The Dangers of Motorcycle Lane Splitting

Although motorcycle riding can be fun and exhilarating, motorcyclists must take special care on the road, because accidents are all too common. One of the many ways that motorcyclists can help prevent accidents is by avoiding lane splitting.

What Is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is a motorcycling maneuver commonly performed by motorcycle riders. “Lane Splitting” refers to the practice of riding on op of the white lines that split the lanes of a road. This maneuver is also commonly referred to as “white lining” and “stripe riding.”

Motorcyclists sometimes do this to get along quicker in traffic and avoid getting stuck in traffic. But lane splitting can be dangerous and has the potential to result in serious accidents.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in New York?

The law in New York specifically prohibits lane splitting. In New York, motorcycle riders cannot legally ride between lanes. For the purposes of this law, it does not matter whether the line between lanes is dashed or solid.

A primary reason lane splitting is prohibited in New York is the heavy traffic in the city at any time of day or night. New York is known for very heavy traffic congestion, which already causes frustration and increases the chances of collisions. When motorcyclists engage in lane splitting, they further increase the likelihood of an accident.

It’s worth noting that lane splitting is different than lane sharing. While the two terms are commonly used interchangeably, they speak of very different things. Lane splitting refers to riding between motor vehicles, while lane sharing means riding a motorcycle alongside another motorcyclist, which is proper.

NY Law does not prohibit lane sharing. However, only two riders may share a lane at once. Additionally, motorcyclists are allowed full use of a lane while riding on their own.

Risks Associated with Lane Splitting

Like many things in life, riding a motorcycle comes with certain risks. However, engaging in lane splitting can create a dangerous environment on the road for many reasons.

Some of the reasons lane splitting is so dangerous include:

  • Drivers may make sudden shifts from lane to lane;
  • Drivers have a tendency to drive aggressively in the city;
  • The streets of New York are very narrow, making lane splitting even more dangerous;
  • Motorcycles are often invisible to larger vehicles like tractor-trailers;
  • Distracted driving is also common, meaning a driver may not see a lane-splitting motorcycle;

While many motorcyclists think that lane splitting can help them avoid accidents, that is generally not the case. This is one of the many reasons that lane splitting is not allowed in NY.

Motorcycle Accidents Can Still Happen Without Lane Splitting

Even without lane splitting, motorcycle accidents are still common, happening every day. If you experience a collision without engaging in lane splitting, you may have a valid motorcycle accident claim.

After a motorcycle crash, it is best to discuss your situation with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. A lawyer can provide valuable guidance and create a strong legal strategy to help get you the best possible outcome.

Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in New York, NY

If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City motorcycle accident lawyer at Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC at 212-240-9465 for your free, no obligation, in-office consultation and see how to get the Wheels of Justice Spinning for You!