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How Lane Splitting Can Lead to Motorcycle Accidents

By Jackson Reed on December 15, 2017

Motorcycle Accidents, Collisions, and CrashesMotorcyclists are more vulnerable to catastrophic and fatal injuries on the road than other motorists. The lawyers at Reed & Terry, LLP have helped many victims of motorcycle accidents throughout the greater Sugar Land and Richmond area. We offer compassionate legal counsel, always with a focus on fairness.

While some motorcycle collisions are the fault of a negligent car or truck driver, others may be the result of recklessness on the part of a motorcyclist. Lane splitting, for instance, can increase the risk of a collision occurring. Let's cover the basics of this practice and the Texas laws regarding it right now.

What Is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is the practice of a motorcyclist riding between lanes while on the road. This may occur while on the highway or city among moving traffic, or even in traffic while other vehicles are at a standstill.

As you can imagine, lane splitting can pose a number of hazards given how close a motorcyclist rides beside other vehicles.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in the State of Texas?

No.

Lane splitting is not allowed in Texas in any form. In fact, lane splitting is illegal in the vast majority of states in the country. There have been some attempts in the Texas legislature to pass bills to permit lane splitting, but these have proven unsuccessful so far. The only state that permits lane splitting is California.

Even though lane splitting remain illegal, you might notice people on motorcycles engage in lane splitting regardless. Ultimately, this may be a bad idea because of the potential dangers that are involved.

The Dangers of Lane Splitting

There are some significant reasons why lane splitting is so dangerous:

  • Motorcyclists Get Very Close to Other Vehicles – When splitting lanes, motorcyclists get dangerously close to other vehicles, making collisions much more likely.

  • Motorcycles Wind Up in Another Driver's Blind Spot – In addition to proximity, a motorcyclists runs a risk of being caught in a driver's blind spot. If a driver cannot see you, you may wind up in a catastrophic collision. This is a major hazard when people are merging lanes, changing lanes, or trying to make turns.

  • Dangers Even in Slow/Stopped Traffic – Even when traffic is slow or at a complete stop, there are dangers to consider. It's possible to strike a car or truck's side mirrors while maneuvering between traffic. If a driver opens his or her door very suddenly in stopped traffic, a motorcyclist could get doored in the process.

  • Potential for Multi-Vehicle Collisions – If a motorcyclist or driver attempts to swerve or avoid a collision, this sudden action may result in a crash with another vehicle nearby. If this happens on a busy highway, the risk of a multi-vehicle collision is quite high.

Use Common Sense When on Your Motorcycle

If you're a motorcyclist, be sure to play it safe. Rather than risk an accident or a ticket, avoid lane splitting and remain safely in your lane.

Exercise Additional Caution When Driving Near Motorcycles

For motorists not on motorcycles, be sure to exercise additional caution when a motorcyclist is nearby. Check your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes or making turns. Extra caution can literally save a life.

Speak with Our Lawyers About Your Case

If you would like more information about motorcycle accident and auto accident lawsuits, we encourage you to contact an experienced personal injury and accident attorney. The legal team at Reed & Terry, LLP is here to help you in your time of legal need.

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