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Motorcyclists and Lane Splitting

Posted on in Personal Injury
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DuPage County personal injury attorney, motorcyclists and lane splittingSpring weather across the nation is luring out motorcyclists onto highways and roads. While some drivers may view motorcycles as a risk or menace on the road, most motorcyclists are law abiding enthusiasts who have chosen a motorcycle over a car for various reasons. Yet whatever the reason, drivers are still wise in being cautious of motorcyclists.

Cars and motorcycles are involved in accidents daily—accidents which can cause significant personal injuries to both motorcyclists and others, in addition to property damage. Moreover, motorcyclists who “lane split,” or travel between actual lanes, can be a risk to themselves and to other cars and drivers.

Data from the California Enhanced Motorcycle Collision Data Project reports that 997 collision-involved motorcyclists, out of 5,969, were lane-splitting at the time of their collision. And while lane splitting may be considered actually safer for a rider, there are those who flout the law and create danger for others.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is a phenomenon where a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of traffic, usually in stopped or slowly moving cars such as in traffic jams. Lane splitting can contribute to accidents between motorcycles and cars due to the following reasons:

  • The area between cars and the motorcycle is limited;
  • The area in which to maneuver is small; and
  • There is an element of surprise in which a motorcyclist appears to drivers.

If an accident occurs while a motorcycle is lane splitting, fault is determined primarily whether lane splitting is permissible; in Illinois it is not.

Visual Challenge

A major part of the issue with motorcycles is also the visual challenge that comes with their size, speed, and weave of their maneuvers. Motorcyclists who swerve and travel in the narrow space between legal lanes put themselves, cars, and drivers at risk. Additionally, motorcycles are likely to be obscured by other traffic. Therefore, drivers in cars have to be even more hyper vigilant.

If a speeding motorcyclist disobeys road rules and ignores common courtesy, accidents can happen. Usually, motorcyclists involved in collisions will end up worse off because their bodies are more exposed. However, car drivers can also fare worse off if multiple cars are involved in an accident or a car impacts a structure—drivers and passengers can end up suffering the same types of injuries as if they were struck by another car.

Speak with a skilled Illinois Personal Injury Attorney

If you were injured in an accident involving a motorcyclist, please contact a knowledgeable DuPage County personal injury attorney to discuss the circumstances of your case. If it turns out that the motorcyclist lane split, and thus caused the impact which led to your injury, it is possible that you may be entitled to a cash settlement. Call Mevorah Law Offices LLC today.

Sources:

http://americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/positionstatements/lanesplitting.aspx

http://ots.ca.gov/pdf/Publications/Motorcycle-Lane-Splitting-and-Safety-2015.pdf

http://americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/State-Laws.aspx?stateid=13

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