Is Lane Splitting Legal in California?


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Northern California sees its fair share of traffic jams. To be fair, it’s not as bad up here as it down in the “Southland” – especially at horrorshow freeway intersections like the 405 and the 10 down in Los Angeles. In any event, if you drive a motorcycle, you might wonder whether it’s legal to “split lanes” in California – that is, to drive between vehicles in heavy traffic.

The answer is a qualified yes.

However, lane splitting is as much an art as it is a science. If you do it dangerously, and/or a CHP officer sees you violating the law in some other way, you can get a ticket and get in trouble. Moreover, lane splitting can be risky business. For instance, say you get backed up in a long queue of traffic at a stop light. Rather than wait with the rest of the cars, you motor forward, using lane splitting, to the front of the queue. Since your motorcycle will be “masked” by the car next to you, when you shoot into the intersection at the green light, you could get broadsided by an impetuous car traveling into the intersection before it clears up.

In other words, lane splitting can be a good way to get “T-boned” and seriously injured.

If you or someone you care about did get T-boned at an intersection like that, or if you got hurt while engaging in lane splitting, you may need highly nuanced, experienced legal advice to maximize your chances for recovery and minimize your chances of becoming liable for damages.

The team here at the Law Offices of Daniel Vega can help you strategize and build a powerful, thorough, and strategic Northern California accident case. Connect with us immediately for assistance, or just browse our website to learn more about what sets us apart and how we might be able to help you.