motorcyclist on the road

Why is California the Only State That Allows Lane-Splitting?

California has some of the heaviest traffic congestion in the country. California has attempted to alleviate this congestion by allowing lane splitting for motorcycles and bikes. Lane splitting refers to driving between lanes or sharing a lane with another vehicle when there is congestion. However, lane splitting can sometimes cause accidents. If you have been injured in a lane-splitting accident, contact our California motorcycle accident attorney today for help.

Is Lane Splitting Safe?

Many motorists feel that lane splitting is not only nerve-wracking but also unsafe. Motorcyclists and bicyclists are not as easy to spot on the road. They can zip by quickly, often surprising other drivers. However, when done correctly, studies have concluded that lane splitting is safe.

Much has changed since lane splitting became legal. In particular, post-pandemic policies that have encouraged the building of more housing closer together have caused more people to be on the road. Many Californians believe the streets are more congested than ever before. 

These changes to our roadways make motorcycles and bikes sharing already heavily restricted space even more difficult than before. Furthermore, many drivers do not have enough training or experience to deal with these conditions. As a result, accidents can occur. But, you can take steps to keep you and your loved ones safe.

How to Stay Safe

It looks like, for the time being, lane splitting is here to stay. So, drivers should educate themselves on how to stay safe while driving on the roads where lane splitting is allowed. First and foremost, remember that this practice is only safe when traffic is very slow or congested.

The next thing to consider is that you should always wear proper gear. There is also special equipment and mirrors you can install on your motorcycle or bike to help keep you and others safe. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, evidence that you ride your motorcycle safely will increase your chances of not being found for the accident.

Additional safety tips include:

  • Be alert to other vehicles around you
  • Wear reflective clothing and keep your lights on
  • Avoid riding or lane splitting in another driver’s blind spot
  • When traffic speeds up, stop lane splitting
  • Do not pass when two cars are too close together, and make your presence known with a honk 
  • Take regular safety and training courses for the operation of your motorcycle or bike

Even the best drivers can get into an accident by following these safety tips. If this happens to you, seeking the advice and counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney is essential.

Speak with an Attorney Promptly

If you have been involved in a lane-splitting accident, you speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The time frame for bringing a personal injury claim in California is two years, with certain exceptions. Our California personal injury attorney understands the importance of promptly addressing your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.