Hawk Law Group | October 5, 2022 | Georgia Law
Motorcycle riding is popular in Georgia, and with good reason — riding is fun, exciting, and social. However, it can also be dangerous in certain circumstances. As such, motorcycle riders are expected to follow the same rules of the road as other drivers, with some additional laws devised specifically for motorcyclists.
Among these, it’s illegal for motorcycle riders to split and filter lanes. The pros and cons of these riding practices are up for debate. While they can improve traffic flow and allow riders to ride more efficiently, they can also lead to collisions with other vehicles.
Lane splitting and lane filtering can result in stiff penalties for riders. At worst, they can cause accidents, resulting in property damage, injuries, and even fatalities.
What Is Lane Splitting?
Also called “white lining,” lane splitting occurs when a rider navigates between lanes of stopped or slow-moving vehicles. This practice is only possible with smaller vehicles like motorcycles and scooters.
Lane splitting allows riders to get ahead when traffic is backed up. While many motorcyclists are guilty of splitting lanes from time to time, it’s a dangerous habit to be in, as it often results in accidents and injuries.
What Is Lane Filtering?
Lane filtering is when motorcycle riders maneuver between vehicles in either stopped or slow-moving traffic. They do this to get in front of other vehicles and get ahead in traffic little by little.
Lane filtering happens most frequently at red lights. Riders creep to the front of the line to take off as soon as the light turns green rather than being sandwiched between vehicles that may take their time to get up to speed again.
What’s the Difference Between Lane Splitting and Lane Filtering?
While lane splitting and lane filtering have similar purposes, they’re quite different. The main distinction is the context in which the two practices occur.
Lane splitting happens most during rush hour traffic, as it helps riders get ahead and reach their destinations much quicker. It also tends to involve higher speeds. Lane filtering, by contrast, can happen at any time, most but often occurs at intersections and involves slower speeds than lane splitting.
Many states’ laws don’t decipher between the two actions, likely because lane filtering typically entails some lane splitting.
Is Either Legal in Georgia?
Lane splitting and filtering are both against the law in the State of Georgia.
The practices are a hot topic among Georgia motorists, as many motorcycle riders don’t see the harm in engaging in either lane splitting or filtering. Nonetheless, they can be slapped with stiff penalties if they’re caught doing either.
Who’s Liable for an Accident Caused By Lane Splitting or Lane Filtering in Georgia?
If you’re involved in an accident caused by lane splitting or lane filtering, liability will depend on the exact circumstances of the accident.
Generally speaking, if a motorcycle rider causes an accident while lane splitting or filtering, they’ll be found liable for the accident. However, there may be situations where a motorcycle rider is forced to split or filter lanes in response to another driver’s reckless actions, such as sudden braking, swerving, or merging without the use of a signal.
Speak to a Lawyer in the Event of an Accident
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident involving lane splitting or lane filtering, don’t hesitate to consult with a qualified legal professional. An attorney can answer any questions you might have and provide valuable legal advice on how to seek compensation for injuries, damaged property, and other losses.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
For more information, please contact the car accident lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
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We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.