What You Need to Know About Lane Splitting in Arizona
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Jun 21, 2018 in Motorcycle Accidents
Lane splitting is a dangerous traffic maneuver that occurs when a motorcyclist travels in two lanes at the same time. Motorcyclists often do this between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped vehicles. However, this can easily lead to an accident that could cause severe injuries to the motorcyclist and occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury because a motorcycle rider was engaging in lane splitting, you should contact a knowledgeable Arizona auto accident lawyer at Phillips Law Group. We can answer your questions about pursuing compensation from the at-fault driver in a free, no obligation legal consultation.
What Is Lane Splitting?
Lane splitting is the act of using two lanes at the same time, usually while traffic is stopped or slow-moving. This driving maneuver is also referred to as lane sharing, white-lining, stripe lining or filtering.
Motorcyclists engage in lane splitting because their vehicles are smaller and more maneuverable than cars. Many bikers feel that lane splitting is safer than staying in one lane of slow-moving traffic – if they stay in one lane they risk being hit from behind by a driver who is not paying attention. Some motorcyclists think lane splitting helps make them be more visible to other drivers.
Is Lane Splitting Legal in Arizona?
Lane splitting is against the law in Arizona (Arizona Revised Statutes 28-903) and many other states. The law states that motorcyclists cannot operate a motorcycle between two lanes of traffic or two adjacent rows of vehicles.
However, motorcyclists traveling from California may engage in lane splitting because California law does not prohibit this practice. They may not know it is illegal in Arizona.
Who Is at Fault for a Lane Splitting Accident?
Motorists who cause an accident while violating a traffic law are often found at fault. This means that if a motorcyclist engages in lane splitting and it causes an accident, he or she will likely be found at fault for the crash and responsible for injuries and property damage. This is true even if the motorcyclist avoids injury and the accident involves two other vehicles.
Even though lane splitting is illegal, some motorcyclists still do it. This is why drivers need to take precautions to lower the risk of a crash if a motorcyclist engages in lane splitting near their vehicle. These precautions include:
- Driving no more than 10 miles per hour faster than other vehicles around you
- Remaining cautious and aware of your surroundings, particularly in heavy traffic
- Staying alert and mindful of other drivers’ actions
- Looking in your blind spots before merging into traffic or switching lanes
Dangers of Lane Splitting
Lane splitting can cause significant injuries and property damage. The driver of the passenger vehicle or the motorcyclist may sustain an injury that is severe or life-threatening.
This is why it is crucial for motorists to avoid bikers when they engage in lane splitting or other dangerous driving maneuvers, such as:
- Using inadequate space to lane split
- Driving between lanes near a toll booth
- Splitting lanes when traffic is moving at dangerous speeds
- Engaging in unpredictable movement
- Engaging in lane splitting in severe weather or when there are dangerous road conditions
Contact an Attorney for Help After an Accident
If you were injured in a lane splitting accident, contact our accomplished legal team at Phillips Law Group to learn about available legal options. We provide a free consultation so that you can learn about who may be held legally responsible for the accident and the compensation you may be entitled to receive.
We can help you pursue a legal claim against the responsible party for the car accident. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.