Florida Motorcyclists on the road provide a unique added element to the risks of driving. Motorcycles are more difficult to notice on the road, not just in blind spots, but anywhere. They can also be quite startling at times when their engines rev, though they are still not always easily noticeable. Many drivers have noticed how motorcycles speed along all types of roadways, and furthermore weave in and out of cars along the way. The image of a motorcycle shooting along a lane line in the narrow space between cars on the road is not uncommon. The same can be said on local roads for bicyclists as well. It may be more common where traffic is slowed or stopped, such that it is perceivably safer for the motorcyclist and drivers. Yet that may not necessarily be the case as you truly don’t know who will do what and when. Such bike weaving and moving in between vehicles is also known as “Lane-Splitting” and is a cause of many Florida Motorcycle Accidents.
Lane-Splitting in Between Other Motorists
From a motorcyclist’s perspective, lane-splitting may be an efficient way to go about, as well as to get through, traffic jams. From a car driver’s perspective, it likely appears as reckless and dangerous (although let’s face it, in those classic jams we may envy the motorcyclist’s advantage of making it through). Nevertheless, in jams or in moving traffic, lane-splitting can lead to accidents and injury. This could occur where a motorcycle tries to squeeze in between two cars where there is no sufficient space to do so, and inevitably causes damage to her own bike, or another car. Or, as cars look to get through the traffic or get off at the next exit to try an alternative route, they will try to force their way into different lanes. In trying to squeeze in, they may not notice motorcyclists coming along the lane lines, and if the opportunity for the driver to do so is brief, the danger of hitting a motorcyclist coming through may heighten.
Lane-Splitting Laws in Florida
Lane-splitting is prohibited everywhere around the country except the state of California, where it is allowed only if the motorcyclist is particularly careful and does so in a “safe and prudent manner,” as outlined on the California Highway Patrol website. In some areas it may be expressly prohibited under statutory law, or in others courts may simply interpret existing traffic laws as implicitly prohibiting lane-splitting as an unsafe, reckless or negligent activity. Thus if an accident occurs while a motorcyclist is lane-splitting, it is highly likely that the motorcyclist will be assigned some liability if another was injured or property was damaged. Or, if another driver acted so recklessly as to warrant being found liable, the motorcyclist could claim that the driver’s liability was the cause of the accident. Notably, in certain states a motorcyclist’s lane-splitting could significantly mitigate any damages, depending on how that particular state’s personal injury damages laws treat such situations. And for Californians out there, it should not be assumed that lane-splitting will be permissible. If a motorcyclist does so negligently or recklessly, the law will not excuse it.
Motorcyclists and drivers alike should understand the implications of lane-splitting, and should know how to interact with insurance companies in the event of an accident from lane-splitting. Having competent representation in such scenarios is also paramount.
Contact Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyer with Questions
If you have been in a motorcycle accident and believe that your injuries were caused due to road hazards, the malfunction of safety equipment, poorly marked construction areas, or other such unsafe conditions, contact motorcycle accident attorney at the Law Offices of Cohn & Smith in Florida by calling (954) 431-8100 for a free consultation.
We will discuss the specifics of your motorcycle and offer advice and explain the next steps in the process. The Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Cohn & Smith understand that every motorcycle accident claim is unique, and for that reason, we are dedicated to offering each client personalized service.