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Where is Lane Splitting Legal?

The Dangers of Left-Hand Turn Accidents
Lane splitting, where a motorcycle weaves between two lanes of cars, is illegal in most states. In states where lane splitting is illegal, motorcyclists may be subject to fines or other punishments for breaking the law. While lane splitting allows for a faster commute and can be a convenient way to get around traffic, you must follow the local lane-splitting law.

Is Lane Splitting Legal? | States Where Lane Splitting Is Legal

California was the first state to make lane splitting legal in 2016 and is currently the only state that allows this type of riding technique.

What is Lane Filtering?

Another type of lane-sharing technique is lane filtering. Lane filtering is defined as motorcyclists passing stationary vehicles or vehicles traveling at slow speeds and driving alongside them in the same lane. Lane filtering usually occurs in slow-moving traffic.

The Difference Between Lane Splitting and Lane Filtering

While the terms lane splitting and lane filtering are used interchangeably, there is a difference between these two riding techniques. Splitting lanes allow a rider to share lanes with vehicles traveling at normal speeds, while lane filtering is done in slow-moving traffic, such as stop-and-go traffic.

Lane Filtering States

Five states have allowed motorcyclists to use the lane filtering technique. These states include:
  • California
  • Utah
  • Arizona
  • Montana
  • Hawaii

States that Don’t Prohibit Splitting Lanes

Eleven states do not have laws prohibiting lane splitting, which technically means the practice isn’t illegal. However, if a rider is pulled over by law enforcement for splitting lanes, they may receive a citation for reckless driving or improper lane change. States that do not have any laws in place for lane filtering or splitting include:
  • New Jersey
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Idaho
  • Arkansas
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Delaware
  • Kentucky
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
There are thirty-four states that prohibit lane sharing, including Florida and New York. However, the following eight states are considering legalizing lane sharing:
  • Oregon
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Virginia
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
If you plan to lane split or lane filter, it is important to stay up-to-date on traffic laws where you ride. Doing so will help ensure your safety and the safety of other riders and vehicle drivers sharing the road with you.

Lane Splitting Safety Tips

Lane splitting is a common practice for many riders. However, it can be dangerous, especially for inexperienced motorcyclists. Riding a motorcycle between traffic lanes can result in a fatal accident. While there are benefits to lane splitting, such as a faster commute, riding between lanes should only be practiced by the experienced motorcyclist where it’s legal. A rider with the skills to ride their motorcycle between lanes should follow these general guidelines:
  • Never travel ten miles per hour faster than other traffic. The danger increases at higher speed differentials.
  • When traffic flows at thirty miles per hour or more, do not split lanes
  • It’s safer to split lanes between the number one and number two lanes compared to other lanes.
  • Always be aware of the environment, road and weather conditions, the size of vehicles around you, and the width of the lanes.
  • Lane-splitting riders should be aware of driver blind spots and make themselves highly visible.
  • Always wear a helmet and other protective gear when riding to reduce the chance of serious injury or death in the event of an accident.
  • If you’re a new rider, always ride with an experienced motorcyclist to learn how to split lanes and avoid a severe collision.
With careful observation and adherence to road rules, lane splitting can be a safe and efficient way for motorcyclists to get where they need to go.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Law Firm Today to Schedule a Free Legal Consultation

Splitting lanes is a controversial practice that can be dangerous. No matter where you live, always exercise caution and use your best judgment when considering splitting lanes. Motorcyclists should familiarize themselves with lane-splitting laws in their state and only engage in splitting lanes where it is allowed, and even then, they must be vigilant to avoid hazards on the road. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution and avoid lane splitting altogether. If you have been involved in a lane-splitting accident or another type of motorcycle accident, you should contact a motorcycle accident attorney at the Amaro Law Firm to discuss your legal options. At the Amaro Law Firm, our legal team is here to help you get justice and compensation for your injuries and other damages. Contact us today to speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer and schedule a free legal consultation.