Lane splitting (or lane sharing -- depending on your perspective) is one
of the most controversial motorcycle rider behaviors in California.
What is the law on lane splitting?
California law does NOT prohibit lane splitting. In fact, California is
the only U.S. state that allows lane splitting when done in a "safe
and prudent manner."
When is "safe and prudent" to split a lane?
As a personal injury trial attorney with over 24 years experience, I've
found lane-splitting is considered unsafe when the motorcyclist is travelling
10 mph faster than the flow of traffic. However, this 10 mph language
was recently removed from the California Motor Vehicle handbook, so there
is no hard-and-fast rule regarding what constitutes "safe and prudent"
I've been riding motorcycles for years and I believe lane splitting,
like anything else, can be done safely if done properly. However, carpool/HOV
lanes, inattentive drivers, distracted drivers, road ragers, and the growin
number of drivers who seem to intentionally change lanes or swerve into
your path have all changed the way we ride over the years.
Suddenly and without warning a car makes an unsafe lane change directly
into your path, or collides with your bike, causing you to be ejected
from your motorcycle. Your body strikes the car and then the roadway,
causing serious injuries. Even though lane splitting is legal, you may
be shocked to find the accident report says YOU were at fault and cites
YOU for riding at an Unsafe Speed for Conditions (CVC §22350), breaking
the plane between lanes- Straddling or Unsafe Lane Changes (CVC §21658a),
or some other violation.
You need an experienced
motorcycle accident attorney on YOUR side to fight for YOUR rights. I can help. Call for a