. Physical trauma can damage the bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, tissues, etc., and cause a severe injury that can have long-term health consequences.

The following are some severe motorcycle accident injuries caused by lane-splitting:

Is Lane-Splitting Illegal?

The legality of lane-splitting depends on what state you live in. The only state that has legalized lane-splitting is California, where motorcyclists are allowed to use the practice to maneuver through heavy traffic in the state. Many states allow other techniques, such as lane-filtering, but do not allow lane-splitting.

Some states do not have laws that address lane-splitting directly, but it’s safe to assume it’s not a suggested method of riding a motorcycle safely. However, other states have banned lane-splitting, and doing it is illegal.

These states include Florida, Minnesota, Illinois, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Tennesse, Wisconsin, West Virginia, etc. Motorcyclists that lane-split in these states can experience fines of over one hundred dollars and other penalties.

Should You Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

After a motorcycle accident caused by lane-splitting, you could file a motorcycle accident claim to pursue compensation for damages. You could suffer medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering from a motorcycle accident. While you can handle the motorcycle accident claim independently, you may lack the experience to get the most compensatory damages possible.

This is why hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer with years of experience handling these claims is vital. They will understand motorcycle accidents, with knowledge of statistics and laws that can be helpful in your claim. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help assess the value of your claim, determine the at-fault party, collect evidence, negotiate a fair settlement, and represent you in court.

Contact The Russo Firm for Help With Your Motorcycle Accident Claim

At The Russo Firm, our motorcycle accident lawyers can use their motorcycle accident claim expertise to help you recover compensation medical bills, lost earning potential, and loss of enjoyment of life. We understand a motorcycle accident’s effect on your quality of life and wish to help you recover compensation for damages caused by the at-fault party’s negligence.

Our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers can help you file a motorcycle accident claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company and negotiate a fair settlement to pay for your economic and non-economic damages. Contact us for a free motorcycle accident consultation at (561) 270-0913 or leave a message on our online contact page.

Article written or reviewed by:

Attorney Anthony Russo

Attorney Anthony Russo

Managing Partner and Lawyer at The Russo Firm

No-Cost Case Evaluation