How Lanesplitting Can Lead to Serious Motorcycle Accidents

Nov 18, 2016 @ 02:00 PM — by Kerry Steigerwalt

Riding on a motorcycleWhen people in and around San Diego need legal help, they can rely on our law firm to provide expert counsel. We have years of experience with personal injury litigation and a host of other legal matters. Our goal is always to serve our clients to the best of our abilities.

Injury victims in motorcycle accidents may face years of medical care and physical rehabilitation following a collision, which is why seeking legal help is such a smart decision. We'd like to consider one matter that comes up a fair amount in motorcycle collision litigation: lanesplitting.

What Is Lanesplitting?

Lanesplitting refers to instances in which a motorcyclist rides along the line that divides two lanes rather than in one lane or the other. Motorcyclists sometimes do this to pass a single vehicle or to pass in between two vehicles using the narrow space between the two lanes.

Lanesplitting may occur in moving traffic or when traffic is stalled. It has been known to occur on city streets as well as on highways and freeways.

Is Lanesplitting Legal in California?

Yes, lanesplitting is legal in the state of California.

California is unique, in this regard. It is the only state in America in which lanesplitting is legal. In any other state in the country, a motorcyclist is prohibited from traveling along the line between lanes. Even when traffic is stopped, lanesplitting is illegal in other states.

The Dangers of Lanesplitting

As you can imagine, there are plenty of dangers when it comes to lanesplitting, both for the motorcyclist and for other motorists.

For motorcyclists, lanesplitting brings them closer to vehicles than they normally would be. It's possible for a motorcyclist to get into a side collision with a car or truck. The danger is increased when there are two moving vehicles that a motorcyclist is traveling between. Getting pinched or pinned between these two vehicles is a possibility. Motorcyclists can also be injured if they split lanes during standstill traffic. Drivers or passengers in cars and trucks may not be paying attention, and if they open a door, it's possible to strike or injure a motorcyclist.

For other drivers on the road, it's possible for these motorists to lose sight of a motorcyclist since the motorcycle is in their blind spot. The proximity increases the chances of a collision even though the motorcyclist is technically doing nothing illegal.

Use Caution While on the Road

If you are on a motorcycle, it's best to exercise caution while you are on the road. Never split lanes unless you feel it is safe to do so. Avoid taking unnecessary risks, use common sense, and make sure that other motorists are aware of your presence and intentions as you merge, move, and change lanes.

When splitting lanes in standstill traffic, be sure to slow down and travel at a safe speed. This prevents the potential of being struck by a door and keeps everyone in traffic safe as you move along the lane line.

How an Auto Accident Attorney Can Help

If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a motorcycle collision, a skilled attorney can help you in your time of legal need. Our legal team will fight diligently for your legal rights, helping collect damages from the negligent party who caused the accident. Having experts like us on your side can make a major difference when negotiating a settlement or taking your case all the way to trial.

Learn More About Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits

For more information about your legal rights and options following a serious auto accident, be sure to contact a skilled personal injury attorney today. We will work with you in your time of legal need to help you recover damages.

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