Lane splitting is what occurs when a motorcyclist weaves through moving traffic by passing other vehicles in the same lane or on the stripes between the lanes. This is most common in traffic on a multi-lane road. Because the motorcyclist generally stays along the lane divider markings to move up in traffic, it is also known as “stripe riding” or “white lining.”
Lane Splitting Is Illegal in Most States
Lane splitting and other similar maneuvers are illegal in Georgia under Georgia Code (OCGA) §40-6-312. Lane splitting can cause serious and fatal accidents, especially when executed at highway or interstate speeds. Because of the relatively small size of motorcycles, drivers of cars and commercial vehicles cannot see them as well as other larger vehicles. This makes it even more dangerous when they ride in an unexpected place, such as along the lane lines.
The nature of lane splitting also means that the motorcyclist is riding and passing through the blind spot of every driver passed. If the driver has to change lanes, dodge something, or must alter their course in their lane, the motorcyclist could suffer injuries.
Many people claim there are benefits to lane splitting, such as relieving traffic congestion. However, any form of lane splitting is illegal in Georgia.
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Understanding Lane Splitting and Similar Maneuvers
Lane splitting is the most dangerous of the often-confused maneuvers sometimes used by motorcyclists to navigate traffic congestion.
Lane Sharing: It is legal for two motorcycles to share a lane in Georgia, but only two can drive side-by-side. Both vehicles must be motorcycles. A motorcycle cannot share a lane with a car.
Lane Splitting: Lane splitting is the dangerous, illegal act of weaving through traffic along the stripes of the road to pass other vehicles.
Lane Filtering: Similar to lane splitting, lane filtering occurs when other traffic is very slow-moving or moving at a standstill, such as a traffic light. The motorcyclist moves at a slow speed along the lane lines through the stationary traffic. This maneuver is also illegal, as the motorcyclist occupies a driver’s blind spot in this scenario.
Lane Splitting Could Mean You Are Liable for an Accident
If you are a motorcyclist who was hurt in an accident while lane splitting or filtering, it is possible that a Georgia court could hold you responsible for the injuries and losses of others involved in the accident. However, this will depend on the facts of your case.
Lane splitting is illegal and will likely be considered an act of negligence by the court. Georgia operates based on shared liability principles in the event of an accident, according to OCGA §51-12-33. This means that victims of an accident can recover compensation as long as the court finds they were no more than 49 percent at fault in causing the accident.
As an injured motorcyclist, you likely need to recover as much compensation as you can to cover your medical bills, health treatments, lost wages, or other losses. Even if the court rules in your favor that the other motorist is responsible for 50 percent or more of the accident, a ticket for lane splitting could reduce the proportion of your losses you can recover.
For example, imagine the court finds you are 25 percent responsible for the accident and the other driver is 75 percent responsible. You would only be eligible to recover 75 percent of your losses.
Rely on a Georgia Motorcycle Accident Attorney to Represent You
If you were hurt in an accident that involved lane splitting, it can be helpful to work with an attorney who understands this maneuver and this type of accident. At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, we believe in accountability. We want to hold the liable party responsible for your losses, even if they allege you are at fault since you were lane splitting or lane filtering.
We have up to two years to take your case to trial under OCGA § 9-3-33. If we cannot reach a satisfactory out-of-court settlement in your case, we can file a civil suit and ask the judge or jury to determine shared fault in your accident, if possible.
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Speak to a Team Member from Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Today
The Bader Scott Injury Lawyers team offers complimentary case assessments and consultations to motorcycle accident victims. We can help you understand the statutes that may apply in your case and whether we believe you have enough evidence of negligence and liability to take legal action. Reach out to our team today to discuss your accident, injuries, prognosis, and other facts of your case.
You can dial (404) 888-8888 to reach our team following a motorcycle accident.