Lane Splitting, Liability, and Motorcycle Accidents in Florida
According to some statistics, Florida has the fourth-highest motorcycle death rate nationwide—registering 600 motorcyclist deaths in 2020.
What causes or contributes to motorcycle accidents?
A lack of visibility, of course. The number one thing most drivers say after getting into an accident with a motorcycle is, “I never saw him.”
But there are also some basic hazards, like the fact that motorcyclists are not protected by much more than their helmets and clothes. Crash on the road or into a passenger car and that’s going to hurt.
And then there are motorcycle driver errors—mistakes and dangerous driving habits.
Like lane splitting.
Lane Splitting in Florida
In Florida, as in most states, lane splitting is illegal. So far, California is the only state that has legalized lane splitting.
In Florida, however, motorcyclists caught lane splitting can face criminal charges as well as civil liability if they caused an accident while lane splitting.
Quite often people confuse lane splitting with “lane sharing.” Lane sharing occurs when two or more motorcycles drive side by side in the same lane. Lane sharing is legal in Florida, but only if no more than two motorcycles share the lane.
So what is lane splitting, exactly?
Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist rides on “the dotted line” in two-lane traffic between moving cars. Lane splitting occurs most frequently when the traffic is moving slowly and the motorcyclist is trying to get ahead of the congestion.
Lane splitting is a hotly debated subject in the motorcycle world. Some say it causes accidents, others disagree. But regardless of who has the right of it, lane splitting is illegal in Florida.
Liability and Lane Splitting
Whether or not lane splitting by a motorcyclist caused an accident will depend on the facts of the particular case. However, in light of the fact that lane splitting is illegal in Florida, if a motorcyclist involved in an accident is cited for lane splitting at the time, it is fairly certain that he or she will bear some level of liability for the accident.
As with all traffic accidents, an investigation will determine the percentage of fault attributable to each party in the accident.
Does this mean then, that if you were lane splitting and got into an accident that you will be completely unable to recover for your injuries?
Consult an experienced motorcycle accident attorney if this is your situation to learn more about your chances of recovery,
It may be harder to recover for your injuries, but depending on the facts of the case, the other drivers might also have some liability for the accident. Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that any recovery you might be entitled to will be reduced by the percentage attributable to your lane splitting.
Our experienced personal injury team can help you properly evaluate the situation.
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Florida.
Our attorneys are here to help injured individuals obtain the compensation they deserve. If you were involved in an accident, contact us here or simply call our firm at: 777-JOHN. We serve clients throughout Florida. Our main office is in Orange Park, but we have consulting offices in Palatka, Middleburg, Keystone, Starke, Gainesville, and Ocala.