If you’ve ever been stuck in that all too familiar California traffic, you’ve probably seen motorcyclists splitting lanes. You may have even used this maneuver yourself. Lane splitting is riding between lanes on your motorcycle. This is a common practice used for beating traffic and has been legal since 2017.
Some people consider lane splitting one of the best benefits of riding a motorcycle in California. However, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean all motorcyclists are doing it safely. Lane splitting may be safer in some situations, but it can also lead to accidents. It’s important that you’re familiar with the laws regarding lane splitting in case you find yourself injured on the road.
Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean there are rules
Although lane splitting is legal in California, there aren’t many specific regulations regarding the practice. The California Highway Patrol released a list of safety guidelines to help keep motorcyclists and other drivers safe while lane splitting.
The CHP recommends that you wear bright colors to increase visibility, and avoid riding more than 15 mph faster than drivers on the road around you. The faster you ride, the more likely you are to get into an accident. Furthermore, the left lanes are the safest for lane splitting. Be sure to plan ahead and find a place to fit before you attempt to split lanes. If there’s nowhere for your motorcycle to go, you’re better off staying in traffic.
Not all drivers know the laws
Motorcycle riders enjoy the privilege of lane splitting in California, but this privilege is not without risk. Not all drivers know the laws about lane splitting, or may not be able to see motorcyclists during lane changes. This can lead to serious accidents. Additionally, motorcyclists are more likely to take the brunt of the damage in an accident with a car.
Wondering what to do after a motorcycle accident? Reach out to an experienced motorcycle law firm to see if you have a case. At Inland Empire Motorcycle Law our team is prepared to offer top quality legal advice for motorcycle riders injured in an accident. Even if you’re riding safely, there is always the chance someone else won’t be. If someone else’s mistake leads to an injury on the California highways, we are here to protect your rights.