Lane splitting is when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of moving or stopped vehicles, on divided or undivided streets, highways, or roads. It has been legal for motorcyclists to split lanes in California since January 2017. Yet, some drivers of cars and trucks intentionally block lanes so motorcycles can’t get through, or engage in other reckless driving behaviors to impede a motorcycle. According to California Highway Patrol (CHP), engaging in such driving practices is dangerous and illegal:
“Drivers of cars and trucks have responsibilities too. It’s illegal to intentionally block or impede a motorcyclist, including by opening a vehicle door…”
In an effort to reduce the risk of collisions between automobiles and motorcycles, CHP created a tip sheet for safely sharing the road. While not a guarantee of keeping riders and drivers safe, they provide cautionary measures that drivers should be taking to avoid a lane splitting-related accident.
Important lane splitting tips:
- Consider the whole environment when lane splitting (including size of vehicles surrounding motorcycle, size of lanes, weather, and lighting conditions)
- Be aware of increased dangers when traveling at higher speeds
- Be aware of speed increases overall
- Recognize that it’s safer to split far left lanes than any other traffic lanes
- Avoid riding on the shoulder, as it is illegal and not considered lane splitting
- Make yourself visible (avoid blind spots of other vehicles or lingering between lanes)
- Wear brightly colored/reflective protective gear
- Use high beams while driving during the day
To read the full Los Angeles Times article on the subject of lane splitting safety, follow this link.
Contact Del Rio & Caraway, P.C.
If you are a motorcyclist in the Sacramento area and have recently been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact our firm today. We are experienced injury attorneys who can help you seek full monetary compensation for your medical bills, as well as for any pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident.
Call our firm today at (916) 229-6755 or contact us online for a case evaluation.