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Lane Splitting Safety, Stipulations, and Risks

MotorcyclistsAlthough lane splitting is a common practice among motorcyclists, nationwide, California is currently the only state that explicitly permits it in their laws. On the one hand, this provides additional protection to riders who are hit by a distracted driver while lane splitting. On the other, the practice can increase the risk of death or injury to the rider. Learn more about your rights as a motorcyclist, including your right to pursue compensation for any injuries you may experience during a crash, with help from the following information.

What is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is when a motorcycle moves between two lanes of traffic. It can be done while traffic is moving, or when traffic is stopped. Many riders use the maneuver while riding in groups, but it can also be used to place a buffer between the rider and other drivers. An example would be lane splitting while stopped at a traffic light, which may reduce the rider’s risk of being hit from behind by an inattentive driver. Unfortunately, lane splitting does also come with risks.

Understanding the Risk

Although it is a legal maneuver, lane splitting does come with several risks. For example, lane splitting in moving traffic can place the rider at risk of being cut off by a driver changing lanes. Another potential issue is if the rider is sitting at a stoplight and is not seen by one of the drivers on either side of them; it can limit the rider’s visibility once traffic starts moving. It can also be difficult for the rider to find their way back into regular traffic, should they foresee a safety issue up ahead. As such, riders who lane split should do so with great care.

Safety Precautions

If you choose to lane split, watch closely for opening doors of parked cars, as this can result in injury to both yourself and others. It is also recommended that you avoid lane splitting in fast-moving traffic. Lastly, always ensure you are keeping an eye on the drivers around you. Add extra distance between yourself and any driver that appears to be distracted or is behaving erratically.

Your Right to Pursue Compensation

Motorcyclists are frequently blamed for crashes, even when they ride within the limits of the law. They are also at an increased risk for serious injury. If one has happened to you or someone you love, contact Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP for assistance. Our San Jose motorcycle accident lawyers can protect your rights and best interests, and we will aggressively pursue the compensation that you deserve. Schedule your consultation by calling (408) 289-1417 today.

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