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Is Lane Splitting Legal in Pennsylvania?

lane splitting in pennsylvaniaLane splitting can result in a more serious accident compared to other types of motorcycle maneuvers. This maneuver may be used by motorcycle riders, but most states prohibit it.

If you believe that lane splitting impacted your accident, the dedicated Harrisburg motorcycle accident lawyers at Schmidt Kramer can help. We can discuss the Pennsylvania lane splitting law and how it may impact your claim. We can explore all legal avenues for recovering compensation for the damages you have suffered.

Understanding Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is a driving maneuver when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. This maneuver makes it easy for motorcyclists to navigate through congested traffic because of the smaller stature of their bike. However, it is also especially dangerous and reckless.

Other motorists do not usually anticipate a moving vehicle to cut between lanes. When traffic begins to move again, an unsuspecting motorist may collide with a motorcycle that has lane split. Motorcycles may also be in drivers’ blind spots when lane splitting.

Lane Splitting in Pennsylvania

Some states permit lane splitting as long as it is done in a safe manner while others expressly prohibit the action. In Pennsylvania, lane splitting is illegal and motorcyclists who violate this traffic law can be ticketed.

Under Pennsylvania law, the following activities related to lane splitting are prohibited:

  • Driving in a way that deprives another motorist of the full use of a lane
  • A motorcyclist overtaking and passing in the same lane that another vehicle is occupying
  • Operating a motorcycle between lanes of traffic, between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles

However, it is legal for motorcyclists to share a lane with one other motorcyclist. Lane splitting laws do not apply to police officers who are performing their duties.

Liable Parties for a Lane Splitting Accident

Since lane splitting is prohibited in Pennsylvania, a motorcyclist who decides to use this driving maneuver is almost always liable for any injuries or property damage. Lane splitting can cause motorcyclists to collide with other vehicles and is entirely preventable.

In some situations, the other motorist and not the motorcyclist may be held legally liable for the accident. The insurance company may make an initial determination of who was at fault for the accident. If the case goes to trial, the judge or jury can consider if the motorist’s actions were contributing factors to the accident.

If the other motorist’s action exceeds the negligence of the motorcyclist lane splitting, the motorcyclist may be able to recover compensation for the damages he or she suffered.

Consequences of Lane Splitting

Lane splitting often causes serious injuries or even fatalities. When a motorcyclist collides with a passenger vehicle, he or she may be much more likely to sustain severe injuries due to the limited protection his or her vehicle provides when compared to passenger vehicles.

In many lane splitting accidents, the motorcyclist does not slow down and maintains the same speed while weaving around other vehicles. This can increase the likelihood of an accident resulting in injuries including, but not limited to:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Paralysis
  • Amputations
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Chronic pain

Get in Touch with Our Skilled Lawyers Now

Lane splitting often causes serious accidents and sometimes even fatalities. If you were injured in an accident involving lane splitting, get in touch with our skilled personal injury lawyers in Harrisburg. At Schmidt Kramer, our experienced attorneys have helped recover compensation for injured motorcyclists and other motorists who were harmed due to the negligent actions of others.

We can discuss your case and your legal options during a free consultation. All of our services are on a contingency fee basis which means we only get paid if we help you successfully resolve your claim.

Call (717) 888-8888 today to see how we might be able to help you.