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California motorcycle accidents and lane splitting

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Personal Injury

If you’re new to California and plan on driving while you’re living, working or attending school in this state, you’ll want to review the state’s traffic laws. In fact, some of the laws might surprise you. For example, are you aware that lane splitting is legal here? If you have never heard this term, it is wise to avoid driving until you learn more about it. Many motorcycle accidents involve lane splitting.  

If you’re driving a 4-wheeled vehicle, don’t be shocked if a motorcycle is traveling on the dotted line between your lane and the adjacent lane of traffic. This is known as lane splitting. California is the only state in the entire country that allows lane splitting. It is a highly dangerous maneuver. If you’re an inexperienced motorcyclist, you might want to avoid it. If you’re driving a car or truck, you’ll want to be on the lookout for lane splitters and do your best to avoid a collision.  

Motorcycle accidents can occur if drivers try to impede lane splitting 

Motorcyclists are at risk from other motorists who try to stop them from lane splitting. California traffic laws prohibit drivers from doing anything intentional to try to impede lane splitting. A driver cannot open a vehicle door to try to block a motorcyclist’s path. In fact, they can’t do anything to place a motorcyclist in harm’s way while the rider is lane splitting.  

Always check mirrors for lane splitters 

If you’re driving along a California highway, it’s best to frequently check your mirrors for lane splitters. If you’re in the far-left lane, you can move to the left edge of the lane to create more space for lane splitting. If you’re riding a motorcycle, do your best to remain visible and away from the blind spots of other vehicles.  

Surviving a motorcycle collision in California 

Motorcycle enthusiasts love to head out on the open roads of California. A collision can result in severe injuries. In fact, many motorcycle accidents are fatal. If you survive, you may need highly skilled emergency care at a trauma center because such accidents often result in catastrophic injuries like spinal cord damage or brain trauma.  

If another driver’s negligence caused the collision, you’re entitled to seek financial recovery for your losses. As a plaintiff in a personal injury case, you must prove your claim by demonstrating that the defendant failed in an owed duty of care and that this failure created negligence, which resulted in your injuries.