When a motorcycle or other vehicles with two wheels travel between cars or trucks going the same direction, the rider is performing a move called lane splitting. Lane splitting, or what some refer to as stripe-riding or lane sharing, is a common practice for cyclists and riders in other countries to get around on busy roads.
In the United States, lane splitting is not common and is actually illegal in most states. Lane splitting laws vary by state and jurisdiction, and many do not specifically prohibit motorcyclists from lane splitting or sharing. Does your state permit lane splitting?
What States Allow Lane Splitting?
California is the only state that many riders would agree allows riders to lane share, but to say that lane splitting is legal in California is incorrect. The law tolerates lane splitting in California if a rider does so in a safe manner, but a law does not exist that makes lane splitting either legal or illegal. California Highway Patrol will cite riders if they unsafely perform lane splitting.
For states like Nebraska and Colorado, lane splitting is illegal. In other states, the language of the law prohibits actions used in lane splitting, such as not using turn signals continuously and not driving in a single lane, but it does not refer to lane splitting by name. Authorities have interpreted these laws as to mean lane splitting is prohibited.
When a motorcyclist gets in an accident, riders need legal representation with firsthand riding experience. Our firm is a part of the LawTigers network of attorneys who ride. If you need help understanding your legal rights after an accident, reach out to us today to schedule a free discussion with an attorney.
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Learn more about lane splitting by visiting the American Motorcyclist’s website.