Yes, in California lane sharing is a legal maneuver. Lane sharing, which is also known as lane splitting, and white-lining, is a legal driving maneuver in California if it is done in a safe manner. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, lane sharing is when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes and passes cars in slower traffic on each side.
California is the only state in the country where lane sharing is legal, but remember it is only legal if it is carried out safely. The California Highway Patrol has issued the following general guidelines for motorcycle riders to follow when lane sharing:
1. Do not travel over 10 miles per hour faster than the traffic than you are passing. The faster you are going, the less time you have to react to other drivers changing lanes.
2. Do not share lanes when traffic is going 30 miles per hour or faster. The odds of getting into a crash or getting injured increase the faster you go.
3. Remember that it is safer to split between the #1 and #2 lanes than any other lanes. The #1 lane is the lane that is farthest to the left (excluding any carpool lanes).
4. Be aware of your surroundings (size of the lanes, size of the vehicles, condition of the roadway, weather, and lighting).
5. Anticipate other drivers. Always be prepared for the movement of other drivers so you can take evasive action safely.
6. If you are an inexperienced rider, do not share lanes. It takes competence and experience to share lanes.
7. You can still get a ticket for lane sharing. If you are lane sharing in a dangerous manner, an officer can write you a ticket for the unsafe maneuver.
8. It is illegal to lane share between trucks, buses RVs and other wide vehicle; around or through curves, and if traffic is moving too fast.
Even though lane sharing is legal in California, it is important to know that many serious crashes occur because of drivers not checking for motorcycle riders that are lane sharing. Whether you are riding a motorcycle or driving a car, please be aware of your surrounding and lookout for other vehicles when changing lanes.
If you were involved in a motorcycle crash while you were lane sharing, you can call West Covina car accident attorney, Lem Garcia, for help. We will analyze your case for free and answer any questions or concerns that you might have.
By Lem Garcia, car accident lawyer in West Covina