Motorcycle Accidents and Lanesplitting: The Dangers Between the Lanes

By Larry A. Tawwater on December 10, 2014

A motorcyclist with his hand on the barThe Tawwater Law Firm helps accidents victims throughout Oklahoma, seeking just compensation so that the injured and grieving and can recover and so that negligent parties can be held accountable for their actions.

Auto accident litigation tends to be common among our team, particularly when it comes to motorcycle accidents. We have worked on motorcycle accident lawsuits in which motorcyclists are both the victim and perpetrator of negligence. Regarding the latter, we would like to look at the issue of lanesplitting right now.

What is lanesplitting?

Lanesplitting refers to a two-wheeled vehicle using the space between lanes to travel rather than a single designated lane. This practice is particularly dangerous when a motorcycle or scooter splits lanes with vehicles on its left and right.

Is lanesplitting legal in the state of Oklahoma?

No.

According to OK Statute 47-11-1103(D): "No driver of a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, motorized scooter, motorized bicycle, or electric-assisted bicycle shall pass other vehicles between lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction. This subsection shall not apply to the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle."

As you can see, unless you are a police officer or responding to some sort of emergency, lanesplitting is not permitted.

Why Lanesplitting Is Always a Bad Idea for a Motorcyclist

Motorcyclists are automatically more vulnerable to injury simply given how exposed they are compared to other motorists. When lanesplitting, a driver on a scooter or a motorcyclist runs a greater risk of being struck by a vehicle because of their extremely close proximity to said vehicle. In the case of driving between two vehicles, they run the risk of being pinched between cars, which can have tragic results.

Even if you split lanes during a traffic jam or a red light, you run the risk of being hit by car doors or making contact with side mirrors, leading to property damage and potential injury.

Lanesplitting Increases the Chances of a Multi-Vehicle Collision

Motorcyclists aren't the only people in danger while lanesplitting. Since we share the road, other drivers are also in danger. Sometimes motorists may attempt to swerve in order to prevent striking a motorcycle that is too close, increasing the chances of a side collision with a nearby vehicle. The chances of a catastrophic multi-vehicle collision are quite high, particularly if the lanesplitting occurs on a busy highway.

Be Safe and Smart: Drive Conservatively and Lawfully

Given all of the dangers involved with lanesplitting, our best advice to all motorcyclists out there is to drive safe and to drive conservatively. Drive with respect for everyone else that you share the road with, and always abide by the rules of the road. This will make sure everyone is okay getting where they need to go.

We Will Hold Negligent Motorcyclists Accountable

If you or a loved one is injured as a result of a lanesplitting vehicle, we will be sure to hold that motorist accountable for driving negligently and causing an accident to occur. This means seeking damages for medical bills, lost wages, damage to your vehicle, and other hardships that you may be forced to endure. Our team is here for accident victims and their loved ones, and we will fight diligently for you.

Schedule a Consultation at The Tawwater Law Firm

To learn more about your legal options following a motorcycle accident or any kind of auto collision, it's important that you contact our personal injury law firm today. The team at The Tawwater Law Firm looks forward to your visit and helping you receive just compensation for injuries sustained and the related difficulties you've had to endure.

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