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Is it Illegal to Lane-Split in Florida

Is it Illegal to Lane-Split in Florida?

The slim and compact size of motorcycles makes them easily able to drive between lanes and cars to get through traffic and to the open road. Certainly, if you are at least a veteran driver, you have seen a motorcyclist weaving throughout traffic driving between lanes at times. While this may seem like a legitimate way to get around for a motorcycle driver, lane splitting, as it is known, is extremely dangerous. Considering that motorcyclists are so vulnerable already to serious injuries and death in a crash, engaging in unsafe driving behaviors like lane splitting should be avoided at all costs. This is true no matter how tempting it may be to cut through congestion on the road.

The risk of severe harm to a motorcyclist is high when driving recklessly. Driving a motorcycle, in general, is very dangerous even when a motorcyclist is extra cautious, alert, and abiding by all safe driving practices. A motorcyclist can be hit by another car or lose control of their bike and be in a situation where great harm can ensue. Many would argue that there is no need to lane split as a motorcyclist because doing so puts both the rider and passengers in other vehicles at increased risk for a Florida traffic accident happening. 

If you were engaging in lane splitting when you were operating your motorcycle and you were involved in a crash that caused your injuries, it is imperative that you speak with a Florida motorcycle accident attorney as soon as you can. Your actions could jeopardize your ability to be compensated for your injuries. The details of how your Florida motorcycle accident took place will play a large role in how much money can be secured from a Florida motorcycle accident injury claim.

How Does Lane Splitting Happen in Florida?

Is it Illegal to Lane-Split in FloridaWhether traffic is moving or it is stopped, there may be room between two lanes and the cars that sit inside those lanes. The space between lanes is not a valid part of the road to travel on. All vehicles are required to drive inside of a designated lane on the road. This includes small cars and motorcycles. When a motorcycle drives on top of the painted lines that are meant to separate lanes, this is considered lane splitting or stripe riding.  No matter what name you like to call it, lane splitting in Florida is illegal

Each state has its own laws with regard to the legality of lane splitting. Most states consider it illegal although there are some states that the Pew Charitable Trusts reports may decide to make lane splitting legal. Under Florida’s motor vehicle statutes, every vehicle including motorcycles must be able to have full use of a lane. This means that when a motorcycle is legally driving inside of a lane, another car may not come up next to them and encroach on their space. The same is true for motorcycles. Motorcycles cannot try to pass a car or drive next to it using the same lane that the car is in.

Still, lane splitting happens all of the time in the state of Florida. Even when motorcyclists know that lane splitting can be dangerous and is illegal, it is something that happens frequently. Though, if law enforcement in Florida catches you engaging in lane splitting, then it is likely that you will be fined.

How Dangerous is Florida Lane-Splitting?

California is the only state where lane splitting is legal. There are other states where the state legislatures are considering putting into law that lane splitting is a legal action. There is definitely a risk to lane splitting. Potentially in some situations, studies into the action have shown that when the conditions are right and a motorcyclist engages in lane splitting correctly that it is somewhat safe. One study out of the University of California Berkeley showed that to be safe, traffic must be not driving any faster than 50 mph. Then, bikers must travel at a speed not more than 15 mph faster than the other cars on the road. So to be safe, all conditions must be exact which may be hard to achieve.

There are also several studies that make the point that motorcyclists can have reduced incidents of rear-end collisions, be more visible next to cars, and also help reduce traffic build-up when proper lane-splitting is utilized. Because of the research being done, the topic of how safe or unsafe lane splitting is is under review.

From a motorist perspective, lane-splitting is not safe and at the very least frustrating. Drivers of a passenger vehicle or other automobile have to watch everything that is happening on the road when they are making turns or changing lanes and engaging in other moves to stay safe. When a motorcyclist comes speeding in between lanes it can be a surprise to drivers and can lead to a collision. Additionally, depending on how much room is in between cars, a motorcyclist can easily get just slightly clipped by another car and lose control causing a large multi-car accident to take place.

Speak to a Jacksonville Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

It is possible to recover compensation for your damages even if you were engaging in lane splitting when your Jacksonville motorcycle accident happened. Due to the comparative fault system that the state follows, the amount that you can obtain will be reduced by actions that you engaged in which are considered to have been a factor in causing your Florida injury accident. You can be sure that lane splitting is going to be an argument that the insurance company you filed your claim against will use to avoid paying you the full amount of money you are owed for your damages.

The best way to ensure that you can recover the most in your Florida personal injury claim is to work with the Jacksonville motorcycle accident attorneys at Sheftall Law. The Jacksonville personal injury lawyers at Sheftall Law understand how to work with you and argue your case for the most compensation even when lane splitting was a factor. After doing a thorough investigation of your case and collecting all of the relevant information possible, the Jacksonville motorcycle accident attorneys at Sheftall Law will aggressively work to safeguard your rights and get ahold of the compensation that you deserve.

To schedule a free consultation with one of Sheftall Law’s talented Jacksonville injury attorneys, please call (904) 638-7712.