California State imposes stringent traffic laws and some of the laws are specific to the state. Legalization of lane splitting stands as the best example of the specific nature of California traffic laws, because lane splitting has not been legalized in other states.
When motorcyclists split lanes, they are allowed to pass between the cars and shift to a new lane within no time. Lane splitting is also known as “stripe riding” or “white lining” and the move lowers the commute time of the riders especially during peak traffic hours.
Riders claim that lane splitting can contribute to reducing the traffic congestion because bicyclists are allowed to move forward with greater freedom.
Liability In A Motorcycle Lane Splitting Accident
As lane splitting was illegal for so many years, it still remains a controversial subject among many California drivers. Multiple factors involved can often make the task of proving liability in lane splitting accidents quite complicated, although some instances like the ones given below appear straightforward.
- A passenger vehicle driver will be held liable for the accident if they hit a motorcyclist who was splitting the lanes safely.
- A motorcyclist is at fault for the accident and hence can be held liable if they split the lanes in an unsafe manner.
If you undergo an injury due to a lane splitting, accident, get the help of an attorney for accidents to prove the liability and move ahead with legal proceedings necessary to get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting Laws In California
California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 51 on August 19, 2016 making lane splitting officially legal in the state. The authority responsible for providing lane-splitting guidelines is the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Although the law has legalized lane splitting, the riders are encouraged to be extremely cautious while they ride in between the lanes.
Safe Lane Splitting Practices
- Motorcyclists should not drive at speeds more than 10 miles per hour faster than the other vehicles.
- Avoid lane splitting when the traffic is moving at speeds equal to 30 miles per hour or more.
- Splitting lanes farthest to the left is relatively safer than splitting other lanes.
- Stay alert and always anticipate moves that can be made by other motorcyclists.
Keep yourself reminded to use utmost caution when you split lanes in traffic lest your action will lead to a fatal accident causing fatal injuries to you or another party.