Motorcycle Lane Splitting Incidents

Hurt from motorcycle lane sharing?Lane sharing or “splitting” occurs when a motorcycle rider drives between lanes. It helps achieve a more rapid commute on crowded freeways, but is also very dangerous as will be discussed. To many car drivers, this is considered to be one of the most notorious and nefarious actions by motorcyclists in California, which is the only state where it is legal. The bad reputation comes from a few irresponsible bikers, who do not share the lanes in a sound and sane manner.  This has created a great deal of bias against the other law abiding riders in the minds of the other motorists traversing on our many side roads, freeways and highways.

When this violence of action kills or maims an innocent rider, multiple award winning Ehline Law steps in with years of experience, millions in verdicts and settlements, and a pure, aggressive commitment to the downed riders and their families.  We are a highly decorated firm and veteran of many legal battles.  We are here to wage war against the wrongdoer and their insurance company for all victims of personal injuries.

The Law and Motorcycle Lane Splitting Collisions

The state of California has no laws that prohibit motorcycle riders from lane splitting and has been the only state nationwide to issue a statement on their views of lane sharing. The official statement states it is permitted for motorcycle rider’s ride while lane splitting is done in a safe manner. This brings up a legal issue and that is it safe to lane split or share. When following the flow of traffic that might be traveling at a speed higher than the speed limit, it can be dangerous to be involved in lane splitting. There is no law about this and the 10 mile per hour over the speed limit for lane sharing has been removed from the California Motor Vehicle handbook.

Dangers of Lane Splitting or Lane Sharing

In some cases like heavy traffic lane splitting might be safe when done properly and it can suffice as a method for the motorcycle riders to appear more visible to other drivers. This might sound completely safe, but when another motor vehicle makes an unsafe lane change in the path of the motorcyclist, they have no room in their lane to move out of the path of the car.

What the Office of Traffic Safety Says

The latest survey by OTS released an interesting survey that asked about the perception motorists have of riders who split lanes.  The inquiry determined that approximately 78% of motorcyclists affirmatively responded that they engage in lane sharing.  Of that number, 30.9% of the riders admitted to lane splitting every time they ride.  Not surprisingly,  about 7% of non bikers in cars confessed that they had tried to block motorcyclists from moving into their lanes. But over 67% of bikers retorted that an automobile had attempted to impede them from lawfully sharing lanes.

Of those surveyed, 90% of motorists had visually seen motorcyclists split lanes in their vicinity while traversing the roads. Of this number, 19% of the respondents said say they witnessed a wreck during the course of a motorcycle transitioning in a lane split. Shockingly, at least one out of ten motorcycle riders claimed they themselves had been smashed by a car during lane sharing efforts.

The most alarming issue raised by this study, is the glaring fact that of the respondents surveyed, approximately half did not even think it was legal for a motorcyclist to lane split. When asked their feelings on the subject, just 36% of motorists thought it was ok for bikers to share lanes and an astonishing 64% said this was an unacceptable action. Obviously, lane sharing is less than safe.  Especially considering some uneducated motorists go out of their way to infringe upon biker’s rights.



The most common scenario a rider in a lane splitting case shares, is ejection from the bike. Car and motorcycle collisions can cause the rider to be thrown into the air, or tossed onto the pavement with great force.  Their bodies can hit the offending car, and then smash onto the pavement, resulting in serious injuries. There are some drivers that are distracted, even when traffic is congested with cell phones, texting and for other reasons and then there are drivers that do not like motorcyclists on the road.

Angry/Jealous Drivers

These drivers pose a real danger to the motorcycle rider and splitting lanes can be especially dangerous when this driver accidentally swerves into the lane, because they are distracted or the driver that does not like motorcycles and will purposely swerve toward them.

Police May Also Be Biased

Say it isn’t so.  You mean police can be biased? It is possible that a police officer that does not agree with lane splitting can cite the rider after an accident for being at fault, with an unsafe speed for conditions, covered under (CVC §22350) or unsafe lane changes or straddling, which is covered under (CVC §21658a). Then it is also possible that the motorcycle rider will be sited with other violations that are also, because the police officer does not like lane sharing. There are also many institutional reasons many cops dislike bikers discussed here.

Your Attorney

Ehline Law renders legal aid in traffic accident collisions that are heinous and involve loss of life, to those of less magnitude, involving road rash and broken bones. If  your a victimized consumer who was wounded due to an inattentive or downright dangerous driver, we will stop at nothing to get you back in one piece.

We are obligated to our charges as legal counselors per the State Bar Rules.  But we also feel a personal sense of honor and duty to these fellow riders.  After all, our lead attorney is also a biker.  As kindred spirits, our enthusiastic law firm will fight to recover lost wages, hospital expenses, and money to get your bike repaired or replaced.  At the same time, we take affirmative steps towards gathering evidence and and statements of witnesses.  Heck, we will even come to your home, office or the hospital to visit you and we will even help you get a suit and tie to wear to court, if you are so far in the hole you can’t scrape two penny’s together.

We have multiple million dollar plus settlements, and have a reputation with mediators and judges as fierce advocates, who aren’t afraid to raise cane when injustice is on the horizon. Just like Marines win battles, we win cases.
When your ready to get a real pro on your side, don’t delay in calling us on our 24 hour injury hotline at 888-400-9721.

As always, our capable catastrophic motorcycle injury attorneys are “no recovery no fee” advocates.  If we don’t win, we don’t get paid our attorney’s fees.  This is a win win situation for the afflicted person. The advantage in hiring us is clear and decisive. Call now for a no risk evaluation.

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