Is Lane Splitting Safe?
In California, riding a motorcycle in the same lane as a car next to it, is legal. This technique is called “lane splitting.” California law allows lane splitting because of the heavy traffic on the highways that leads to congestion. A motorcycle may pass a slower vehicle using the same lane at a reasonable speed if it is safe. Here are some extra precautions to take.
Suddenly Opening Car Doors
Even though it is not illegal, there are extra hazards for a motorcycle using this technique to pass another vehicle. In stop-and-go traffic, there is some risk that a passenger in a stopped vehicle may suddenly open the car door without warning.
This danger is similar to the risk when a motorcycle passes a parked car. However, it is more dangerous when lane splitting because there is usually no place to go if a door opens since there is another car stopped next to the one with an open door.
Abrupt Lane Changes
In congested traffic, a vehicle may not have much time to make a lane change. If there is an opening that makes the lane change possible, a car may suddenly lurch forward to take advantage of the opening. A collision may happen if a motorcycle rider is passing at that moment.
If a motorcycle is passing another vehicle and the vehicle’s driver does not see the motorcycle, a sudden lane change may cause an accident.
On some roads, debris may collect in the space that is not normally touched by the tires of the vehicles that pass by. Small rocks may collect in this area, which makes it a hazard for a motorcycle rider. There may be potholes to avoid and other things that cause a vehicle to swerve into the path of a passing motorcycle.
If the driving conditions include bad weather, the vehicles may slip on ice or hydroplane on rainy surfaces. Tires may throw mud or splash water in the direction of a motorcycle passing.
Driving at Night
Riding a motorcycle during the day is dangerous. However, the danger increases when riding at night. When visibility is low, it is wise to take a more cautious approach and, if possible, avoid lane splitting at night.
What To Do If You Have an Accident
Do not talk to anyone about the accident until you speak with your attorney, especially an insurance adjuster. Do not post anything about the accident on social media.
If you follow this sound advice, your attorney will be better able to represent you and protect your rights. If the attorney decides to take on your case for personal injuries, you do not pay anything unless a settlement or judgment is obtained, and then only a portion of the proceeds.