According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, motorcycle wrecks often result in serious injuries and fatalities. In fact, motorcycle accidents are on the rise statewide. Occasionally, these wrecks may result from a practice known as lane splitting.
What is lane splitting? Defined as driving in-between two lanes, lane splitting gives motorcyclists the ability to pass cars that are traveling at a slower rate. Many studies show that lane splitting can be safe if motorcyclists do it responsibly, but there are downsides to this common practice.
If you’ve already been injured in a motorcycle accident in Arizona, contact our Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys at the ELG Law. Our team of accident lawyers is here to help you today with a free consultation.
The main benefit of lane splitting is that motorcyclists are able to pass slower traffic and avoid inattentive drivers. When motorcyclists are able to avoid this traffic, it becomes less congested in general. Motorcyclists are able to pass safely and cut down on standstill traffic.
Because motorcycle crash fatalities are on the rise due to distracted drivers, avoiding these drivers is a pro for riders. Inattentive vehicle drivers are more likely to rear-end or sideswipe motorcyclists sitting in traffic. Plus, allowing motorcyclists to circumvent traffic means less pollution from idling motors.
On the other hand, some motorcyclists may abuse lane splitting. Motorcyclists might be tempted to speed through standstill traffic rather than use caution and proceed slowly. When motorcyclists weave in and out of traffic quickly, they may not see drivers changing lanes. Drivers who change lanes often frequently forget to look for lane splitters.
Furthermore, because lane splitting is illegal in some states, drivers may mistakenly think that motorcyclists are breaking the law by lane splitting. These drivers could become aggressive when they see motorcyclists avoiding the traffic.
Whenever cars and motorcyclists have to share a smaller space on the road, the risk of serious collisions increases.
In Arizona, lawmakers have introduced legislation to legalize lane splitting. This means that motorcyclists can get through traffic more quickly and safely. However, motorcyclists in Arizona will also have to learn to ride more carefully and more cautiously. Motorists across the state may not be aware of this new law, so motorcyclists will have to stay alert on the road.
While the new lane-splitting law can benefit riders, they shouldn’t take advantage of the law in all situations. If it doesn’t seem safe for motorcyclists to pass, they should obey the old laws and wait with other vehicles. As always, motorcyclists must use discretion and caution as they ride.
It’s important to follow traffic laws, stay calm and protect yourself as a motorcycle rider. But if you’ve sustained injuries in a crash, you should reach out to an attorney immediately. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in Arizona, contact our Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys at ELG Law. Call us at (623) 562-3838 for a no-obligation free consultation to safeguard your legal rights today.