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  • Writer's pictureBrad Keating

The Risks of Splitting Lanes on a Motorcycle, Explained

The risks of splitting lanes on a motorcycle

Motorcyclists are under attack! Motorcyclists account for 14% of traffic accident deaths, even though motorcycles make up just 3% of registered vehicles.

One reason why motorcycle accidents are so common is lane splitting. Many motorcyclists think it is safe and legal to start splitting lanes on a motorcycle. In reality, it's one of the most unsafe things you can do.

Can you split lanes on a motorcycle? Why is it so unsafe? What are the risks of motorcycle lane splitting for other drivers on the road?

Answer these questions and you can stay safe on your motorcycle for years to come. Here is your quick guide.

Splitting Lanes on a Motorcycle Is Illegal

Many states and most cities have passed laws against motorcycle lane splitting. Officers will pull motorcyclists over and issue tickets if they see motorcyclists splitting lanes.

You can defend yourself from charges and tickets. View these motorcycle lawyers here and get more information about motorcycle law. But the easiest way you can avoid charges is to not commit a crime at all.

Splitting Lanes Is Unpredictable

Riding safety requires you to make predictable movements. When a driver sees you make a signal to the left, they can predict you are turning left. This allows them to brake or turn their vehicle to the right to avoid you.

When you make an unpredictable movement like splitting lanes, other drivers cannot avert their course. They may collide with you because they don't know where you are going.

You Don't Have Much Space

You may only have two feet of room when you are driving between cars. This seems like a lot of space, but you may drift to one side and come close to another vehicle. You have even less room if you are riding alongside someone else.

On multi-lane roads, many drivers change lanes so they can turn off the road or avoid traffic. If you're driving between lanes, you don't have enough room to get out of the way of drivers changing lanes. This can cause a collision.

You Can Collide With Cars

Even if you have room, splitting lanes can lead to an accident easily. You may misjudge how much distance you have and collide with the back or side of a car. A car may stop short or adjust its speed, leading to an accident.

You may not collide with a car, but a car may collide with another vehicle. Many drivers try to get out of the way of motorcyclists, and this may lead them to swerve into other cars or objects.

You Should Be Cautious on Your Motorcycle

Splitting lanes on a motorcycle seems simple. Yet most states ban it due to how risky it can be.

Drivers cannot predict where you are going, and they may drive into you. You don't have enough room between lanes to avoid objects in the roadway.

As you're moving between lanes, you may collide with a vehicle. Even if you don't, a driver may steer away from you, causing a collision between themselves and someone else.

You should never drive between lanes, and you should inform yourself about safe motorcycle practices. Read more motorcycle safety guides by following our coverage.


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