Lanesplitting Can Lead to Serious Motorcycle Accidents

By Mark T. Flickinger, JD on February 27, 2016

The lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton have helped countless clients in and around Provo with their legal needs, offering expert legal counsel and sound guidance through the various phases of the litigation process.

Having a lawyer on your side is especially important for injury motorcycle accidents, particularly when negligence is involved. It's with this in mind that we'd like to consider the issue of lanesplitting and how that applies to these kinds of collision cases.

What Is Lanesplitting?

Lanesplitting refers to the practice of a motorcyclist driving a motorcycle between lanes along the line. Sometimes motorcyclists do this when traffic is at a standstill, maneuvering the small gap between vehicles. In other instances, a motorcyclist may split lanes while vehicles are in motion, and sometimes at high speeds.

As you can imagine, lanesplitting is dangerous and can lead to fatal injuries, which is why there are various laws on the books with regard to lanesplitting.

Is Lanesplitting Legal in the State of Utah?

No.

Utah, like many states across the country, does not permit lanesplitting at any time. This means that motorcyclists cannot ride between lanes while traffic is in motion and they are also prohibited from doing so when traffic is stopped. This is one of the ways that the state of Utah hopes to keep motorcyclists safe from serious injuries.

The Dangers of Lanesplitting

When a motorcyclist travels between designated lanes of traffic, he or she can potentially strike the side of an adjacent vehicle. When traffic is stopped, this can mean bumps and bruises to the motorcyclist as well as damage to the vehicles involved in the collision. When vehicles are in motion, a motorcyclist can potentially be struck by a vehicle or strike a vehicle. This can lead to the motorcyclist falling off his or her motorcycle, and subsequently increases the risk of the motorcyclist being run over by adjacent or oncoming traffic.

In addition to posing a danger to himself or herself, a motorcyclist who rides between lanes may also cause accidents to occur with other vehicles nearby. Cars may swerve to try to avoid the motorcycle, result in a collision with another vehicle.

Motorcyclists Should Be Careful While on the Road

Whenever you are operating a motorcycle, it's important that you abide by the rules of the road, which means paying attention to the posted speed limits and traffic signs and also avoiding dangerous or reckless behaviors such as lanesplitting. This will help keep you and others on the road safe.

What You Should Do If a Motorcyclist Is Lanesplitting

If you are driving your car and notice a motorcyclist is riding alongside your vehicle between lanes, do not panic or overreact. Continue to drive carefully and be attentive of the motorcyclist near your vehicle. It may be helpful to slow down gradually, allowing the motorcycle to pass without incident, or to safely change lanes in order to give the motorcyclist more room.

Contact Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton

To learn more about your legal options following a serious motor vehicle collision, be sure to contact our team of personal injury lawyers today. The legal team of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton will fight diligently for you every step of the way.

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