Motorcycle lane splitting in New York
The risks involved in riding a motorcycle instead of driving a car sometimes attract motorcyclists to their choice of vehicle in the first place. Motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than cars because they leave the rider fully exposed to the cars and hazards around them. Even helmets and thick leather jackets can’t always protect a motorcyclist from a tragic accident.
One risky behavior many motorcyclists engage in is lane splitting. Lane splitting happens when the motorcyclist rides between two lanes of traffic, usually when the cars are slowed or stopped due to traffic. The law varies state to state, but in New York, lane splitting is illegal. It is important to be aware of this law because if an accident occurs while the motorcycle rider is lane splitting, the motorcyclist is likely to be held liable.
Why lane-splitting puts drivers and motorcyclists at risk
- Traffic in New York City is especially heavy, fast-moving, and aggressive
- A car may change lanes unexpectedly and without checking for a motorcyclist
- New York City lanes are typically too narrow to lane split safely
- The driver of a car may open their door suddenly if traffic is stopped, hitting or posing an unexpected obstacle to a motorcyclist
- Many motorcyclists lane split at speeds too fast to be deemed safe
- Motorcycles can be difficult to spot on the road, especially by the drivers of 18-wheelers, pickup trucks, and other large vehicles
Who is liable in a lane-splitting accident?
If an accident occurs while a motorcyclist is lane splitting, the odds are that the motorcyclist will be held liable since it is illegal in New York. However, if your lawyer can prove that the driver of the car was at least somewhat responsible for the crash, they could win you some compensation to help pay for your medical bills.
What to do if lane-splitting causes an accident
If you have been injured because of lane splitting, whether you were driving a car or riding a motorcycle, call the New York motorcycle accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP. Our lawyers have years of experience handling vehicle accidents and we want to help win you the compensation you deserve. Call our office at (212) 779-0057 to discuss your legal options today.