It might not be a widely recognized term for most motorists, but lane splitting is a practice that goes way back in the history of motorcycles. In fact, lane splitting originated because the early, two-stroke motorcycles were not able to sit idle without overheating so riders would have to keep moving.
For those who still do not understand, lane splitting is when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars. This usually occurs during traffic jams.
It sounds dangerous because it is. Even if cars are moving slowly, a car hitting a motorcycle can still do significant damage. If a motorcyclists is lane splitting and a car decides to change lanes it could result in an accident.
And when it comes to that situation, who is at fault?
The answer is not a simple one because many variables will come into play.
The first variable is often whether or not lane splitting is legal in the state. As it stands, only California has a law that allows lane splitting, passed in 2016. Unfortunately, Alabama does not permit motorcyclists to practice lane splitting.
But, as stated earlier, there are many variables at play, so just because lane splitting might not be allowed, does not mean you will be completely at fault should an accident occur. The next two variables will be how you and the other motorist acted proper to the accident.
If you were lane splitting in a traffic jam at high speeds and in an unsafe manner, then there is a great chance you can be found liable for your accident. The same can be said for a vehicle moving in slow moving traffic that keeps changing lanes abruptly without using turn signals.
As a motorcyclist, if you are able to show the other driver contributed to the accident, you may be able to get full or partial compensation for your property and injury damages. Again, it will also depend heavily on your actions while lane splitting. Doing so safely, at slow speeds not only increases your safety but can help fight your case should an accident occur.
In the end, if you or a loved one are dealing with damages related to a motorcycle accident, you need a strong attorney in your corner. The attorneys at Salter Ferguson, LLC in Birmingham are well versed and experienced in motorcycle litigation.
They can help you get the compensation and justice you deserve. Set up a free consultation today by calling 877-298-4878.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.