If you have been involved in a lane-splitting motorcycle accident, it would be ideal to seek legal help immediately. The lane-splitting law can be confusing or misunderstood entirely, so it’s vital to know your rights and learn about the expectations you have following an accident. At the Grossman Law Offices, we offer experienced legal representation to motorcycle lane-splitting victims injured by someone else’s negligent behavior.
California Motorcycle Lane Splitting Laws
Lane splitting became legal in California in August of 2016. California is currently the sole state in the United States that allows lane splitting. Recent studies show that motorcycle lane-splitting is a safer way to drive while considerably reducing traffic and avoiding accidents. However, high speeds and unsafe road conditions may pose a greater danger to those who choose to lane split.
The United States Department of Transportation showed that approximately 111,000 motorcyclists were involved in motorcycle accidents in 2019. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, around 87% of motorcyclists engage in lane-splitting in the state. Still, only 53% of them knew that lane splitting is legal.
Although lane splitting is legal under the law, there are still some restrictions and tips. For instance, riding on the shoulder of a freeway or road is illegal. Also, it would be best not to share the lanes with large vehicles such as semi-trucks or trucks. When considering lane splitting, think about the lighting conditions, weather, and width of the lanes. If there’s poor weather, don’t split lanes as it might be too dangerous.
How to Safely Cross Between Lanes on California Roads and Freeways
The California Highway Patrol has guidelines on how to travel between lanes of traffic on busy freeways safely. Some suggestions include:
- Ride your motorcycle at a speed no greater than ten mph faster than surrounding traffic
- Do not split lines if the traffic’s flow reaches 30 mph.
- Split between lanes one and two, as it is much safer
- Do not split lanes with multiple bikers
- Do not divide travel off ramps or on ramps
- Always consider the condition of your motorcycle
- Consider all the roadway conditions before lane splitting (from weather conditions to light conditions, space, and construction equipment)
Ultimately, the California Highway Patrol recommends the four R’s as a general rule of thumb, namely: reasonableness (prudence of caution), responsibility, respectfulness, and roadways (being aware of your surrounding).
What Happens If You’re Involved in a Motorcycle Accident while Lane-Splitting?
Lane splitting has become an appealing option for motorcyclists who are looking to cut through the gridlock. Just because it is legal to split lanes does not mean you cannot be responsible for negligence. If you are a motorcycle rider who got injured riding between lanes in California, you may have some liability. As California is a comparative fault state, your compensation will be reduced depending on what percentage you’ve contributed to the accident.
A driver is also responsible for checking their mirrors before changing lanes. Still, an imprudent lane split can drastically reduce the monetary compensation of your bodily injury claim. Some factors may help you in a legal lane-splitting case, including:
- You were not speeding
- You were driving carefully and not in and out of lanes or between cars
- You can prove that you have years of experience riding a motorcycle
Separately, if the other driver was speeding, changing lanes abruptly, or talking on the phone, you may have a solid case. If you have been involved in a motorcycle lane splitting accident in Fresno or anywhere in California, contact the personal injury attorneys at Grossman Law Offices. Our personal injury attorneys can provide the legal representation you need to seek damages you’re owed.
Why Seeking Help from a Lawyer is Your Best Bet?
Unfortunately, if you have been injured in a Fresno motorcycle accident, you will most likely experience life-changing consequences. Your entire life can be turned upside down in an instant. That’s why you should consider hiring an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to help you get back on your feet as soon as possible.
It may be difficult to navigate a complex motorcycle accident case by yourself while trying to focus on recovering from your injuries. But you do not have to fight on your own. At Grossman Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the legal system, prove liability on the part of the responsible parties, and obtain the monetary compensation you need to return to your life. Contact a Fresno motorcycle accident lawyer today to learn about your options.