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Lane Sharing And Lane Splitting: Can These Practices Cause California Motorcycle Crashes?

The rain is gone and the weather is beautiful.  More motorcyclists are heading out to enjoy spring in Southern California and this may mean more accidents.  
 
If you are sitting in your car and stuck in traffic, you may wonder why motorcyclists are zooming past you.  In general, motorcyclists must follow the same rules and laws as other drivers on the road. But, there are two driving practices that are unique to California motorcyclists: .
 
1. Lane sharing
2. Lane splitting
 
In order to prevent Orange County motorcycle crashes, it is important that drivers understand the motorcyclists may not follow the same rules.

Lane Sharing

In lane sharing two vehicles are side-by-side in the same lane.  The vehicles might be two motorcycles or a passenger vehicle and a motorcycle. There must be at least two lanes headed in the same direction for lane sharing to be legal. 
 
Lane sharing is illegal in most states, but it is legal in California.  Lane sharing may be beneficial to motorcyclists because it allows them to avoid breathing exhaust fumes while stuck in slow moving traffic, but lane sharing presents its own risks. Many safety experts consider lane sharing to be unsafe and the California  Department of Motor Vehicles discourages the practice. Drivers may not expect a motorcyclist to come up beside them and this puts the motorcyclist at risk of injury.  When an accident occurs during lane sharing, the motorcyclist may be found at fault. 
 
Lane splitting is a form of lane sharing where the motorcycle travels between lanes. The motorcyclist rides in the middle of two lanes of traffic at a higher speed than the surrounding vehicles.  This allows the motorcyclist to move away from vehicle exhaust, even in slow traffic.
 
When a motorcyclist uses lane sharing or lane splitting to move through slowed or stopped traffic, the term filtering is used.
 
Lane sharing Accidents
 
When an Orange County motorcycle accident occurs while lane sharing, there is a high risk of serious injury for the motorcyclist (and any passengers). may be seriously injured. These injuries can lead to extensive medical bills and lost wages.
 
Unfortunately, a motorcyclist may be blamed for the accident even if he did not break the law.  An experienced Orange County motorcycle accident attorney may be necessary in order to win a motorcycle injury claim.  The attorney will be able to investigate the accident and show who was really at fault.
 
If you have been injured in a Southern California motorcycle accident, you need to know about your legal options.  Contact Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie and ask to schedule an appointment with an Orange County motorcycle accident attorney.  The initial consultation is free.
 
Learn more about California accident claims. Download our free book: "7 Mistakes That Could Sabotage Your Accident Claim."

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