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Everything You Need to Know About Lane Splitting in California

If you have driven on California roads and freeways, you surely have witnessed a motorcyclist “lane splitting.” While the ability to drive between lanes can help motorcyclists better maneuver through traffic, it can be dangerous if executed incorrectly. Motorcycles lack a steel frame, airbags, and other safety features that cars possess, so motorcycle accidents can cause severe and often deadly injuries. If you suffered an injury while lane-splitting in California, it is essential to understand the laws surrounding lane-splitting and how they may impact your claim for compensation. 

At Benchmark Injury Law, our personal injury attorney, Shaun Phillips, is dedicated to providing a personalized, values-based approach to every case. Our experienced team understands the complexities of California motorcycle accidents and is ready to fight for justice on your behalf. When we take your case, you can rest assured that your claim is in compassionate and capable hands. 

Is Lane Splitting Legal in California?

Unlike many states, lane splitting is legal in California. According to a study by UC Berkeley, lane splitting, or riding between lanes on a motorcycle, can be relatively safe in traffic traveling at less than 50 mph. Additionally, lane-splitting bikers should not exceed 15 mph over the speed of the motorists around them. 

While lane splitting is not prohibited in California, it can still be hazardous, depending on the situation. If you have been injured in a lane-splitting accident, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will review every detail of your case and explain how California’s lane-splitting laws apply to your claim. 

How Can Lane Splitting Affect My Motorcycle Accident Claim?

Despite being legal, lane splitting can cause accidents if done irresponsibly or without the proper regard for surrounding traffic. If motorcyclists are unaware of their surroundings or engage in reckless driving, they may cause serious harm to themselves or others. A motorcyclist may be at fault for the accident if they split lanes in any of the following situations:

  • In especially narrow spaces
  • Near or at a toll booth
  • When traffic is moving at over 50 mph
  • When traffic is moving unpredictably
  • When road hazards such as inclement weather or construction are present
  • In between trucks or busses
  • On curved roadways
  • When the biker is distracted

It is essential to note that you can still pursue compensation for your injuries even if you bear some fault for your accident. California is a comparative negligence state. In other words, compensation is determined based on the level of fault each party bears for the accident. For example, if someone who acted negligently by splitting lanes carries 40% of the responsibility for the accident, they would still be eligible to recover 60% of the available compensation for their claim. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will analyze every aspect of your case to determine who is at fault as well as the amount of compensation you may be eligible to recover. 

Discuss Your Case With a Knowledgeable Motorcycle Accident Attorney at Benchmark Injury Law 

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Irvine, California, you do not have to fight for justice alone. The trusted team of personal injury attorneys and case managers at Benchmark Injury Law is committed to providing top-notch legal services to our clients in Irvine and the surrounding areas. Our team prioritizes our client’s unique needs as we fight aggressively for their rights and interests. We aim to provide you with the support and resources you need to heal and recover. 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with a member of our talented legal team, call us today at (949) 504-9031 or complete our contact form.

We Care. We Fight. We Succeed.

Have you been injured? We can help.