Motorcycle Lane Splitting In California: Here’s How You Can Make It Safer To Avoid Accidents

June 1, 2018
On behalf of The Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg Posted in Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle lane splitting is one of the most controversial and debatable practices on roads and highways in the United States. And while all other states in our country have banned the practice of lane splitting, arguing that it caused more motorcycle accidents, California remains the only state that has made lane splitting legal.

Even though lane splitting, also known as white lining, lane sharing, or filtering, is legal under California’s Vehicle Code, in no way does it mean that motorcycle accident caused by this practice does not occur in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California?

In fact, lane splitting, which is the practice of driving a motorcycle between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, is responsible for many motorcycle accidents all across California, largely because motorcycle riders fail to split lanes safely and carefully.

Here at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg, our best motorcycle accident lawyers in California are committed to making the roads and highways of the Golden State safer and less dangerous, which is why we asked our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney to outline the safety guidelines for motorcyclists to reduce the risk of collisions caused by lane splitting.

  • When lane splitting, travel at a speed that does not exceed 10 mph faster than stopped or moving traffic: One of the most common reasons why motorists cannot see lane-splitting motorcyclists is because they are moving at high speeds. Moving at a slower speed will not only allow other drivers to notice you before you enter their lane but will also allow you to stay alert and be able to react to any hazards along the way.
  • If moving at 30 mph or faster, avoid splitting lanes altogether: Some motorcyclists in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California are tempted to lane split to get that shot of adrenaline or simply reach their destination faster even when the traffic is moving at higher speeds. By splitting lanes at 30 mph or faster, you significantly increase the risk of being struck by other vehicles on the road or highway.
  • Avoid splitting lanes near freeway exits and turns: Other vehicles are more prone to making sudden lane changes when they are moving near freeway exits, turns, and off-ramps.
  • Be aware of your surroundings; do not split if you cannot fit: It is generally safe to lane split when the width of the lane allows you to comfortably ride your motorcycle between other vehicles. When lane splitting, it is important to take into account not just the width of the lane, but also the size of the surrounding vehicles as well as the size of the road or highway as a whole. Such factors as weather, road and lighting conditions must also be taken into account to pass safely without causing motorcycle accidents.
  • Do not split on unfamiliar roads: A rule of thumb is that if you are riding on an unfamiliar road or highway, avoid splitting lanes altogether, as you may not be aware of potential dangers along the way.
  • Make yourself visible to others: No, that does not mean screaming, waving at other motorists, or raising your arms. In fact, do not take your hands off the handlebars. Using daylight and wearing bright colors will suffice to let others see you from far away.
  • Assess the risks: “Assessing the risks is one of the best things you can do when lane splitting to avoid collisions,” says our experienced motorcycle crash attorney in Los Angeles. Expect possible sudden movements by other motorists and stay away from reckless, distracted, inattentive, and impaired drivers.
  • Avoid lane splitting in blind spots: Period. Your motorcycle must be clearly visible to other motorists in their side- and rear-view mirrors before attempting to split lanes.

By adhering to these simple safety rules, you can significantly reduce the risk of colliding with other motorists when splitting lanes. If you have been in an accident, get a free consultation from our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg. Call our offices at 310-997-0904 or complete this contact form.


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