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Is lane splitting legal and can it cause motorcycle accidents?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents |

Motorcyclists and lane splitting are a dangerous combination. Lane splitting, or the practice of a motorcyclist navigating between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic, is risky for all road users. Not only is this practice illegal in Maryland, but it can also lead to accidents and injuries.

Motorcyclists, like drivers of four-wheeled vehicles, should always prioritize everyone’s safety. The injured party can seek compensation if a motorcyclist injures another because of lane splitting.

How lane splitting leads to injuries

Lane splitting can result in injuries due to several factors:

  • Limited space: The tight space between cars in adjacent lanes leaves very little room for error for a motorcyclist.
  • Unexpected movements: Drivers who don’t expect a vehicle to pass between lanes in slow or stopped traffic may not check for motorcycles when changing lanes or opening car doors.
  • Reduced visibility: Motorcyclists may find themselves in a car’s blind spot while attempting to pass.
  • Speed differential: If a motorcyclist moves faster than the traffic they’re passing, it reduces the time other drivers have to react to their presence.

These elements make lane splitting very risky. When motorcyclists decide to split lanes, they put themselves and others in danger. If they cause an accident, those hurt can ask for compensation due to the rider’s negligence.

Compensation for the injured

If a motorcycle accident caused by lane splitting results in injury, the injured party may seek compensation for various damages. Depending on the specifics of the case, they can demand the negligent rider to cover their medical bills. This could include costs for immediate treatment after the accident and ongoing treatments.

Compensation can also cover lost wages. If the injured party can’t work while recovering, they may seek compensation for the income lost during that period. In particularly distressing cases, compensation for pain and suffering can be claimed to account for the emotional stress caused by the injury.

Legal support

Because of the well-known dangers, lane splitting is illegal in most U.S. states. Safety should always be a priority on the road, and lane splitting undermines that principle. When accidents occur due to this risky behavior, the injured parties have every right to seek compensation for their losses.

Those facing injuries should consider seeking an attorney. They can help protect rights when seeking compensation.

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