According to Vehicle and Traffic § 1252, lane splitting is illegal in New York. When riding your motorcycle, bicycle, or scooter, you probably think it’s normal to slip between other vehicles in order to arrive at your destination more quickly. Riding in between lanes is a move that these smaller and more mobile modes of transportation are capable of performing. However, this is not legal under the law in New York.
Lane splitting is a risky maneuver that could result in an accident with a larger traditional vehicle. If you were lane-splitting at the time of the accident, you could be found at fault for causing the collision. A motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm will be able to explain lane splitting to you.
- What Is Lane Splitting?
- Lane Splitting Is Illegal in New York
- Why Is Lane Splitting Dangerous?
- Can Lane Splitting Impact Compensation After an Accident?
- How Will a Lawyer Guide You in Recovering Compensation?
- Learn More About Lane Splitting in New York Today
What Is Lane Splitting?
Lane splitting involves a motorcycle riding between two lanes of traffic to squeeze past vehicles occupying the lanes on either side. Motorcycles have the ability to do this since they are smaller and narrower than traditional vehicles such as cars and trucks.
This kind of behavior typically occurs when traffic is moving slowly, tempting motorcyclists to take advantage of the mobility of their bikes to ride between lanes, thereby cheating the traffic jam.
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Lane Splitting Is Illegal in New York
The act of lane splitting is illegal under New York law. Vehicle and Traffic §1252 clearly states that motorcycles cannot pass other vehicles by riding in between lanes, regardless of whether the lines are solid or have dashes.
Law enforcement will pull you over and issue a citation for lane splitting, and you could face even harsher penalties. In some cases, lane splitting is punishable by jail time and fines. Even if you are in a hurry and want to beat traffic, you cannot legally participate in lane splitting.
Why Is Lane Splitting Dangerous?
There is a reason why lane splitting is illegal in New York. Lane splitting is a risky maneuver, not only for the motorcycle rider but also for other drivers on the road. For instance, other drivers in traditional vehicles might not see you riding between the lanes and could accidentally pin you. You could suffer serious injuries in this scenario and your motorcycle would sustain damage as well.
You also should consider how other drivers around you might feel and react as they watch you pass them by illegally just to get ahead of traffic. Lane splitting can be a source of road rage.
Lane splitting also puts you at risk of an accident due to minor actions by other drivers such as opening their car door during a traffic stoppage, an object being thrown out of a window, or a driver adjusting their side-view mirrors.
Accidents happen. Other drivers could be attempting to change lanes while you are in their blind spot. This is especially dangerous when lane splitting between semi-trucks. There is only so much space between lanes and between the vehicles on either side of you. That leaves little room for driver error, increasing the risk of an accident in which you could suffer severe injuries or even death.
Can Lane Splitting Impact Compensation After an Accident?
Lane splitting is illegal in New York, so it can have a negative impact on the compensation you could receive after an accident.
Typically, a motorcycle accident victim has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for their injuries and financial losses if the other driver was negligent. However, New York’s contributory negligence law will result in a reduction of the compensation you receive. The other party will argue that you are at least partly to blame for the accident because you were lane-splitting at the time.
You are not prevented from recovering compensation entirely, but it is most likely that you won’t receive the entire value that your claim should otherwise have because you were breaking the law. Avoiding lane splitting and complying with all traffic laws ensures that the liable party’s lawyer will face difficulty blaming you for the accident.
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How Will a Lawyer Guide You in Recovering Compensation?
If the other party and their insurance provider or legal team prove you were lane splitting at the time of the accident, it could result in you receiving less or even no compensation at all
A motorcycle accident lawyer will work to recover compensation for your losses by investigating the cause of the accident and determining liability. Your lawyer will collect evidence to support your claim, including traffic camera footage, photographs, police reports, medical records, witness statements, and expert opinions.
Our law firm will calculate the value of your claim and negotiate with the other party on your behalf to fight for an appropriate settlement. We will also file a lawsuit and represent you at trial if necessary. If necessary, we will present your case to a jury and argue that you were not lane splitting or that your actions were not the cause of the accident and your injuries.
If you require assistance in another language, we will provide it in Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, and Kannada. We will provide regular updates on the status of your case, and we will work to meet all case deadlines, including the statute of limitations.
Learn More About Lane Splitting in New York Today
Having a lawyer on your side evens the odds against the liable party and their insurance provider. We strongly encourage you to consult with a lawyer who has experience fighting for motorcycle accident victims. Our law firm has nearly a century of such experience.
To learn more about lane splitting in New York, or to talk to a lawyer from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. about your case, please call our office for a free consultation today. A member of our team is ready to take your call at any time, 24/7.