How are motorcycle accidents in Florida affected by lane splitting?

by Aug 26, 2021Motorcycle Accident

How are motorcycle accidents in Florida affected by lane splitting?

by Aug 26, 2021Motorcycle Accident

How are motorcycle accidents in Florida affected by lane splitting?
How are motorcycle accidents in Florida affected by lane splitting?

What is lane splitting? Does it affect motorcycle accidents in Florida?

Lane splitting refers to the process of motorcycles passing between two lanes in a stopped or slower traffic. It is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents in Florida. When motorcycles engage in lane splitting, they break the law since the Florida constitution prohibits the act.

Can lane-splitting lead to motorcycle accidents?

Due to their sizes, motorcycles are often considered maneuverable and very flexible in traffic jams or on roads. Many users consider them an efficient and effective means to get around in a hurry because you can easily avoid traffic jams. Unfortunately, the effectiveness and maneuverability have always gotten many riders into trouble with the law or in accidents. The severity of these motorcycle accidents in Florida depends on the speed and impact when the accident occurs.

Riders consider lane splitting an attractive alternative to waiting in traffic, stop signs, and other roads signs; unfortunately, this behavior is not tolerable in Florida due to the state’s concern about the safety of all road users. Motorcycle accidents in Florida rising due to lane splitting do not only affect bikers; sometimes, the bike can knock other road users in stop signs such as zebra crossing or areas with speed limits and no-overtaking signs. There are few occasions when lane splitting has led to successive accidents where a bike and more than one car are involved in the accident.

You can engage in lane splitting into other states, California, where lane splitting is legal but under certain conditions.

How Lane-splitting Causes Accidents

Lane splitting can lead to motorcycle accidents in various ways:

  • The motorist may not be aware of the biker’s intention to merge or change lanes.
  • Whenever the riders lose control, they may crash into vehicles they are trying to split.
  • The thermoplastic used to separate lanes may result in motorcycle accidents when they are wet. When the motorcycle tires have less tread, they may slide over the paints injuring the rider.
  • When a rider suddenly changes their mind to merge, lane split, they may have less room to maneuver or control the bike, especially at high speed.
  • Lane splitting is one of the biggest causes of road rage and anger. Road rage also arises due to the misconduct of many bikers who feel they can intimidate other road users and get away with it.

The issue of lane splitting and road rage is common in US roads. Many drivers feel the need for revenge when they are offended by rude motorcycle riders, so they swerve the car sideways to knock the bike. This may result in successive accidents by knocking the bike and affecting other motorists in different lanes. Some drivers become enraged and pursue a high-speed chase to knock down the bike physically. In the process of a high-speed chase, both bikers may lose control and affect other road users, or the car can knock the bike resulting in death or severe and traumatic injuries.

Lane Splitting is Dangerous

Lane splitting is more dangerous where the lanes are turning; after lane splitting, you may lose the correct lane forcing you to engage in other maneuvers while on the road. These maneuvers can put you in more danger, like being knocked by other vehicles. It is safe to lane split when the road ahead is straight so that you don’t put other motorists in the danger of having to gauge their distances.

Passing between vehicles may be dangerous; when you focus more on lane splitting, you may not see other vehicles indicating signals for lane changing. You may bump into such a vehicle injuring yourself and sometimes causing the motorist to swerve off the road or knock other road users.

Florida Laws Regarding Lane Splitting

Florida statutes 316.209 states that “[n]o person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.” The same statute also states that “no motor vehicles shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane.” These statutes make lane splitting a traffic offense in Florida.

Liability after lane splitting

Lane splitting is illegal in Florida; you are fully liable for the damages when you are caught in an accident. These damages include:

  • Third-party Injuries such as Knocking a Pedestrian
  • Medical bills for the injured motorist and any other person in the vehicle
  • Your medical bills
  • Damage to your motorcycle
  • Damage to the motorist’s car.

These are some of the damages you will cover; the list extends depending on the nature of the accident. Suppose the accident affected many motorists; you will be the proximate cause of the subsequent accidents; as such, you will be liable for all the successive damages. Other motorists will get compensation from their insurance providers; however, they will sue you for damages.

Handling all these cases alone can be a nightmare; you may need a partner such as a good motorcycle accident attorney in Florida. Some of the arguments you may want to raise in court, such as the slippery nature of the roads, may only be valid when presented by your attorney. You may also need an attorney to help you secure at least partial compensation for the damages; this will save you from the burden of full compensations.

Effects of Motorcycle Lane Splitting

If you are engaged in a lane-splitting accident, the insurance company may red flag you and raise your insurance premiums, terminate your cover, or deny you the third party of motorcycle accident compensation. Insurance coverage is only applicable and beneficial if you exercise road safety; otherwise, it will be considered contributory negligence, affecting your access to insurance benefits.

Once the insurance companies identify a case of contributory negligence, you may be forced to cover bills rising from the accident on your own. Suppose you do not have a medical cover; the burden of medical bills will be on your relatives or your finances. The company can only be responsible for the third-party compensation but not you.

You are at a higher risk of severe injuries or death. Depending on the incident, lane splitting may lead to severe consequences. Imagine a bike knocked by a high-speed moving truck; the rider will likely end up in a morgue or ICU.

Besides the damages, the state will also sue you for damages and road misconduct. You may lose your driving license, go to jail or face other charges and penalties. An attorney is necessary to help you deal with these damages.

Why do you need an attorney?

Whether you are a motorist, bike, or pedestrian involved in an accident, you need the services of a motorcycle accident attorney in Florida. The next task for you should be finding a motorcycle accident attorney with experience in lane splitting cases. This may be challenging, but we have you covered with our team of legal experts in various accident cases. In our firm, you will find a qualified lane-splitting motorcycle accident attorney to help you in the case.

The Bottom-line

You owe yourself the duty of care, and to other road users, you can plan to leave early so that you arrive at your destination in time instead of lane splitting. Alternatively, you can engage in other safe road practices such a lane sharing. Lane sharing is legal in Florida; the Florida statutes allow up to two motorcycles to share a lane.

We take personal injuries and other road accidents seriously; if you are involved in a road splitting accident, you can get a motorcycle accident attorney in Florida by contacting our offices. Our services are available 24/7 through our websites, email addresses, telephone, or you can visit our offices.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Skip to content