The issue of lane splitting comes up in a number of Maryland motorcycle accident cases. Lane splitting refers to motorcycles driving on the lines between lanes, which allows motorcycles to go in between two vehicles to pass them. According to Maryland’s Code of Transportation, a person operating a motorcycle cannot drive “between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.” Thus, in Maryland, lane splitting is illegal. This means that on any roadway in Maryland that is divided into two or more lanes, anyone operating a motorcycle is required to travel to an adjacent lane before passing another vehicle. Motorcycles are entitled to the full use of a lane and other vehicles cannot deprive a motorcycle of the full use of a lane.
Why Do Motorcyclists Split Lanes?
Some people argue that lane splitting helps motorcyclists speed up the flow of traffic because there are fewer vehicles occupying a single lane. Supporters also argue that lane splitting does not increase the risk of injury to motorcyclists, that it may help remove the motorcycle from a dangerous situation, and that Maryland lane-splitting motorcycle accidents are less severe for motorcyclists than rear-end accidents. However, even where it is legal, lane splitting can be dangerous and motorcyclists have to exercise caution to do it safely.