As of lane splitting laws in Texas 2022, drivers must remain within a single lane of traffic. According to lane splitting laws by state, California is the only state to legalize lane splitting. However, other states have only general guidelines for lane splitting. Drivers need to abide by all the traffic rules, drive safely, and not try to address lane splitting.

According to section 545.60 of the Texas Transportation Code, drivers need to drive within a single lane. In roadways that have segregation of two or more marked lanes, motorcycle riders have permission to change their lanes but not drive between them.

What is lane splitting?

Lane splitting refers to riding a motorcycle or bicycle between lanes that are moving slowly or have been stopping the traffic moving in a similar direction. Lane splitting is sometimes also known as white lining or stripe riding. Lane splitting saves the time of motorcycle riders as it allows them to bypass any congestion due to traffic.

It also enhances safety as it minimizes the need for stopping behind stationary vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines lane splitting or lane sharing when a motorcyclist is riding between two cars in parallel lanes.

What are the dangers of lane splitting for motorcyclists?

Lane splitting poses a greater risk of causing motorcycle accidents. The drivers are not aware of the dangers it can cause to other motor vehicles. Motorcyclists who try to lane split can face some significant dangers, such as:

  • Unpredictability: Motorcyclists need to keep their movements predictable on the road. Drivers can’t predict a motorcyclist who is lane splitting, thus increasing the chances of an accident. It’s best to stay in designated lanes, and if you must lane split, it’s best to do so cautiously and in a way that is clear to drivers on the road.
  • Lane changes: Lane splitting may pose hazards when drivers rapidly change lanes. A motorcyclist who is lane splitting can be hit if a driver doesn’t check their blind spot or fails to signal. A collision can also occur if a driver keeps changing lanes in slow traffic to keep their vehicle in a fast-moving lane.
  • Space limitation: Driving in the middle of two lanes can pose a lot of problems, especially when the space between these two lanes is limited. The same goes for lane splitting, as motorcyclists may find it challenging to maintain balance due to the limited space. The likelihood of a crash increases, especially when motorcyclists try to lane split in heavy traffic.

Motor vehicle accidents can be extremely dangerous for riders, so it’s important to follow the laws and practice safe riding.

What are the benefits of lane splitting?

Texas Lane SplittingWhen you are stuck in traffic, it can be tiring. Lane splitting can help in cutting down emissions from cars sharing the road with motorcyclists. Furthermore, it also keeps motorcyclists away from any confusion, provides them with freeways, and keeps them out of any unpredictable harm. 

Lane splitting can be a good option for motorcyclists, as it helps them in maneuvering around congested roads. Motorcyclists can also use this technique to reduce the chances of being hit while they are at a standstill. It can also help in reducing the risk of rear-end collisions and increase visibility.

Lane Splitting penalties in Texas

Motorcyclists may get charged for reckless driving, unsafe lane changes, or maybe they are following other vehicles too closely. Motorcycle lane splitting can cause fines of up to $200 or 30 days of imprisonment for reckless driving.

Injuries resulting after lane splitting accident in Texas

Lane splitting is a great way for motorcyclists to get out of traffic quickly, but lane splitting in Texas has its risks. Motor vehicle drivers and passengers may sustain severe injuries in an auto collision.

Road users involved in motorcycle accidents may suffer from many injuries, including the following:

  • Head trauma such as traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Neck injuries
  • Concussion
  • Whiplash
  • Broken ribs
  • Internal injuries
  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Amputations
  • Wrongful death

It is essential for any person involved in a lane splitting accident to seek medical help as soon as possible. It could help in minimizing the severity of the injuries and improve their chances for a successful recovery. If the injuries happen due to the negligence of someone else, the injured person may be eligible to receive personal injury compensation.

Who is at fault for a Lane Splitting Accident?

In Texas, if you split lanes between moving vehicles, you will be accountable for any collisions. If the traffic is traveling at more than 30 mph speed or you are reckless while splitting lanes, you will be liable. 

If you are involved in a motorcycle crash due to lane splitting, the liable party will be the negligent driver. In most states, lane splitting is still illegal. Therefore, both the motorcycle rider and the other motor vehicle involved in an accident have the liability. If you have an involvement in a collision, you may pursue compensation by filing a motorcycle lane splitting accident lawsuit. 

It is complex to determine liability and fault, and estimate the value of your claim. Therefore, you will have to gather evidence to make your case strong. There are many factors that can help you decide who is at fault for a lane splitting accident. For example, you can look for evidence such as witness statements, police reports, dash cam videos, photos of the scene and medical records.

However, the party at fault can also gather evidence to show that they are not entirely at fault. They can provide evidence of completion of the safety course and evidence that other drivers were attempting to abruptly change lanes without giving any signal or did not remain within a single lane. Lane splitting in Texas is a complex issue, and any person involved in an auto collision should seek legal advice.

Safety tips for lane splitting

While lane splitting is not legal in Texas, the rider can choose to abide by all the safety protocols. They can safeguard their rights by staying within a single lane and can wait in traffic congestion.

Furthermore, they must also follow the motorcycle laws in Texas in order to avoid any accidents, such as the following:

  • Stay alert of the cars and other vehicles on the road.
  • Always keep your headlights on while splitting lanes to make it safe.
  • Try to wear clothing that reflects light.
  • Watch for both the other lanes before you split or filter.
  • Motorcycle lane splitting needs to be done extra carefully when they are in the car’s blind spot.
  • Try to look for signals given by the moving vehicles.
  • If the cars get too close, honk.

The Texas Senate Bill 288 is awaiting to get legalized. The law will permit motorcyclists to ride between the lanes without going against the law. The bill will further ease traffic congestion and make lane splitting a safe practice.

Protect yourself as a motor vehicle rider in Texas

Having knowledge of the law will help you protect yourself while riding your motorcycle on Texas roads. Understanding your legal rights and responsibilities will help you avoid lane splitting accidents and getting rightful compensation you may be entitled to. Schedule a free case consultation with a personal injury lawyer if you have been hurt in a lane-splitting accident in Texas.