Is Lane Splitting Legal In Texas

Lane Splitting Motorcycles

Texas Lane Splitting & Motorcycles…

Lane splitting is when a motorcycle rides between lanes or rows of slow moving or stopped traffic that is moving in the same direction. Riders do this to save time or to bypass traffic congestion. In Texas motorcycle riders are not allowed to split lanes in any situation. However, a bill proposed by Texas State Senator, Kirk Watson, in December 2018 could change this.  

Motorcycles riders will find it easier to cut through congested traffic if the bill passes, making their commutes shorter. It may also reduce situations where motorcycles get rear ended by other motorists. However, since motorcycles are smaller and more difficult to see from a distance, lane splitting can put them at risk of being hit by drivers changing lanes.

Penalties For Lane Splitting And Liable Parties In Lane Splitting Accidents

Lane splitting in Texas can result in a number of penalties for violators because it is considered as illegal passing in the state. Texas law groups motorcycles in the same category as cars, which means they are subject to the same rules and regulations. A fine of $175 is normally the penalty for people who violate lane splitting rules.  

If an accident occurs when a motorcycle rider is lane splitting, the other party could allege that the motorcyclist was partly responsible for the accident. Since Texas is a comparative negligence state, the motorcyclist may receive reduced compensation. But the other party will still have to prove that it was your act of lane splitting that caused the accident. To avoid such complicated situations, you are better off staying inside your lane until Texas law makers pass Bill SB-273. 

Motorcycle Accidents

Lane Splitting MotorcyclesMotorcycle fatalities are 28 times more common that fatalities in other types of accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). You should protect yourself whether lane splitting is legalized or not. Take the following steps:

  • Wear a helmet because helmets reduce the risk of injury by 69 percent and are 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths
  • Always inspect your headlamp and brake lights to see if they work
  • Wear reflective clothing so other drivers can see you in the dark or when there is poor visibility
  • Use signal for turns 
  • Be cautious when you are sharing lanes  or when changing lanes
  • Wear high visibility motorcycle clothing  because they reduce the likelihood of getting involved in an accident by 37 percent
  • Always wear appropriate footwear for riding

Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Some motorcyclists refer to car drivers as “caged riders”, but these “cages” offer those drivers a lot of protection in accident situations. A motorcycle rider is exposed to the full impact of a motorcycle accident, which makes it very likely for the rider to suffer serious injuries. A car driver may get out of a collision unscathed because the car will take most of the impact. Motorcycle riders that get involved in accidents commonly suffer the following injuries:

  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Skin injuries that lead to infection or nerve damage
  • Loss of limbs
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Organ damage and internal bleeding

After you get medical attention following a motorcycle accident, call a motorcycle lawyer. The Lawyer will answer your entire question and help you pursue compensation. 

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