California Lane Splitting Law

Is lane splitting legal in California? Read this article to learn about California s lane splitting law how it can affect a motorcycle accident claim

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Is Lane Splitting Legal in California?

If you ride a motorcycle in California, you can legally ride on the dotted line between two lanes on a highway with two or more lanes traveling in the same direction. This is known as lane splitting, which is legal in the state of California. In August 2016, California was the first state in the United States to enact legislation codifying lane splitting (a.k.a. lane sharing) in its vehicle code. Additionally, it was the first jurisdiction to repeal language in the statute prohibiting lane splitting.
motorcycle accident lane splitting

Why Was California the First State to Legalize Lane Splitting?

California removed wording from its traffic laws barring motorcycle riders from riding on the line between lanes, largely in response to a UC Berkeley report. While California legally did not legalize lane splitting, it repealed the prohibition, rendering the state neutral on the matter. Lane splitting is now neither legal nor illegal in California. The Berkeley report examined almost 1,000 lane splitting collisions and found that lane splitting is relatively stable when performed at a pace no greater than 15 miles per hour above the speed of nearby automobiles. The next year, California passed legislation allowing motorcycle riders to lane split.
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Is Lane Splitting Safe Practice?

The controversy about lane splitting’s protection is what has kept other states from pursuing California’s lead so far. While the UC Berkeley report is the most detailed of its kind and found that lane splitting is comparatively secure when conducted prudently, legislators in other states have repeatedly voted down legislation authorizing this activity. Motorcycle lane splitting opponents argue that it increases the chance of sideswipe, merge, and lane change collisions. Many in favor of lane splitting argue that it will help alleviate road congestion and avoid deadly motorcycle rear-end accidents.
If you want to split lanes in California as a motorcycle rider, do so responsibly. While the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) removed its original lane-splitting recommendations due to a lack of official regulations, the guidelines will still assist a motorcycle rider in safely lane splitting. The rules specified that you could not exceed the speed limit of surrounding traffic by more than ten miles per hour. According to the Berkeley report, the speed difference between the motorcycle and nearby traffic was the primary predictor of serious injuries. Additionally, the DMV cautioned against lane splitting while oncoming traffic is going 30 miles per hour or higher. There are exemplary general rules for lane splitting to ensure the best possible journey.

Lane Splitting: Does it Impact Motorcycle Accident Claims?

Yes, lane splitting as a motorcycle rider can have an impact on how the courts in California treat a similar accident lawsuits. California is a state that is entirely based on comparative negligence. During a motorcycle accident claim, the claimant (at-fault party) has the right to allege comparative fault for the plaintiff’s (injured party’s) injury. When the courts determine that there is sufficient reason to give the complainant a portion of blame for the crash, the plaintiff will receive a diminished recovery award. The courts will exclude the plaintiff’s percentage of blame from the claim’s worth.
If you are involved in a motorcycle crash when lane splitting safely and prudently, you do not share any responsibility for the accident. If the claimant, on the other hand, should establish that you were driving, weaving through vehicles, or riding recklessly, he or she will be able to persuade the courts that you were partly to blame for the wreck. In this scenario, you will get less money than you would have received in the absence of the injury. Fifteen percent blame for a lane-splitting accident, for example, will result in a 15% reduction in the compensatory award. If you are involved in a lane-splitting crash, it is important to consult with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer. A lawyer will assist you in maximizing your recovery regardless of whether you were lane splitting in California.

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