Is Lane Splitting Legal in Florida?
Florida is one of the majority of U.S. states that considers lane splitting illegal. Only California has legalized the act of lane splitting.
Motorcyclists can face criminal charges if they split lanes while driving in Florida. The court may also find them liable for any accidents caused while they were splitting a lane.
What Is Lane Splitting?
Florida does not legally allow a motorcyclist to engage in lane splitting. So, what is lane splitting?
Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist drives between lanes of traffic or rows of vehicles. Motorcycles are relatively narrow compared to other cars, so they can technically fit between cars and trucks in many cases.
However, Florida considers this practice dangerous to both motorcyclists and other drivers. Therefore, the state prohibits this action, despite the fact that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has found that lane splitting can reduce congestion in some cases.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), Florida saw over 8,000 motorcycle crashes in the year 2020. The state upholds laws intended to keep motorcyclists safe based on these types of accidents.
What U.S. States Allow Lane Splitting?
Only the state of California currently allows motorcycles to split lanes. The rest of the states around the country still prohibit this activity.
Lane Splitting vs. Lane Sharing in Florida
Some motorcyclists wonder if lane splitting and lane sharing refer to the same action. However, lane sharing represents a different action. You can share a lane with another motorcyclist by driving beside them.
You can only share a lane with another motorcycle. You cannot share a lane with a car, truck, or van. In this situation, it becomes lane splitting.
What Are the Penalties for Splitting Lanes in Florida?
What kind of penalties can drivers expect for lane splitting in Florida? In many situations, the police ignore instances of lane splitting, despite the state’s laws. However, they have a right to pull over any motorcyclist who splits a lane.
Motorcyclists who get a ticket for splitting a lane often face fines. The fines you could face as a motorcyclist vary based on the county where you got your ticket. However, a legal professional may be able to provide you with detailed information about the fines in your area.
Contributing Factors to Motorcycle Accidents
What happens if you get hit by a motorcyclist who was lane splitting? In this situation, the motorcyclist may be considered at fault because they were breaking the law at the time of the accident.
However, other factors could contribute to a motorcycle accident. For example, sometimes other drivers cause collisions when they:
- Change lanes without looking
- Suddenly slam on their brakes
- Backup without checking for a motorcyclist
You might seek compensation for your injuries if someone else caused your accident. A motorcycle accident attorney in Florida can step in to build your claim after a collision. Getting professional help can make it easier to resolve a claim successfully.
What Evidence Helps Prove a Motorcyclist Split a Lane and Caused My Accident?
Florida considers lane splitting to be an illegal activity. Drivers who split a lane can contribute to accidents, as they may come out of nowhere or reduce another driver’s ability to avoid a hazard.
If you were struck by a motorcyclist who was splitting a lane, you might be able to seek compensation for your losses. However, the motorcycle operator may claim they were not lane splitting. In this situation, a lawyer can gather evidence to support your side of the story by:
- Speaking to witnesses
- Visiting the scene of the crime
- Checking your police report
If you have a dashcam that showed the motorcyclist splitting a lane, make sure that you share it with your lawyer. All forms of proof can help your attorney build a claim.
Can I Pursue Compensation for My Accident?
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident in Florida, you have the legal right to seek compensation for your losses. Depending upon the facts of your case, you could get compensation to cover your healthcare expenses, lost wages, and vehicle repairs.
However, most drivers first need to prove that someone else caused their collision. Then, you can work with a motorcycle accident lawyer to get professional help building a claim. A lawyer can help you seek damages from an insurance company or a lawsuit.
Contact a Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Help with Your Claim Today
The state of Florida considers lane splitting to be illegal and dangerous behavior. However, you can get legal help if a lane splitting motorcyclist hits you by contacting Distasio Law Firm.
Speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer in Florida today by contacting our law firm.