Drivers and motorcyclists alike in Louisiana are probably aware that this state does not allow motorcycles to ride between lanes: a practice known as lane-splitting. In 2016, California became the first and, so far, only state to legalize it. Over the past several years, at least 15 other states have considered bills to legalize it, but these bills were shot down.
What supporters of lane-splitting say
Needless to say, both the supporters and opponents of lane-splitting cite safety as the reason for their position. Supporters say that it prevents motorcyclists from being rear-ended in all the stop-and-go traffic. The practice can also help reduce congestion.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for its part, states that lane-splitting is accepted in many countries across the world and that further research should be done into its possible safety benefits. One such study, conducted by the University of California, Berkeley back in 2015, says that lane-splitting is safe when traffic is moving at 50 mph or less and when motorcyclists’ speed does not exceed drivers’ by more than 15 mph.
Some of the safety concerns
Lane-splitting can be dangerous for drivers, who may be startled by a speeding motorcyclist and momentarily lose their focus on the road. One organization that opposes lane-splitting is AAA. It says that drivers unaware of approaching motorcyclists may turn into them or sideswipe them.
Lawyer for injured motorcyclists
Motorcyclists who are injured in auto accidents may have a valid personal injury case on their hands, but their chances of achieving a fair settlement will decrease if they themselves were negligent to some degree. Lane-splitting in this state would be a form of negligence. You may want a lawyer to evaluate your case in light of Louisiana’s pure comparative negligence rule. If it holds up, the lawyer may assist with negotiations and more.