Is Lane-Splitting Safe in California?
Posted on behalf of Arnold Law Firm on Dec 10, 2014 in Motorcycle Accidents
In California, most motorcycle riders, nearly 40%, use their bikes only on the weekends for recreation. Nearly 38 percent use their bikes for both a daily commute and weekend recreational activities.
Lane-splitting or lane-sharing, which occurs when motorcyclists drive in between lanes in order to bypass traffic, is a frequent, though somewhat dangerous, occurrence. In a traffic study commissioned by the California Office of Traffic Safety, more than 70 percent of motorcycle riders drive in between lanes, including on the freeways and multiple-lane roads at all speeds.
In California, lane-splitting is neither explicitly permitted nor specifically prohibited. Technically, a motorcyclist who successfully passes using lane-sharing violates no traffic laws. California is the only state in America that allows motorcyclists to share lanes.
However, if an accident were to occur, the circumstances of both the rider and the drivers would determine who is actually at fault. Motorcyclists are required to drive safely and respect all traffic laws. Additionally, drivers in California should not try to block or impede a motorcyclists who is engaging in lane-splitting.
There have been several attempts to regulate motorcycle riders in California by placing speed restrictions on when they can weave in-and-out of traffic. All those initiatives have failed. For now, motorcycle riders can and should use their best judgment in all cases.
When both riders and drivers act in a prudent and responsible manner, motorcyclists can share lanes with cars in a safe manner.
Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a negligent driver who failed to respect the traffic laws, contact the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Arnold Law Firm.
Call (916) 924-3100 or fill out the free Case Evaluation form.