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What is lane splitting?

| Mar 9, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Since motorcycles are much smaller and lighter than vehicles, they can navigate through tight spaces more easily. Some motorcyclists engage in “lane splitting” by driving around vehicles during stalled traffic. While the practice is legal in California, every other state in the U.S., including Michigan, has made lane splitting illegal.

What makes lane splitting dangerous?

Even if traffic is stalled, the cars could start to move forward at any time. If a motorcyclist drives around the other vehicles, a car could pull forward and not notice the motorcycle until it’s too late. This could result in a personal injury lawsuit for either party.

Lane splitting could also catch other motorists off guard. If a motorcycle drives around a vehicle, the motorist might hit the brakes or swerve to the side to avoid hitting the motorcyclist. As a result, they could slide off the road or crash into another vehicle. They might even hit the motorcyclist themselves if they don’t react quickly enough.

Even if they do react in time, lane splitting could provoke the motorist’s road rage. They might deliberately try to block the motorcycle, honk their horn, shout at them or engage in other behaviors that puts both drivers in danger. While each driver is ultimately responsible for their own behavior, the motorist might want to have the help of a personal injury attorney if they get into an accident. They might blame the motorcyclist for breaking the law and driving irresponsibly.

What should you do if you get into a car accident?

Most car accident lawsuits involve traditional vehicles. However, they could also involve commercial trucks, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. No matter how you choose to transport yourself, everyone has the same legal rights and responsibilities on the road.

If someone engages in illegal or reckless driving behavior, that makes everyone on the road more vulnerable, including you. An attorney might be able to help you file a lawsuit against that motorist for causing an accident. Liability can be hard to prove, but you could collect data from police reports, eyewitness accounts, surveillance camera footage, medical reports and other sources of evidence.