Motorcycle accidents cause serious injuries and death because the rider isn’t as well protected as occupants in a passenger vehicle are. Many times, a motorcycle accident is caused by the driver of another vehicle, but some motorcycle crashes are the result of the motorcycle rider’s negligence. An example of rider error or negligence that can cause a motorcycle accident is lane splitting.
What Is Lane Splitting?
Lane splitting is a term that refers to a motorcyclist riding between the white line on a road and another vehicle in the same lane. An example of lane splitting is when the driver is trying to pass another vehicle and begins by riding alongside it in the same lane. Another common example of lane splitting occurs when vehicles are stopped on a highway or city street (i.e. at a red light or in a construction zone) and the motorcyclist continues forward by maneuvering his motorcycle between the stopped vehicles.
Regardless of when or how it occurs, lane splitting is illegal in Pennsylvania. If a motorcyclist splits lanes, he or she may receive a traffic ticket. In fact, lane splitting is illegal in every state except California.
Why Lane Splitting Is Dangerous
When a motorcyclist engages in lane splitting, he is riding very close to another vehicle. This increases the chances of a sideswipe accident. Another issue is when the other vehicles move away from the motorcycle to avoid an accident and they hit another vehicle head-on. Because of the circumstances involved in lane splitting, multiple vehicles could end up involved in the accident resulting in major injuries.
Even if the motorcycle rider moves alongside vehicles that are stopped at a traffic light, the rider could hit the side mirror on a vehicle or lose control due to road conditions. If a driver opens a door for some reasons, the motorcycle rider could hit it and be knocked of the motorcycle. Another danger is left-hand turns. Making left-hand turns could cause the vehicle to clip the front of the motorcycle, knocking it over.
Even in slow-moving traffic, serious injuries can result from lane splitting. If the biker rides along a bus or tractor-trailer, he can easily be hidden in the driver’s blind spot. Even passenger vehicles have areas where the driver can’t see another vehicle, especially a bicycle or motorbike.
Driving alongside another motorcycle is legal in Pennsylvania. There is ample room in the lane for two motorcyclists to fit. However, they are not allowed to exceed two bikes.
Getting Help For An Injury From An Edinboro Personal Injury Attorney
It’s important to know the law regarding motorcycles and driving alongside other vehicles. This ensures that if an accident occurs, you’re not at fault for disobeying the law. Our Edinboro personal injury attorneys can help you if you have been injured by another driver.
If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by lane splitting and you were not the cause, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact The Travis Law Firm toll free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Edinboro personal injury attorneys. We provide the support, guidance, and sound legal counsel that you need as you struggle to recover after a traumatic motor vehicle accident.