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Lanesplitting and Motorcycle Accidents: Understanding the Link

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2016 | Auto Accidents, Firm News, Personal Injury Law

The attorneys of Bowles & Verna know that motorcyclists are far more vulnerable than other motorists on the road. When you or a loved one has been harmed in a motorcycle accident, you can count on the lawyers at our Walnut Creek personal injury law firm to offer strong legal respresentation.

There are different causes of motorcycle accidents to consider. Risky behaviors and reckless driving can play a roll in some collisions. Lanesplitting is one potentially risky maneuver that is unique in the state of California. Let’s cover the basics of lanesplitting and offer some insight for motorcyclists out there.

What is Lanesplitting?

Lanesplitting refers to the practice of motorcyclists driving along the line that divides two separate lanes on the road. This may be done while adjacent vehicles are moving at normal speed or while adjacent vehicles are stopped while in traffic. You may see lanesplitting on residential or city streets as well as on highways.

Is Lanespitting Legal in California?


Lanesplitting may seem dangerous, but it is still legal in California. In fact, California is the only state in the country that legally allows lanesplitting to be done. All other states in the nation strictly prohibit the practice of lanesplitting, even when people are caught in traffic.

While lanesplitting may be legal in our state, it’s not necessarily a good idea. To put it another way, just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should do it.

The Dangers of Lanesplitting with Other Vehicles in Motion

When driving in between vehicles, you can place yourself and others at risk. For one, driving between lanes is likely to put you in the blind spot of cars and trucks. If a driver cannot see you, you run a greater risk of being hit.

In addition, it’s possible for motorcyclists to be pinched between two vehicles, or perhaps clipped while trying to overtake a vehicle, which can lead to disastrous injuries.

At high speeds, the risk of injury while lanesplitting increases. This is to be expected just given the narrow space between the vehicles and the way that speed can cause issues with control and maneuverability.

The Dangers of Lanesplitting in Heavy Traffic

Even when caught in traffic, lanesplitting can be potentially dangerous. In slow or standstill traffic, it’s possible for motorcyclists to hit their arms or shoulders on side mirrors of nearby vehicles.

If a car or truck suddenly attempts to merge and doesn’t notice the motorcyclist approaching, this can lead to serious harm. The same is true of motorists in standstill traffic opening their door to stretch.

Be a Responsible Motorcyclist

When you’re on your motorcycle, it’s important to be safe, be smart, and avoid risky behaviors. Use some common sense on the road, and avoid lanesplitting when the situation seems dangerous. Only travel between vehicles when you know that other motorists see you and that you will not be injured.

How Our Attorneys Can Help

If you or someone you love has been involved in a major auto collision that resulted in serious harm, we can help you seek damages against the negligent party. These damages can help cover vehicle damage, medical expenses, and even funerary costs in the case of a fatal accident. We will fight diligently for you every step of the way.

Learn More About Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries

To learn more about your legal rights and options following serious injuries while on the road, be sure to contact our team of experienced accident and injury attorneys today. The legal team at Bowles & Verna are here to help you in your time of legal need.