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Motorcycle Accidents in California – Is The Practice of Lane-Splitting Legal?

Posted by Dan Kann | Aug 05, 2021 | 0 Comments

The enchanting weather all year round is one of the prime reasons for making motorcycling a very popular pastime in California. Unfortunately, this popularity is also the reason behind a high number of motorcycle-related accidents that result in serious injuries and fatalities.

Understanding how and why motorcycle accidentshttps://www.kannlawoffice.com/motorcycle-accidents-lawsuits happen is the key to finding out ways to prevent them.

Main Causes of California Motorcycle Collisions

Although there are several reasons behind motorcycle collisions, external factors beyond the control of motorcyclists are responsible for most of the serious accidents causing life-threatening injuries.

These collisions mostly involve other motorists and often result in grim consequences for the motorcyclists. These are the two main scenarios where other motorists and motorcycle riders end up in on-road collisions:

  • A motorist, without any warning, changes lanes directly when driving in front of the motorcycle
  • A vehicle bumps into a motorcycle from behind, being unable to spot the rider for any reason 

What is Lane Splitting?

Lane-splitting, or lane-sharing, is a term used for a motorcyclist riding in the same direction between rows of traffic that is slow-moving or stationary. 

There is no clear evidence that suggests that lane-splitting is a leading cause of motorcycle collisions. It is entirely up to the rider to gauge the risks while lane-splitting and indulge in the practice only when entirely necessary and safe.

While on one hand there is no law that legalizes lane-splitting in California, there is no law that prohibits the practice either. So, lane-splitting is technically legal in California while it is illegal in all the other states.

When is a Motorcyclist Allowed to Practice Lane-Splitting?

In California, authorities permit lane-splitting only when the motorcyclist is riding in the direction of slow-moving or stationary traffic. Riders should refrain from lane-splitting when the traffic is moving at normal speed. 

While other motorists see lane-splitting as a dangerous practice, the American Motorcyclist Association supports lane-splitting as a safe practice for riders when compared to sitting in a traffic pile-up. Most rear-end accidents involving motorcyclists and other vehicles occur in congested traffic.

Who is at Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?

California is a tort liability state. The liability in an accident depends on the party that is at fault. It becomes imperative to prove the exact degree of a defendant's fault because the plaintiff can have their compensation reduced based on their degree of fault.

Most motorcycle crashes are due to the carelessness of other drivers. Be aware of your legal rights if you are a victim in such a crash, and avoid falling into the trap of owning the blame for a collision you were not responsible for.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney at the Kann California Law Group

A motorcycle collision can be a traumatic experience. At the Kann California Law Group, our dedicated attorneys with their extensive understanding of the personal injury law in California, are committed to helping motorcycle accident victims claim compensation for their injuries and losses.

We can represent you in Ventura, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, Encino, Pasadena, and many other Southern California cities. Contact the Kann California Law Group today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Call us at 888-744-7730 or contact us online.

About the Author

Dan Kann

Daniel E. Kann has devoted his entire legal career exclusively to defending individuals facing criminal prosecution in Southern California. Dan fights criminal cases throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Kern, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.


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