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Why lane-splitting motorcyclists can be dangerous to drivers

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

If you’re like most responsible California drivers, you’re always careful to give motorcyclists plenty of room because you know how devastating a crash can be for them. However, motorcyclists can easily startle an unsuspecting driver and cause them to veer into another lane or a guardrail and have a collision that doesn’t even directly involve them. 

A unique California law – or perhaps it’s better referred to as the absence of a law – allows motorcyclists to “lane split.” The California Vehicle Code (CVC) defines lane splitting as “driving a motorcycle…between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane….” 

There are advantages to lane splitting. It can keep motorcyclists moving even in stalled traffic. That can help lessen traffic congestion for drivers. However, motorcyclists need to know when it’s safe to lane split and when it’s not – and to be careful when they do it.

Speeding and lane splitting don’t mix

Even though it’s not in itself illegal, if a motorcyclist is doing it irresponsibly, they can be cited. More importantly, they can cause a serious crash. Speeding is one of the most dangerous things drivers can do while lane splitting. Further, motorcyclists always need to be sure that the drivers around them see them before they move into their lane or pass them. 

If you’ve been injured in a crash caused by a reckless or negligent motorcyclist – whether they were lane splitting or not – you have the right to hold them responsible for medical bills and other financial losses and damages. With legal guidance, you can help ensure that you protect your rights and get the maximum possible settlement.