Lane splitting, a motorcyclist’s sharing of lanes with other vehicles or movement between lanes of other traffic, is explicitly outlawed in most states. In Florida, for example, motorcyclists may not pass other vehicles within the same lane or operate their bikes between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles. Fla. Stats. § 316.209 (2), (3). Under current California law, while lane splitting is not explicitly allowed, it is also not explicitly prohibited. A proposed law explicitly allowing lane splitting in California will become the first such law in the nation if it receives required Senate approval. Motorcyclists need to be aware, however, that even legal lane splitting may be found to constitute negligence under certain circumstances, potentially reducing or preventing a biker’s recovery of damages for the biker’s own injuries or causing the biker to be held liable for injuries caused to others.

The Motorcycle Injury Firm has extensive experience with motorcycle-accident cases. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact The Motorcycle Injury Firm for more information about your legal rights and options.

Legal Liability for Negligently Caused Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Deaths

One of the most frequent concerns cited in regard to lane splitting is whether the practice increases the risk of injury-causing accidents. A study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley on motorcyclists using California highways and roads is reported to have found that lane-splitting bikers experienced fewer accidents in which motorcycles were rear-ended by other motorists and suffered fewer head, torso, and fatal injuries in motorcycle accidents than those sustained by non-lane-splitting motorcyclists. Regardless of these statistics, however, bikers are well-advised to keep in mind that lane splitters are less likely to be seen by motorists than are bikers who are not engaged in lane splitting and that careless and erratic (rather than careful) lane splitting is more likely to lead to accidents and resultant injuries and deaths.

Negligence is often found to have caused accidents and resultant injuries despite bikers’ or drivers’ full compliance with traffic laws and road rules. Thus, even legal lane splitting that is done in a negligent manner may result in a ruling that a motorcyclist has negligently caused or contributed to his or her own injuries. Depending on the negligence law of the controlling jurisdiction and the percentage of causal negligence attributed to a biker in a personal-injury or wrongful-death action, the biker’s recovery of damages for injuries also contributed to by the negligence of other drivers may be reduced or altogether prevented.

Obtain Legal Representation from The Motorcycle Injury Firm

The Motorcycle Injury Firm has provided high-quality and aggressive representation across the country to motorcyclists who have been injured and the families of motorcyclists who have died due to accidents caused by the negligence of others. If you or one of your family members has been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact The Motorcycle Injury Firm for experienced and dedicated assistance with your motorcycle-injury case.