South Carolina Injury Attorneys
Lane Splitting Accidents: Am I Liable?

Lane Splitting Accidents: Am I Liable?

For those unfamiliar with the term, lane splitting is when bicyclists and motorcyclists ride between rows or lanes of slow-moving or stopped cars. The practice has caused significant amounts of controversy all around the world, as people are divided about whether or not lane splitting, or lane sharing, is safe for motorcyclists and car drivers alike. The University of California at Berkeley found that motorcyclists who split lanes in heavy traffic are less likely to be hit from behind by other motorists. These motorcyclists are also less likely to suffer head or torso injuries and less likely to be killed in a crash. However, if a motorcyclist abuses these privileges by driving erratically between lanes, it could cause a several-car collision.

South Carolina is one state that has explicitly stated lane splitting is illegal. In South Carolina Code §56-5-3640, the law says that while all motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane, “No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic, or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.” Because lane splitting is illegal, other motorists on the road may not expect a motorcyclist to break the law by entering the same lane you’re occupying.

If your car struck a motorcyclist who was lane splitting, you may be able to fight the lawsuit if the cyclist decides to sue for damages. The law is on your side in South Carolina, meaning the cyclist was doing something illegal and unwise by lane sharing. However, if the cyclist can prove that you, too, were doing something illegal or were driving irresponsibly, he or she may have a case against you. For example, if they were lane splitting next to you, but you decided to change lanes without signaling, the rider might be able to claim partial compensation from your insurance.

If you were involved in a lane-splitting accident, make sure you have an excellent car accident attorney on your side. Our lawyers have more than 95 years of combined experience. Trust us to defend your rights. Contact us at (864) 408-8890 or fill out our online form for a free case consultation.

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