Lane splitting is a practice that involves a motorcyclist driving between two lanes of traffic that is at a standstill or moving very slowly. Due to their relatively small size, the bikes are able to weave in and out of traffic, allowing drivers to get places much faster. Despite the fact that it is outlawed in Florida, many Fort Lauderdale motorcyclists engage in lane splitting which endangers not only the rider but fellow commuters as well.
While convenient for motorcyclists, line splitting presents an avoidable hazard to passenger vehicle drivers. Not to mention, the mere fact that a motorcyclist gets to avoid rush hour traffic simply because their vehicles are smaller is inherently unfair which can breed resentment toward all motorcyclists. Join us as we explore the legality lane splitting and how one small miscalculation can have devastating effects.
Is Lane Splitting Legal?
In Florida, no one may deprive another driver the full use of their lane. Therefore, a motorcyclist that passes or causes disruption to another vehicle is committing a traffic violation and may be pulled over. However, in Florida, two motorcyclists may legally ride in the same lane. When two bikes lane share, it is distinctly different from splitting the road with a car but can still be dangerous. Motorcyclists who share lanes should do so in a staggered formation to avoid a possible collision from one driver drifting one way or another in the lane.
Why Lane Splitting Is Dangerous
As motorcycles are smaller than cars, they’re more difficult to see on the road. Reduced visibility makes it more difficult for a driver to avoid a potential collision. The chances of an accident occurring skyrocket when a motorcyclist weaves in and out of lanes at high speeds while getting dangerously close to other vehicles. Accidents often happen when a motorcyclist is in a car’s blind spot and the driver attempts to turn or change lanes.
Motorcyclists involved in an accident are more likely to be seriously injured in comparison to passenger vehicle occupants. As lane splitting is highly dangerous and illegal, any responsible motorcyclist should avoid doing it.
Determining Liability in Case of an Accident
Florida outlaws lane splitting, so motorcyclists who engage in this practice will be found at fault if an accident occurs and responsible for the resulting damages. However, there are also cases when a motorcyclists splitting lanes isn’t the only liable party in an accident as the other driver was partaking in practices that are more negligent. An example would be a driver that was speeding while texting on a mobile phone. In such a case, the motorcyclist may be able to claim damages from the other driver.
Legal Help from a Seasoned Motorcycle Accident Attorney
While possible, recovering compensation for accident-related damages can prove extremely difficult without the legal help of a seasoned personal injury lawyer. The Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyers at Salpeter Gitkin, LLP have numerous years of experience pursuing compensation on the behalf of accident victims and can do the same for you. Contact us today at (954) 467-8622 for a free case evaluation.