Lane Splitting Law in Texas
Feb. 7, 2023
Motorcycle accidents can be a traumatic and stressful experience for everyone involved, especially for motorcycle riders and their passengers. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, it may be difficult to determine who is responsible for this type of collision. One factor that must be taken into consideration in a motorcycle accident is whether lane splitting was involved. But what exactly is lane splitting, and how does it affect liability in a motorcycle accident?
If you want to learn more about the lane splitting law in Texas and how it could potentially affect your particular case, reach out to one of my offices in Houston or Webster. At Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, I represent injured victims of motorcycle accidents throughout the state of Texas, including Houston, Webster, Pasadena, Santa Fe, Clear Lake, South Houston, Seabrook, Alvin, Friendswood, Kemah, League City, and Bacliff.
What Is “Lane Splitting?”
Lane splitting refers to when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction. This behavior is controversial, as some states have outlawed this practice while others allow it in certain situations. In California, for example, lane splitting is legal and considered relatively safe when done responsibly. While other states may not explicitly outlaw lane splitting, they also don’t recognize it as a legal activity.
Does Texas Allow Lane Splitting?
Texas is one of those states that do not specifically mention ‘lane splitting’ in any of its laws. However, the activity is still considered illegal in the state because Texas law does not explicitly permit or allow motorcycle riders to move between two lanes of traffic.
That is not to say, however, that motorcyclists in Texas do not ride between two lanes of traffic just because the activity is not allowed in the state. Lane splitting is considered one of the possible causes of motorcycle accidents in Texas, which sees nearly 7,500 motorcycle crashes overall per year, according to the state’s Department of Transportation.
How Does Lane Splitting Affect Liability in an Accident?
The possible effects of lane splitting on liability depend primarily on where the accident takes place. In California, where lane splitting is legal, motorcycle riders are offered greater protection compared to other states because they are treated like any other motorist by the law. This means that if a rider has been injured due to negligence from another driver while legally engaging in lane splitting, then they may be able to hold that driver liable for their injuries.
However, if an injury occurs while illegally engaging in lane splitting, then the rider would likely not be entitled to compensation due to their own negligence or illegality. In states where lane splitting isn’t explicitly legalized or illegalized, things can get more complicated when determining liability after an accident involving lane-splitting behavior. If you’ve been injured in such an accident in Texas, you’ll need to get help from a personal injury attorney to ensure your rights are protected so that you can receive fair compensation for any injuries and damages you have suffered.
At Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, I represent both drivers and motorcyclists in collisions involving lane splitting. Contact my office to talk about your unique situation and determine how lane splitting may affect liability in your case.
Speak With an Experienced Attorney
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident while riding your bike between two lanes of traffic or the other party involved was lane splitting, it’s important to discuss your case with a skilled attorney. As a motorcycle accident attorney, I understand that lane splitting may seem like a grey area of the law to many, which is why I’m here to help. Reach out to my office and schedule a consultation.