Lane splitting is a maneuverability act used by motorcyclists to quickly pass traffic by riding in-between lanes.
Although lane splitting is illegal in Ohio and 48 other states (California being the exception), it is still done by many.
Motorcyclists who lane split may claim that lane splitting reduces the risk of being rear ended – a common accident with motorcycles. However, lane splitting is a risky action that can easily go wrong. Because it puts motorcyclists and other drivers at an unnecessary risk of injury, lane splitting should always be avoided.
Lane splitting is dangerous and can cause accidents!
This maneuver is most commonly done in heavy traffic. However, congested roadways make lane splitting especially dangerous due to frequent lane changes by cars. Additionally, because driving in traffic requires extra concentration on surrounding cars, drivers are less likely to notice motorcycles riding between lanes. If a driver doesn’t realize a motorcycle is approaching, the car can easily change lanes into the motorcycle, potentially injuring the motorcyclist.
Furthermore, a motorcyclist who’s recklessly riding through lanes may overestimate the space between traffic and hit the side of a car. Not only could this cause damage to the car, but the motorcyclist could fall off the bike and suffer an injury as well.
Because lane splitting isn’t legal in Ohio, any damages and injuries sustained by lane splitting will most likely be the motorcyclist’s fault. This means that the motorcyclist will be responsible for all the medical bills and damage costs.
Here are some easy tips to avoid being rear-ended on a motorcycle:
- Do not stop abruptly and without warning
- When slowing down, dab at your brakes to make your brake lights flash
- Weave slightly in your lane when slowing down to attract attention from the car behind
- Leave plenty of space between you and the car in front
- Check your mirrors often while stopped to see if a car is approaching too fast or is too close
- Stay in gear while stopped in case you need to suddenly accelerate to avoid harm
- Plan a quick escape route in case a car is approaching too fast
Motorcycles can be a joy to ride, yet their fragility makes even the slightest of accidents a risk of serious injury. Because of how easy it is to get in an accident from lane splitting, it should always be avoided. By following the tips above, motorcyclists can eliminate the unnecessary risks of lane splitting and help prevent rear-end collisions in traffic.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a motorcycle accident by a negligent driver, contact my offices immediately. As your Ohio motorcycle accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.