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Lane Splitting: Things You Need to Know About Lane Splitting in Pennsylvania

A motorcyclist should be aware of more factors to stay safe, avoid motorcycle accidents, and minimize overall costs associated with motor vehicle accidents. This guide talks about lane splitting, its impacts on motorcyclists, and how our law firm, JP Ward, can assist with motorcycle accident cases.

Here is what you need to know about lane splitting, motorcycle crash incidents, and how our Pittsburgh motorcycle accident lawyers can help with your motorcycle accident case.

What is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is a method used by cyclists to move faster in traffic. It involves driving in the available space between lanes. Wider vehicles need roads to switch to while overtaking in moving traffic. Cyclists can take advantage of their more agile vehicles and overtake other larger vehicles without necessarily entering a new lane.

 In a traffic jam, cars, larger vehicles like buses, and other wide vehicles have to drive within lanes and flow at the same rate as the congestion; sometimes, this means no movement. Bicycles and motorcycles can use their smaller width and move between lanes at relatively higher speeds. Moving at a higher speed means you spend less time in a traffic jam. Lane splitting is also called stripe-riding, filtering, or white lining. 

As efficient and thrilling as possible, lane splitting can be dangerous. It can be unsafe to move between vehicles at very high speeds. Most drivers do not anticipate a car driving in between lanes. 

Lane splitting is a very controversial topic with opinions for and against it. Each state has its laws on the subject. For safety reasons, lane splitting is illegal in many states in the US. States that allow it has specific regulations in place for safety. You should note that lane splitting is allowed only when the driver moves in the direction of the traffic. Driving against traffic is a crime everywhere.

The reason why lane splitting incidents are a problem is that they can bring about serious injuries, onerous medical expenses, and other issues in the Pittsburgh, PA 15219 area,

Lane Splitting in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, like every state, has its laws on lane splitting. For most of it, lane splitting is illegal in the state. 

A rider can share a lane with a fellow rider but not with a motor vehicle. The act of lane sharing for riders is only permitted on roads that have up to 2 or 3 lanes of traffic moving in the same direction.

In Pennsylvania, cyclists are not allowed to move between clearly marked lanes. At high speed, low speed, or stagnant traffic, riders are not allowed to overtake vehicles outside or in Pennsylvania’s traffic lanes. 

You are not permitted to drive in a lane currently occupied by a motorist or drive in a manner that deprives the motorist of full access to the road. Riders have to operate in spaces where they will be the most visible to surrounding vehicles. 

Breaking the lane-splitting laws is considered a criminal offense. In Pennsylvania, a rider is responsible for the damages incurred in an accident due to lane splitting. You are not allowed to split lanes in Pennsylvania.

What to do if You Get Involved in an Accident While Lane Splitting

An accident occurs majorly due to mistakes by one or more drivers passersby. Some of these mistakes may be illegal and therefore punishable by law. Misfortunes come with damages, and a party may require another party to bear the costs. 

Apart from damages, injuries can also be incurred in an accident. Owing to all of these, you would go through some processes if you ever get into such an accident. Here is how you can go about it:

  1. If you ever get involved, the first thing you need to do is contact the police if one is not at the accident site. Please make a report of the situation as it occurred.
  1. Get medical attention if needed. Accidents come with mild to fatal injuries. You should seek immediate attention, whatever the case may be.
  2. Remove damaged vehicles from the accident site. Get your car towed if you are injured or the vehicle is damaged.
  3. Contact your insurance company. Accidents come with damages, and you might have to cover the damages on both ends. You will require your insurance funds. Keep in my mind that insurance companies have conditions for releasing insurance funds. Some laws serve as conditions that must be met.
  1. Get an attorney. You may face trial for illegal acts. Other parties involved can sue you, or you may have to sue or settle. You would need a lawyer for the legal processes after the accident.
  1. Press charges if necessary. Get some advice from your lawyer before making such decisions, but yes, decide if necessary. If the other party agrees to settle, get a reasonable offer with the help of your attorney.
  1. Make the necessary payments. Pay and receive agreed-upon settlements as the case may be. You may be fined if you were involved in an illegal driving act or if the court orders you to compensate the other parties involved.

There is something you should consider if you are ever involved in an accident when you are lane splitting: the state’s regulations. 

Does the state allow lane splitting? If yes, is the particular lane splitting maneuver you were using legal? 

You need to know your legal position in this situation because it will determine how it all plays out.

Work with our Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Team For Your Motorcycle Accident Cases

Remember that lane splitting may be illegal in your state, so make sure regulations permit whatever you do. Lane splitting is a fast maneuver for traffic; however, it may not be safe. 

Adopting wrong driving practices would not favor you in the legal processes that follow an accident. Whatever maneuver you may employ on the road, ensure safety in your driving. 

We understand that it can seem like a hectic time. It is even more stressful if the motor vehicle accident results in excessive medical expenses for both parties. These heavy medical bills may stem from head injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, or injuries sustained in the incident. The case could become even more severe if a wrongful death were to occur.

If you have questions and concerns about serious motorcycle accidents or crashes, reach out to our Pittsburgh motorcycle accident lawyers today. Our motorcycle accident attorney professionals are here to offer a free consultation.