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Who is Liable in Lane Splitting Accidents?

Who is Liable in Lane Splitting Accidents?

Have you ever had a motorcycle rider sneak through the gap between you and the car next to you by riding over the white lane divider line? It’s very likely that you have: this is known as lane splitting and it is entirely legal under Texas driving laws. However, that doesn’t mean it will be forever; the practice is exceptionally dangerous and result in numerous accidents and injuries to motorcyclists every year.

Why Are These Accidents So Dangerous?

Lane splitting accidents are a serious issue for riders for many of the same reasons as other accidents. On one hand, a motorcycle has very little in the way of safety equipment designed to protect a rider in the event of a crash, which makes them far more vulnerable to a serious injury. However, there are other factors as well. Lane splitting usually puts a rider in a position where they cannot easily be seen by drivers, notably right in a driver’s blind spots.

Determining Liability

Liability in one of these accidents can be difficult to determine. While lane splitting is legal for motorcyclists, they are required to do so while exercising caution in order to not put themselves or other motorists at risk. Therefore, if a rider chooses to lane split while traveling at high speeds or while recklessly weaving in and out of lanes, then they will likely be held liable.

On the other hand, drivers are required to constantly be aware of their surroundings, including their blind spots. If they fail to check their blindspot before changing, particularly if they fail to signal when doing so, then they could be held liable since the rider was operating their bike safely and they did not have any warning or ability to avoid the accident.

Lane Splitting Safely

If you wish to ride while lane splitting, then you should follow a few best safety practices when doing so. First, never attempt to navigate between two cars at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour. When traffic is stopped, such as at a traffic light, navigating to the front with caution presents minimal risk, but never do so in the middle of rush-hour traffic (unless it is already moving slowly).

Second, never try to split lanes when one of the vehicles involved is a commercial truck or a recreational vehicle. The sheer size of these vehicles likely means that their driver will not be able to see you if they decide to merge. Finally, it’s actually safer to pass in the left-most lanes of a highway because fewer drivers are attempting to merge in and out of traffic. Avoid splitting lanes near the far-right lane.

If you have sustained an injury from a lane splitting accident, call Brunkenhoefer, P.C. Injury Attorneys today to start reviewing your legal options. Since 1976, we have stood up to protect the rights of injured citizens all around the country, and have fought tirelessly to help them receive the justice they deserve. Our Corpus Christi motorcycle accident attorneys are skilled at putting the evidence in your case to work on your behalf to help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to.

For a case evaluation, call Brunkenhoefer, P.C. Injury Attorneys today at (361) 730-1190.