Long Beach Lane-Splitting Accident Lawyers
If you drive, you have seen it before. You are sitting in traffic on a busy roadway and out of nowhere, a motorcycle slips between the rows of slow moving or stopped cars. This is called lane splitting. Many consider lane splitting dangerous, and it can be, but motorcyclists can stay out of the way of larger vehicles in stop and go traffic and continue to move down the road. When traffic is creeping along with repetitive accelerating and braking, drivers may pay less attention, and fail to notice a rider moving between lanes of traffic, with disastrous consequences.
This may come as a surprise, but in the great state of California lane splitting was legalized in 2016. Prior to that, it was not necessarily illegal, but there were no specific laws governing how lane splitting was defined or regulated. The lane splitting guidelines are:
- Only lane split in the far-left lanes.
- Do not lane split at high speeds.
- Avoid splitting lanes around large vehicles such as buses or trucks.
- Avoid splitting lanes at night.
- Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing.
- Be aware of other vehicles’ blind spots.
- Never drive on the shoulder, as that is illegal.
Lane splitting can reduce the risk of motorcycles being rear ended, thereby keeping riders safer on the road. It also helps increase the flow of traffic when certain vehicles can keep moving during heavy traffic. California is notorious for multi-lane standstill traffic, and every bit of movement on the roadway can help relieve some of that congestion.
Despite lane splitting being used to keep motorcyclists safe, accidents do happen. When drivers are even slightly distracted their eyes do not register a motorcyclist in a nearby lane, collisions occur. A driver may be trying to switch lanes at the same time as a motorcycle is moving down the white line and the motorcyclist is sideswiped. The driver will get thrown from their bike onto the roadway and suffer serious or even fatal injuries.
In some of these accidents, the rider’s body skids across the pavement in the lane of traffic where another driver cannot avoid running over them. The injuries can be life changing if not life threatening. If you or a loved one were injured by another car while lane splitting, you should speak with a Long Beach personal injury attorney.
If a driver hit you while you were lane splitting, you may be able to file a claim. The injured driver would have to prove that the person who hit them was at fault. This liability is proven by:
- The other driver owed a duty of care to other vehicles sharing the road.
- The other driver acted negligently in some way by driving distracted or under the influence.
- That negligence caused your injury and suffering.
- That injury resulted in a financial burden of medical and personal costs.
The costs associated with recovering from a motorcycle accident are steep. You may be entitled to compensation that will cover medical bills, ongoing care, lost wages, and lost future earnings. An experienced motorcycle crash lawyer will help clarify your legal options and get you the help you deserve.
Many motorcyclists are injured every year from lane splitting accidents despite it being totally legal. The problem is that other drivers are under the misconception that the driver of the motorcycle was breaking the law. This can lead to fits of road rage from vehicles when motorcyclists are well within their rights.
The motorcyclist’s injuries sustained from a collision can range from road rash, broken bones, nerve damage or paralysis, traumatic brain and spine injuries, and even death. If you or your loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, don’t wait to call The Law Office of Joseph H. Low IV. He will carefully explain all your legal options to help you make an informed decision on pursuing a personal injury claim. Joseph H. Low IV will work diligently and effectively to help you recover the damages you are owed. Give us a call at (562) 901-0840 and toll-free (888) 454-5569.