Motorcycles are very popular throughout Texas, and it is crucial for all riders to know the risks they face on the road. It is also vital for them to know which maneuvers are acceptable and which are not, specifically “lane splitting.” This term refers to a motorcycle “splitting” two adjacent lanes of traffic by riding on the white line between them. This practice is illegal in Texas, even though proponents of lane splitting claim that it can help keep motorcyclists safer in some situations.
California is the only state in the country to legalize lane splitting, and the justification for doing so is the claim that lane splitting can allow motorcyclists to escape potentially dangerous situations and enable a smoother flow of traffic. While some other states do not have laws explicitly banning the practice, Texas has outlawed lane splitting, citing the various safety risks that the practice entails.
When a motorcyclist splits lanes, they need to move faster than the traffic on either side of them. Motorcycles generally have better acceleration than larger passenger cars, and they are also smaller and slimmer, making them highly maneuverable for experienced riders. However, lane splitting can still be very dangerous, even for experienced motorcyclists. They may startle the drivers on either side of them, causing them to swerve. It is also possible for the rider to misjudge the space they have to pass between other vehicles on either side, resulting in a sideswipe accident that can be devastating for the rider.
If you or a loved one experience a motorcycle accident in Texas, it is vital to know the value of legal counsel as you seek compensation for your losses. A Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorney is an invaluable resource in this situation, especially for a motorcyclist accused of causing an accident by lane splitting. Proving fault can be challenging, and it is possible for multiple parties to share fault for a motorcycle accident. If a motorcyclist has an accident while lane splitting, they are likely to absorb some measure of fault for the incident if not complete fault.
Recovering from any vehicle accident in Texas typically starts with an insurance claim filed against the at-fault driver. If insurance cannot fully cover the victim’s losses, they must then file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. If you intend to pursue compensation for a recent accident that another motorist caused, it is vital to know the value of hiring an attorney you can trust. The right legal team can make all aspects of your recovery process easier to manage and more likely to yield the results you hope to see. If you are concerned about bearing partial liability for your accident, an experienced attorney is your most important asset for minimizing comparative liability and securing as much compensation as possible for your damages.
A: Texas has banned the practice of lane splitting due to the inherent risks of the maneuver. Even when done at lower speeds, lane splitting can easily cause serious accidents. The lane-splitting motorcyclist could startle the drivers around them, sideswipe a vehicle, or pull between two vehicles at a much higher speed, preventing them from slowing down or stopping in time to avoid a crash with a vehicle ahead of them.
A: Lane filtering is commonly conflated with lane splitting, but this term applies to specific situations. Lane filtering describes motorcyclists moving between vehicles in stopped lanes of traffic at an intersection. This allows them to go first when the light changes to green. Utah is the only state that has expressly legalized lane filtering; the practice remains illegal in Texas.
A: Lane sharing is often confused with lane splitting, as the term can imply something similar. “Splitting” a lane refers to passing between two lanes, while lane sharing describes two vehicles traveling side-by-side in the same lane. Texas allows motorcyclists to share lanes, meaning that it is legal for two motorcyclists to ride side-by-side in the same lane of traffic. This can potentially increase their visibility to other drivers in some situations, and motorcycles are small enough that two sharing a lane does not inhibit safe mobility.
A: Proving fault for your recent accident is an essential first step in the recovery process. Texas upholds the fault rule for vehicle accidents, so the driver at fault is liable for all resulting damages. If you were recently injured in a motorcycle accident that someone else caused, you may need various forms of evidence to prove liability, including:
An experienced attorney can help their client gather whatever evidence they need to firmly establish liability for their damages.
A: You are not legally obligated to hire legal counsel to help you with your recovery efforts from a motorcycle accident, but you are more likely to succeed with those efforts if you do. Your attorney can handle your insurance claim filing process on your behalf. If insurance alone cannot compensate your losses, you can rely on your legal team to build a comprehensive personal injury claim. You are more likely to succeed with these recovery efforts, and more likely to secure as much compensation as Texas law allows, when you have legal counsel on your side.
An experienced legal team is a tremendous asset for any accident victim in Texas. Even if fault for your recent crash seems perfectly clear, you could still encounter a host of unpredictable challenges that impede your recovery efforts, and you may not know how to deal with these issues alone. If lane splitting was a factor in your recent accident, it is important to consult an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact Stevenson & Murray today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about how we can help you recover.
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