Hawk Law Group | February 24, 2022 | Motorcycle Accidents
Every motorcyclist has been stuck in slow-moving or stopped traffic. Standard vehicles have no option but to sit and wait out the delay. However, motorcycles are smaller than cars, and it can be tempting for a biker to look for a faster way out.
One option for escaping a traffic jam on a motorcycle is the practice of lane splitting.
If you’re a motorcyclist in Thomson, GA, you need to know the laws about lane splitting and similar practices to avoid legal consequences like citations and fines.
What Is Lane Splitting?
Lane splitting is the practice of driving a motorcycle between two lanes of traffic. Lane splitting is also called white lining or stripe riding. It’s usually done to escape stopped or slow-moving traffic. Since a motorcycle is much narrower than other vehicles, it’s easy for a biker to get out of a traffic jam by riding between rows of waiting cars.
Lane Splitting in Thomson, GA
Lane splitting is illegal in Thomson, GA. Driving laws are usually implemented on a statewide level, and lane splitting is no different – it’s illegal throughout the state of Georgia and throughout most of the country.
Motorcycles are vehicles, and a biker has the right to occupy a lane like any other vehicle on the road. Driving laws usually treat vehicles with uniformity, and bikers are expected to operate within a single lane just like any other vehicle.
There’s one exception to this rule: bikers are permitted to drive with two bikers side by side, sharing a lane.
Is Lane Splitting Dangerous?
The laws banning lane splitting in Georgia and most other states exist due to safety concerns. Driving in the narrow space between two vehicles means that a biker must possess a high level of control to avoid an accident. This can be difficult, especially when driving at high speeds.
Another safety concern relates to other drivers on the road. When a vehicle is occupying a lane, the driver expects their right of way to extend to the full width of the lane.
A driver might not be on the lookout for a motorcyclist suddenly appearing in the small space between their car and another. A lack of driver preparation and vigilance can also lead to an accident. While this may not be an issue when traffic is stopped, it could cause a dangerous accident when vehicles are moving at higher speeds.
Safety concerns like these are the primary reasons lane splitting has long been an illegal driving practice for motorcyclists.
Where Is Lane Splitting Legal?
Currently, California is the only state where lane splitting is a legal driving maneuver for motorcyclists. This is a relatively recent change. In 2016, California became the first state to legally define the practice of lane splitting in its state vehicle code. At the same time, the state’s ban on lane splitting was lifted.
California’s changed attitude on lane splitting was driven by results from a 2015 UC Berkeley study showing that lane splitting is a safe practice at lower speeds. The study results concluded that lane splitting doesn’t significantly contribute to accidents.
The Future of Lane Splitting in Thomson, GA
Currently, the state of Georgia has no plans to legalize lane splitting. However, the legal precedent set by California means that it’s possible for this to change in the future.
For now, Georgia continues to follow the example set by the majority of other states, banning lane splitting by motorcyclists in an attempt to reduce car accidents and eliminate dangerous driving situations.
If you were involved in an accident with a motorcyclist who was lane splitting, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options. A lawyer will help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance adjusters and other parties, file a claim and handle any other documentation, and maximize the compensation you are entitled to receive.
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