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Why is Lane Splitting Legal?

Lane splitting is something that many motorcycle riders do, but the state of Connecticut says that it is an illegal practice and that is extremely dangerous. It is when a motorcyclist decides to ride on the lines that separate rows of cars in traffic rather than staying in the lane with the other vehicles. The only state in the entire country that currently allows lane splitting is California, and though there are many proponents of making it legal elsewhere, for now the existing rules continue to apply. If you are a motorcyclist, knowing the laws is important to keeping yourself safe. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, the personal injury attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can help.

The people who are in favor of making lane splitting legal point to statistics showing that motorcycle accidents involving lane splitting actually lead to fewer rear-end accidents: this is true for both accidents in which motorcyclists are rear ended and those where motorcyclists rear end the vehicle in front of them. This may seem obvious – after all, if the motorcycle is next to a car rather than in front of or behind a car then there can be no rear-end collision. What is less obvious, and a point that is frequently cited by those who want to see lane splitting legalized, is the fact that of those motorcyclists who have been injured in collisions, the ones in which riders were engaging in lane splitting involved fewer head injuries, fewer torso injuries and fewer fatal injuries. These statistics were gathered from law enforcement agencies in California in cooperation with a study being conducted by UC Berkeley on behalf of the California Highway Patrol and the state Office of Traffic Safety. The study ended up recording the results of over 8,000 accidents.

Though it is hard to argue with the statistics that this study revealed, it is also true that lane splitting in California is done under completely differently environmental conditions than would be true in the state of Connecticut, at least during the cold weather months. Connecticut’s roads are also not maintained as well as those in California and are traveled more frequently by heavy trucks. All of these factors make it more likely that accidents could occur that would cause serious harm to motorcycle riders who are lane splitting. Additionally, California’s automobile drivers have become aware of lane splitting, and are often stuck in heavy traffic, where Connecticut’s drivers may be less likely to accommodate motorcyclists passing within inches of their doors.

There are valid arguments on both sides of the controversy, but what is always of prime importance is the safety of the motorcyclist and those with whom they share the road. When motorcyclists are involved in an accident they are vulnerable to severe injury. If you or someone you love has been injured and you need experienced, compassionate legal representation, contact the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers for help.