What is Lane Splitting?

“Lane splitting” is a maneuver that motorcycles can perform where they drive forward in the space between two other vehicles.  Lane splitting is usually done in traffic.  While cars are stopped for traffic, the motorcycle continues to move forward between the stopped cars.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in California?

In many states Lane Splitting is NOT legal.  In California however, lane splitting is legal.  If you are like me, you are going to want to see some authority for that statement.  According the the California DMV website:

“Motorcycles may travel faster than traffic during congested road conditions and can legally travel in the unused space between two lines of moving or stationary vehicles, which is commonly called “lane splitting.”

However, just because lane splitting is legal, does not mean that it is always safe to do so.  Remember, as a motorcyclist, you always have the duty to drive safely.

While it may be legal to split lanes in your motorcycle, if you are doing so in an unsafe way, or at an unsafe speed you could still get ticketed for reckless driving, unsafe lane changing, or many other citations.  If you cause an accident, you can still get sued.

What Should I Do If I Am Involved in a Motorcycle Accident While Lane Splitting?

Who is at fault in a motorcycle accident depends on the specific facts of each circumstance.  If you were splitting lanes and got into a motorcycle accident, the investigating police officer may place you at fault, even if it is not your fault.  Your best bet is to contact a good personal injury lawyer if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, especially while splitting lanes.

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident in the Sacramento area, feel free to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer Noah Schwinghamer for a free consultation.

This article is not legal advice.  Laws are subject to change over time, and you should always do you own research or consult with an attorney when making a legal decision.

About the author

NFS Esq. Noah Schwinghamer is a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento, CA.

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