When a motorcyclist rides between lanes of slow-moving or stopped cars, lane splitting is said to occur. If a collision happens during the lane splitting process, fault depends on state law, the officer’s and judge’s opinions, and both parties’ behavior before the accident. Read on to learn more about lane splitting and its effects on motorcycle accident cases.
Lane Splitting: Is It Legal?
While most jurisdictions do not recognize the legality of lane splitting, they also don’t outlaw it. However, the courts and police often interpret it as being unlawful. In areas that allow lane splitting, it must be done in a prudent and safe manner. However, the definition of “prudent and safe” is open to interpretation by judges and law enforcement officers.
Who Is Liable for an Accident Caused by Lane Splitting?
Lane splitters are more likely to be involved in accidents due to the closeness of cars, diminished maneuverability, and the fact that drivers don’t expect other vehicles to pass them in stopped or slow traffic. If an accident happens during lane splitting, there’s a chance that the motorcyclist will be found at fault. If the court or the insurer finds that the rider’s carelessness caused the accident, that person likely won’t be able to recover damages, even with legal help. However, motorcycle accident attorneys in Waldorf, MD may be able to prove a claim with these factors:
- The fact that the motorcyclist exercised due care
- The motorcyclist’s experience
- The rider’s completion of a safety course
- The driver’s actions, such as abrupt lane changes
If possible, the injured rider should support their version of events with witness statements and a copy of the police report.
Safe Lane Splitting
If a rider decides to split lanes, they should first ensure that it’s not prohibited and then do it safely and prudently. This is the way to prevent accidents and document safe riding behaviors if a collision does occur. To increase safety, riders should:
- Always be aware of their surroundings
- Ride with headlights on
- Wear reflective gear
- Enter lane splitting areas cautiously
- Avoid drivers’ blind spots
Lane splitting can be dangerous, but it’s possible to do it safely. If a rider is injured in a lane splitting accident, they should contact us to speak with motorcycle accident attorneys in Waldorf, MD.
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