How Does Lane Splitting Affect Liability In A Motorcycle Accident?
Lane splitting is not an uncommon occurrence on our roads, even though the practice of riding a motorcycle between lanes of traffic is not legal in Florida. Splitting lanes is also one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents.
Since Florida law makes it illegal to ride between the lanes or rows of traffic, how does lane splitting affect liability in a motorcycle accident? Because each accident is unique, you may want to consult with a knowledgeable attorney.
Our Miami motorcycle accident attorneys are prepared to help. Contact Pita Weber Del Prado to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation.
Does Lane Splitting Cause Motorcycle Accidents?
Many motorcycle riders in Florida engage in the practice of lane splitting to avoid congestion and get to their destination faster than drivers of passenger cars. However, lane splitting is a dangerous behavior on the road, which is why Florida law makes it illegal to travel between lanes of traffic (Fla. Stat. § 316.209).
Lane splitting could lead to a preventable motorcycle accident because:
- Slowed or stopped motorists may not be aware of the motorcycle’s presence between lanes of traffic, which could result in collisions when merging or changing lanes;
- A motorcyclist may lose control when attempting to ride between lanes of traffic;
- A motorcyclist riding between lanes of traffic may not be visible to drivers of cars and trucks when lingering in the vehicle’s blind spots; and
- Lane splitting may cause road rage and aggressive driving.
Because lane splitting is illegal in Florida and most other states, it is also considered one of the leading causes of road rage. Road rage, in its turn, can contribute to a car crash.
How to Determine Liability in a Lane Splitting Motorcycle Accident
When a motorcycle traveling between lanes of stopped or slowed traffic is involved in an accident, the motorcyclist may be fully liable for the resulting damages. Aside from being found at fault for the accident, a motorcyclist’s insurance company is likely to:
- raise insurance premiums;
- terminate coverage altogether; or
- deny coverage for the damages and losses.
When it comes to determining liability in a motorcycle accident involving lane splitting – or any other accident, for that matter – it is essential to keep in mind that Florida is a pure comparative negligence state.
Under the pure comparative negligence system, multiple parties may be found liable for an accident. Thus, if a driver was partially at fault for a motorcycle accident involving lane splitting, their damages could be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.
For example, if a driver is distracted by his phone when a lane-splitting motorcycle accident occurs, they may be deemed 30% at fault for the accident. It is advisable to contact an attorney if you were involved in a lane-splitting motorcycle accident, whether you are a motorcyclist or car driver.
Your attorney will help you deal with insurance companies to make sure that you get the compensation you are entitled to. Speak with our results-driven attorneys at Pita Weber Del Prado to talk about your case. Call 305-670-2889.