Lane-splitting is when a motorcyclist either shares a lane with another vehicle or bypasses slowed traffic by riding their motorcycle on the lanes’ lines. This practice is illegal in Georgia, per O.C.G.A. § 40-6-312. However, some proponents claim that lane-splitting is safe if done properly since it reduces congestion.
Some Believe That Lane-Splitting Increases Motorcycle Safety
According to the Associated Press (AP), a representative for the American Motorcycle Association said: “Perhaps one of the most dangerous situations for any motorcyclist is being caught in congested traffic, where stop-and-go vehicles, distracted and inattentive vehicle operators, and environmental conditions increase the risk of physical contact with another vehicle or hazard.”
True to this sentiment, the United States is the only country that has laws against lane-splitting. The only state that explicitly allows the practice is California; its representatives believe that lane-splitting actually promotes motorcyclists’ safety.
According to a study from the University of California – Berkley, lane-splitting can be a safe option because:
- It reduces rear-end collisions.
- If done at a safe speed (under 50 mph), the risk of getting into accidents decreases.
- Motorcyclists are less likely to suffer severe head (8 percent lower) and torso (10 percent lower) injuries when undertaking this practice.
- It maximizes the view of the road and other road users.
Yet, it is crucial for motorcyclists and drivers to share the road.
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Reasons Why Lane Splitting Can Be Dangerous
There’s very little research regarding the safety of lane-splitting. Many people assume that the practice is dangerous because, in general, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to get into accidents, per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, whether the increased accident rate is due to lane-splitting is unknown.
Lane-splitting can be dangerous because:
- Motorists are not looking for vehicles that share lanes or ride alongside other drivers.
- Motorcyclists may speed in instances of stopped traffic, reducing their reaction times.
- It may encourage reckless riding practices (like speeding) in inexperienced riders.
Sometimes, traffic stalls for a reason, like if a serious motor vehicle accident has taken place. If a motorcyclist lane-splits and does not move with the flow of traffic, they might speed right into a hazard without knowing it.
What to Do If You or a Loved One was Involved in a Lane-Splitting Accident
Our lawyers can pursue compensation if you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a lane-splitting accident. We can recover damages, such as:
- Past and future medical costs
- Past lost income
- Lost future earning potential
- Motorcycle damage or destruction
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Cognitive or physical disability
- Funeral and burial costs
To obtain compensation (including damages not listed here), there are certain tasks we must do beforehand. When you hire a lawyer with our firm, you can depend on them to:
- Update you on the progression of your case
- Explain your legal options to you
- Gather and organize evidence
- Review traffic camera footage and take witness statements
- Identify who is liable for the accident
- Handle all communications with the involved parties
- Negotiate a settlement on your behalf
- Represent you at trial if negotiations don’t work out
Our goal is to render services that meet your case’s specific needs.
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How Long You Have to Take Legal Action After Getting Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident
Usually, we can settle with the other party’s insurer, but if for some reason it doesn’t work out in our favor, we have no issue with filing a lawsuit and preparing your case for court.
Unfortunately, our time to do so is limited, so please notify us about your accident as soon as possible. O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 imposes a general two-year deadline for those bringing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. If we fail to meet the deadline, you may not be able to collect the compensation you need to recover from your accident-related injuries.
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Pay No Lawyer’s Fees Until the End of Your Case
Some firms require their clients to pay them an hourly fee or lump sum for their services – but not us. Instead, we operate on a contingency-fee arrangement, meaning we don’t charge anything up front or out of pocket when you partner with us.
If we win a settlement or court award for you, we will take a portion of that as our payment. Should we lose your case, there is no payment due. That way, there is no further financial strain on you and your family during this time.
Connect with Kaine Law after a Motorcycle Accident
Some say that lane-splitting can increase motorcycle rider safety if done with care, but the state of Georgia outlaws it. Yet, if you were injured in an accident involving lane-splitting, you can still seek damages as long as your negligence didn’t mostly cause the collision, per O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33.