The controversial practice of motorcycle lane splitting is only legal in one state – California. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has been a long-standing unofficial supporter of the practice and was recently tasked with creating the guidelines for the safe practice of legally “white-lining,” after the state legislature and Governor signed off on legislation that allowed it.
Lane splitting is the practice of taking a motorcycle down the middle line in between a row of parked or slowly moving cars.
Lane splitting has been endorsed by the American Motorcyclist Association and the Motorcycle Industry Council. Studies have shown the practice if used in moderation, is safe. So why did a bill to legalize the practice die in the Nevada Senate a few years ago? Who’s really at risk – and at fault – if a motorcycle ride chooses to lane split, and someone is injured?
Becoming the Meat of the Sandwich
In European nations, lane splitting is a frequent occurrence. The practice came about because if you’re on the receiving end of a rear end accident on a motorcycle, you are in big trouble. Motorcyclists use lane splitting to take themselves out of a line of stop and go traffic. Getting to the head of a long line of cars allows motorcyclists to move forward into a safe position where they can easily be seen.
While many motorcyclists advocate the practice, many others do not, citing some of the same safety concerns that motorists do. The key, according to the CHP is to go no more than 10 mph over the speed of the rest of the traffic.
In fact, the CHP issued guidelines to make the practice safer. Still, as of this writing, California remains the only state in the nation where you can lane split. But you have to follow CHP guidelines, or you’ll be in violation of the rules.
Las Vegas Accident Attorney — Lane Splitting in Nevada
Interestingly, the legality of lane splitting is kind of up in the air in most states. That’s because most states don’t specifically prohibit it; but if you try it, you definitely will run the risk of a ticket.
In any case, the experienced biker really should only practice lane splitting. Lane splitting is a risky maneuver because of your close proximity to the cars on either side of you. Lane splitting is, in effect, threading a needle. If you’re lane splitting in Nevada and the unthinkable happens, you will likely be held responsible for the accident. However, if the biker could show that the automobile driver was engaging in risky behavior, or was distracted by a cell phone, you may have fodder for a personal injury case.
If you are in an accident, whether it’s a lane splitting incident or due to some other issue, consider calling the experienced Las Vegas accident and injury lawyers at Thunder Law. We’ve helped hundreds of riders and bikers win liability claims. We offer a free consultation to find out more. Contact us today.