What Are The Leading Causes Of Lane Splitting Accidents In California?

Although sometimes considered a safer alternative to stop-and-go traffic, splitting lanes is actually one of the most dangerous things a motorcyclist can do. Generally, it is simply the act of riding between two lanes of slow-moving vehicles moving in the same direction. While it is not explicitly illegal in California, it significantly increases the risk of being involved in an accident, particularly if done improperly. This is due to the fact that there are many potential hazards when splitting lanes, such as: Not being visible to other drivers, being in the blind spot of another vehicle, misjudging the speed of oncoming traffic, and more.

Dangerous Road Conditions

One of the leading causes of most highway accidents is dangerous road conditions, such as potholes and debris on the road. And since motorcycles are smaller and have less contact with the ground than a car, they are much more susceptible to being affected by these hazards. Every time riders split lanes on roads in poor and dangerous conditions, they are putting themselves at an increased risk of being involved in an accident.

Speeding Cars

Another leading cause of lane splitting accidents in California is speeding cars. When drivers are speeding, their reaction time is decreased, and they are less likely to see motorcycles splitting lanes. In addition, they are more likely to tailgate other vehicles. This can be especially dangerous for motorcyclists, who may not have enough time to react if a car suddenly slows down or stops.

Distracted Drivers

When drivers are distracted, they are less likely to see motorcycles and more likely to cause an accident. Rush hour traffic is one of the most common times for these accidents to occur because drivers are trying to get to their destination as quickly as possible and are not paying attention to their surroundings.

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Road Rage

Not every driver who cuts off a motorcyclist or doesn’t give them enough space is doing so out of malicious intent. But some drivers become aggressive towards lane splitters because they view it as disrespectful. This road rage can quickly escalate and lead to an accident if the driver is not careful.

Rider Error

Of course, not all lane-splitting accidents are caused by other drivers. Rider error is also a leading cause of these types of accidents. This can include anything from the motorcycles being ridden too fast to the riders not paying attention to their surroundings.

Seeking Legal Representation

In the event of any road accident, including splitting lanes, it is important to seek legal representation. This measure is to help you obtain the maximum compensation possible from insurers. An experienced lawyer can do everything from helping you gather the required evidence to negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf.


Whereas the act of splitting lanes is allowed in the state of California, it is still a dangerous maneuver that should only be attempted by experienced riders. If you have been involved in such an accident, it’s always advisable to err on the side of caution and seek legal representation. This will not only guarantee that you are fairly compensated for your injuries, but also that the at-fault driver is held accountable for their actions.

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