Riding a motorcycle can be very freeing, but it’s also, unfortunately, dangerous. One of the biggest factors in motorcycle accidents is lane splitting. This happens when a motorcycle travels between two lanes and other vehicles, something that riders commonly do when traffic is heavier. Lane splitting is a dangerous habit that can result in a serious accident and devastating injuries.
Is Lane Splitting Legal?
Lane splitting is illegal in every state except for California. At the same time, many police officers and courts see it as unlawful due to the danger it can pose to the motorcycle rider and everyone else around them. The state also requires that lane splitting be done only safely and prudently. The practice can still easily lead to an accident even when the rider is cautious. Police officers and judges may have a completely different view on how a motorcycle rider can safely or prudently maneuver while lane splitting.
If you have been injured in an accident due to motorcycle lane splitting and need help, you can speak with a personal injury attorney Newport Beach based.
Who is Liable for Accidents While Lane Splitting?
The practice of lane splitting greatly increases the odds for a motorcycle accident to occur. This is due to the close proximity the motorcycle is in to other cars and having to reduce speed in order to maneuver between them. Additionally, drivers of other vehicles often do not anticipate a motorcycle suddenly appearing between lanes while traffic is either slowed or stopped.
In most cases, if an accident happens after a motorcycle has been lane splitting, fault for the accident will lie on the motorcycle rider. If an insurance company or court has evidence that the rider acted in a careless or reckless manner, they will view the rider as being at fault and, therefore, liable. As a result, the motorcycle rider would not be able to recover compensation for any damages they suffer.
Regardless, it’s wise to retain the best motorcycle accident attorney Newport Beach has if you are involved in a motorcycle accident.
In some cases, the motorcycle rider may be able to prove that the driver of a vehicle was responsible or at least partially so for the accident. If they can do this, they can recover full or at least partial compensation for their medical expenses, ongoing treatment, lost wages and other damages. For instance, if the driver was texting while behind the wheel and distracted, the motorcycle rider would have just cause to file a claim. Certain factors can help to prove the claim as well, including the following:
- The motorcycle rider was being careful and traveling at a slow speed while not weaving in and out of lanes
- The motorcycle rider is experienced in riding
- The motorcycle rider completed a course on motorcycle riding or motorcycle safety
- The other driver did something more dangerous than lane splitting, such as drifting from lane to lane or failing to signal when switching lanes
As an injured motorcycle rider, it’s important to see your Newport Beach motorcycle injury lawyer with the right evidence in tow. A copy of the police accident report and statements from witnesses who saw the accident are absolutely essential. It helps to strengthen your claim and backs up your account of the circumstances of your case.
How Can You Remain Safe While Lane Splitting on a Motorcycle?
Unfortunately, it is very common for motorcycle riders to become injured in a motorcycle crash. Due to the inherent danger of lane splitting, it’s important to know how to do it as safely as possible so you can lower your risk of getting into an accident. Even if you do end up in a motorcycle accident, when you take precautions while lane splitting, you will have the evidence on your side to clearly show that you were riding in a safe manner and that the accident was not your fault. Your insurance company or a judge will see that you were behaving in a safe way and that it was the other driver who was responsible and liable for the crash.
You should always seek legal help for motorcycle accidents. However, you can take certain safety precautions to prevent a potential crash from occurring. The following things can help to keep you safer while lane splitting on your motorcycle:
- Remain fully alert at all times and be aware of all the cars and other vehicles around you
- Use your headlights on and always wear reflective clothing while on your motorcycle
- Always ride with utmost caution into the area where you want to lane split and wait until both lanes of vehicles have reduced their speed and are traveling slowly at the same speed. If one lane of traffic is moving faster than the other, it can easily result in cars abruptly switching lanes, which can lead to a potential crash involving your motorcycle
- Always remember that regular cars have certain blind spots. This means the driver may not see you depending on your specific location. Be especially careful when you enter a car’s blind spot
- Travel at a slightly faster speed than that of traffic, but avoid going too fast. This is especially important when you are moving past cars that are stopped or moving very slowly
- Always be alert and look for signs that a car may be about to change lanes, such as signals or the driver looking over their shoulder, into the rearview or side mirrors
- If cars suddenly get too close to each other, you should honk and wait until there is a safe enough distance between them for you to pass on your motorcycle
- Get back into a lane once the traffic speeds back up to around 30 miles per hour
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash in California, time is of the essence. If you need an injury attorney Newport Beach has exactly what you need. The best motorcycle accident attorney Newport Beach has to offer will counsel you on the best course of action for your case. Your Newport Beach motorcycle injury lawyer will fight to get you the best possible compensation for your damages. Legal help for motorcycle accidents will ensure that your rights are protected.