The Potential Dangers of Lane Splitting in Florida

As a motorcyclist in Florida, it can be tempting to zip through traffic jams by maneuvering between lanes of cars. This practice, known as lane splitting, might seem like an efficient way to avoid congestion. However, it carries significant risks and is illegal in many states— including Florida

What Is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars, typically in traffic jams. Motorcyclists often resort to lane splitting as a means to save time or avoid being rear-ended in slow-moving traffic. It is seen by some riders as a way to take advantage of the small size of motorcycles, allowing them to navigate through traffic more freely than enclosed vehicles can.

The Dangers of Lane Splitting

Lane splitting can significantly increase the risk of accidents. Given the close quarters and minimal reaction times when navigating between lanes, even small errors in judgment by the motorcyclist or surrounding drivers can lead to collisions. Moreover, if a motorcyclist is involved in an accident while lane splitting, they may be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. This liability holds regardless of whether the motorcyclist was otherwise obeying traffic laws. In the event you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our motorcycle accident attorney in Riverview today.

Any motorcyclist caught lane splitting in Florida may face legal penalties such as fines and points on their license. Serious infractions could lead to the suspension or revocation of the motorcyclist’s license and a significant increase in insurance premiums. To protect your rights while riding a motorcycle, it is important to avoid lane splitting whenever possible.

Florida’s Lane Splitting Law

In the state of Florida, lane splitting is explicitly prohibited. A motorcyclist caught committing this practice could face a fine as well as other penalties, such as restrictions on their driving privileges.

Florida Statutes § 316.209: Operating motorcycles on roadways laned for traffic.

(1) All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This subsection shall not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane.

(2) The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.

(3) No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.

(4) Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.

(5) Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply to police officers or firefighters in the performance of their official duties.

(6) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.

What to Do If You Are Injured While Lane Splitting

If you are injured while lane splitting, it is important to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Although this practice is illegal, you may still retain the right to pursue financial compensation for the harm that you have suffered. However, lane splitting can complicate these matters, which is why you need an attorney on your side.

A lawyer can defend your rights during the insurance or lawsuit process, advocating for your right to maximum compensation. They can also strategize a robust defense or claim to help establish the other driver’s liability and minimize the scrutiny that you may face. To protect your rights, schedule a consultation with a Riverview personal injury lawyer as soon as possible and begin assessing your legal options immediately.