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.
Liability in Maryland Lane Splitting Motorcycle Accidents
If a motorcyclist was lane splitting at the time of a crash, the motorcyclist’s participation in the unlawful activity will likely be used against the motorcyclist. But even if a motorcyclist was engaged in lane splitting, it does not necessarily mean that the motorcyclist was liable for the crash. If another person was injured in a crash while a motorcyclist was lane splitting, that person might file a suit against the motorcyclist to try to obtain compensation for their injures. In that case, the injured person would still have to prove that the motorcyclist’s lane splitting (or other wrongful conduct) caused the crash and resulted in the person’s injuries. If the motorcyclist was injured in the crash, the motorcyclist’s insurance company and other potentially at-fault drivers might try to pin the blame on the motorcyclist because of the lane splitting. In either event, in a Maryland negligence lawsuit, the person trying to recover compensation would have to prove all the elements of the claim in order to recover damages in court, including that the motorcyclist’s dangerous conduct resulted in the person’s claimed injuries.
Contact a Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Individuals injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries. The attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC represents victims in motorcycle accidents, other motor vehicle accidents, and other wrongful conduct throughout Maryland and the Washington, D.C. area. Their attorneys will evaluate the case to determine whether an individual viable claim, determine the best course of action, and will work to pursue all parties responsible for causing the harm or loss. Call 1-800-654-1949 or fill out our online form to set up a free consultation today.