How Lane Splitting Can Impact Your Florida Motorcycle Accident Case
All drivers in Florida are expected to operate their vehicles in a manner that does not put other road users, including motorcyclists, in danger. For example, motorists in Florida are expected not to speed or operate their vehicles while drunk. Drivers are also required to avoid drowsy driving, distracted driving, careless driving, and reckless driving. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida with a motor vehicle because of another driver’s negligence, you might be eligible to recover compensation from the vehicle’s driver. However, if you were lane-splitting when your accident happened, your case might be impacted. Here is how lane splitting can impact your Florida motorcycle accident case.
What Does Lane Splitting Mean?
Lane splitting happens when a motorcyclist slips between two lanes and “makes” their own lane. Lane splitting could occur when a motorcyclist rides on the painted lines between two vehicle lanes. Usually, motorcyclists decide to lane split when traffic is moving slowly or stuck. For example, when a motorcyclist is stuck in traffic because of an auto accident some miles ahead, they might decide to lane split instead of waiting for traffic to start moving.
It is crucial to note that lane splitting is not the same as lane sharing, which is when motorcyclists ride side by side in one lane of traffic.
Is Lane Splitting Illegal in Florida?
Lane splitting is illegal in Florida. According to Florida Statute 316.209, motorcyclists are prohibited from operating motorcycles between lanes of traffic or adjacent lines or rows of vehicles. According to the law, anyone who lane splits is guilty of a noncriminal traffic infraction. However, often, motorcyclists get away with lane splitting.
Unlike lane splitting, lane sharing is not illegal in Florida. However, according to Florida law, a single lane cannot be used by more than two motorcyclists.
Is It Dangerous to Lane Split?
There is still no consensus on whether or not lane splitting is dangerous. Many drivers consider lane splitting unsafe and annoying. On the other hand, many motorcyclists believe that lane splitting is safer than sitting in traffic.
How Lane Splitting Can Affect Your Florida Motorcycle Accident Case
Comparative negligence might affect your Florida motorcycle accident if you were lane-splitting at the time of your accident. If the other party’s insurance company claims that lane splitting contributed to your accident, you may recover an amount that is not the full value of your case. Florida’s pure comparative negligence rule provides that damages should be apportioned based on a plaintiff’s negligence in any Florida personal injury case. That means that if you are deemed 20% at fault for your motorcycle accident, the damages your recover will be reduced by 20%.
Unfortunately, because motorcyclists have an unjust reputation for being reckless, if you were lane splitting when your accident happened, the other party is bound to use that against you, even if they are entirely to blame for your accident. For this reason, you need to retain a skilled attorney who can help you fight back.
Contact a Parkland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you need help with your Florida motorcycle accident case, contact our Parkland motorcycle accident lawyers at Lyons & Snyder. We can help you recover compensation even if you are partly to blame for your accident.