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When is Motorcycle Lane Splitting Not Okay?

Lane splitting is legal in California when done safely.

Lane splitting, also known as lane-sharing, occurs when a motorcyclist rides in the same lane of traffic as a slower moving vehicle.

Although legal, lane splitting is generally only advisable for experienced motorcyclists. Inexperienced motorcyclist are more likely to be injured during lane splitting, although the actions of inattentive car drivers can put even the most experienced motorcyclists at risk.

According to the California Highway Patrol, there are times when it is not okay to lane split. Generally, lane splitting should only be done at speeds below 30 mph and when traffic is not moving unpredictably.

Dangerous road conditions can also make lane splitting unadvisable.

For example, if the road is wet, a motorcyclist faces a higher risk of slipping while lane splitting. Roads are that under construction, in disrepair, or otherwise uneven also make lane splitting dangerous.

Avoid lane splitting with large vehicles such as trucks, buses, or RVs. Also avoid lane splitting between passenger cars if a large truck is blocking your view or if you cannot clearly see a way out of the space you’re going into.

Remember that it is still possible to be involved in a traffic accident even when lane splitting safely, but that caution during the lane splitting process is the first step to getting home safely.


Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP handles motorcycle accidents across Southern California. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, call us at 310-576-1200 or contact us online.

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