Lane Splitting in California: Are You or the Other Driver At Fault?


Motorcycle accidents might not be as frequent as other types of accidents, but they are most likely to result in severe results. In fact, you see these accidents end in fatalities more often than motor vehicle accidents. There are many types of accidents that end in fatalities every year such as head-on collisions with other vehicles, left-hand turns, and more. One of the types of accidents that has come to light in the past few years in California is known as lane splitting, which we want to discuss today to make you aware of dangers and who might be at fault during one of these accidents.

Lane Splitting Explained

What is lane splitting? Lane splitting occurs when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped traffic or traffic that is moving at extremely slow speeds. Many people then wonder who is at fault when a motorcycle is involved in a lane splitting accident because there are many factors involved such as whether or not it is permissible in that state, the views of the police officers involved, and the actions of the motorcyclist and the vehicle driver at the time.

One thing that you need to remember is that lane splitting is considered to be legal in California. However, they only specifically permit it if it is done safely and prudently. Police officers and judges dictate what is safe and prudent, which means that the laws are up in the air. If you have been involved in a serious accident due to lane splitting, you might wonder where you can turn and who is liable.

Who is Liable in a California Lane Splitting Accident?

Many accidents happen due to lane splitting every year because the vehicles are close to one another when they lane split. There is reduced space to maneuver, which means that a vehicle driver might not anticipate that a motorcyclist is coming up between them. This means that a vehicle could be passing at any time, causing a motorcyclist to be bumped around between cars, risking the life of the motorcyclist. Lane splitting can quickly become a dangerous scenario.

Many motorcyclists are starting to find that they are liable in many of these accidents. If a lane splitting accident occurs, the judge in your case might assume that you put yourself in a situation that could have quickly become dangerous. However, you as the motorcyclist might be able to show that the other driver contributed to the accident, which means that the rider might be adequately compensated for injuries. Perhaps you can demonstrate that the vehicle hit you when you were changing lanes or if the driver was talking on the phone at the time when they should have been paying attention to the roads around them.

As a motorcyclist, some factors will help you prove your claim. Perhaps you can show that you were not acting dangerously and instead you were riding carefully. You can also show that you are an experienced rider who has been on the road for quite some time, you have completed safety courses, or you can prove that the other driver was engaging in more serious actions.

Lane splitting can be done safely and, because of this, you should never have to experience an accident if you are obeying the rules of the road. At Selarz Law Corp., we are here for you in your time of need if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident.

Call us for more information on how we can help in your time of need at (310) 651-8685.

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