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Lane-Splitting Motorcyclists & You

Trucks on the freeway

Many of you have been there before: you’re cruising down the highway when you notice a motorcyclist weaving in and out of lanes recklessly. You may have sighed dismissively or raised your fist in anger, but have you ever wondered whether the law has anything to say about lane-splitting motorcyclists in California?

Probably not, as many drivers assume that this type of driving behavior is definitely illegal. The truth of the matter is, however, California didn’t really have anything to say about lane-splitting for a long time, and legal outcomes could go either way. It wasn’t until 2017 that California law decided to make a formal decision on this topic, one that surprised many drivers across the state: lane-splitting is legal and permissible.

What This Means For Drivers and Motorcyclists

For drivers, this means that you now need to be extra careful when driving around motorcyclists. The ruling will likely encourage more of them to engage in lane-splitting, and the recent changes to the law mean that, in the case of an accident that involves lane-splitting, drivers will almost always be found at fault. Always remain vigilant and be on the lookout for motorcyclists.

On the other hand, motorcyclists also need to be wary about their surroundings and make smart decisions when choosing to engage in lane-splitting. The changes to the law might not have changed things much for them in a legal sense, but lane-splitting is still an extremely dangerous activity that almost always comes with dire consequences for the motorcyclist when either him/her or a driver falter and make a mistake. In other words, they cannot afford to mess up.

Speak With a Personal Injury Attorney Today

At any rate, if you or someone you know was involved in a motorcycle accident, or any other type of accident involving a vehicle, it is in your best interests to reach out to a Modesto personal injury attorney. Call us at the Law Offices of Dean Petrulakis to schedule a free initial consultation today.