“Lane splitting” occurs when a motorcycle or bicycle tries to share a lane alongside a stopped or slowly moving car. It’s not an uncommon sight during traffic jams, where the riders on two wheels will attempt to keep moving by weaving through and around those on four wheels.
Different states treat lane splitting differently when it comes to traffic laws. Most states do not have specific laws prohibiting lane splitting, but police and judges frown on this driving action due to its dangerous nature. California explicitly allows lane splitting if done in a “safe and prudent” manner. However, what counts as “safe and prudent” often depends on the opinion of the judge or jury after an accident occurs.
Lane splitting is a major cause of motorcycle accidents, but who is at fault in a lane-splitting accident often depends on the specific factors involved in that accident. Factors that make lane splitting more dangerous include the very small space between the car and the motorcycle or bicycle, the lack of room to maneuver, and the fact that the drivers of cars typically don’t look for motorcyclists to weave past them while they’re sitting in slow or stopped traffic.
As a result, accidents that occur while splitting lanes are often blamed on the motorcyclist. However, if the motorcyclist can show that the driver of another vehicle contributed to or caused the accident, the motorcyclist may still be able to recover damages even if he or she is found to bear some of the fault for the crash.
After a lane-splitting crash, speaking to an experienced attorney who understands motorcycle accidents is essential. Your lawyer can help you anticipate legal challenges and build the strongest possible case for the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact Andrew Prince today at 1.800.TEAMLAW (1.800.832.6529) for a free and confidential consultation. We protect and fight for riders throughout New Jersey.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.