Motorcyclist Topics: The Differences Between Lane Sharing and Lane Splitting

As a motorcyclist, you are probably often the envy of other motorists on the highway. Aside from the general level of cool that emanates from riding a motorcycle, you can enjoy the fresh air and get just a little closer to nature while making the commute, running errands, or out for a joy ride on a beautiful weekend afternoon.

And who could help but feel a pang of envy as you shoot by with the engine humming and the wind in your hair? Not only are you enjoying yourself more, but you are probably getting to your destination more affordably and even faster, without breaking the speed limit.

Learning to make the traffic route work for you can cut down on your commute time considerably, but of course this must be done so safely and within the law. In some states (like California) lane splitting is legal, but that is not the case in Florida. And while many consider it to be a controversial practice, others point out that lane splitting cuts down on traffic congestion, means that motorcyclists can get to their destinations more expediently, and may even lessen the chance for cars to rear-end motorcyclists as they are out of the way.

Considering it is not legal in Florida though, lane splitting can be very dangerous as other drivers are not used to motorcyclists traveling between lanes. Not only that, if you are injured in an accident and you were lane splitting, your case may be harder to prove and any chance of receiving damages may be lessened.

While lane splitting involves a motorcyclist riding down the center line rather than traveling directly in front of or behind a car, lane sharing usually means that two motorcyclists are riding side by side in the same lane. This could also apply to a large group of motorcyclists riding together in formation, or two or more bicyclists.

Lane sharing is also sometimes referred to as filtering, helping to eliminate congested traffic, and it is legal in most states. Safety measures should be taken to make sure that motorcyclists are not edging too close to the center line when allowing space for each other while riding side by side, and they should also try to avoid riding behind a car in such a way that would put them in their blind spot, creating a potential hazard if the car were to turn. Riding side by side may also be hazardous on curvier roads.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.