Motorcycles and Lane Splitting in Texas
The consensus on lane splitting remains divided. Motorcyclists engage in lane splitting when they ride in the direction of traffic but travel on the dashed lines between said traffic. This practice usually takes place when traffic is slow or has come to a stop. While lane splitting may sound incredibly dangerous, a recent study out of the University of California Berkeley finds that, when motorcyclists engage in lane splitting while in heavy traffic, they significantly decrease their chances of being struck from behind and they reduce their risk of suffering torso or head injuries. If another motorist leaves you injured in a motorcycle accident, consult with an experienced Central Texas personal injury lawyer today.
The fact is that – regardless of any safety merits – lane splitting is not legal in the State of Texas. If a Texas roadway is divided into clearly marked traffic lanes, the Texas Transportation Code establishes than motorists, including motorcyclists, must stay within a single lane and must only move out of that lane if it is safe to do so. As such, the statute prohibits all lane splitting – even though this edict is not consistently enforced. Currently, California is the only state to have legalized lane splitting. Texas, however, has attempted to legalize some form of lane splitting on more than one occasion.
Lane Splitting and Texas Penalties
Because lane splitting is not legal in the State of Texas, engaging in lane splitting could land you with a citation for an unsafe lane change or for passing illegally. If you were injured while lane splitting in Texas, however, it does not necessarily preclude you from collecting on the damages you incurred. If another driver’s negligence leaves you injured in a lane splitting accident, seek the professional legal counsel of an experienced Central Texas personal injury attorney immediately.
Motorcycle Laws in Texas
If you ride in Texas – unless you meet specific requirements that include being at least 21 years old and passing a Motorcycle Operator Training Course that is approved by the Department of Public Safety – you are required to wear a helmet. Further, you are required to carry at least $10,000 of medical insurance coverage. Additionally, just like every other vehicle on the road, your bike must pass an annual safety inspection. Finally, although the State of Texas has no additional requirements regarding safety gear, it is always in your best interest to don appropriate safety apparel, including footwear, gloves, and outerwear.
If You Have Been Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident, Consult with an Experienced Central Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Today
The jury regarding the safety of lane splitting is still out, but if another motorist’s negligence leaves you injured in a motorcycle accident of any kind, you need experienced legal counsel. Attorney Brett H. Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas has the experience, skill, and commitment to aggressively advocate for the compensation to which you are entitled. We are here to help, so please contact or call our office at (254) 220-4225 for more information today.