Lane splitting refers to riding between slow-moving or stopped traffic on a motorcycle or bicycle. Lane splitting may help save time and decrease traffic congestion. It may also be safer for motorcyclists than stop and go traffic behind larger vehicles.
While there are some potential benefits offered by lane splitting, there are some clear dangers as well. The primary being decreased visibility, which makes riders and their passengers much more susceptible to collision. Cars can drift out of their lanes, make sudden lane changes, or otherwise be driven in unpredictable ways. Likewise, a motorcyclist can easily veer into a parked car when riding so close between them, further increasing the risk of collision.
Despite its potential time-saving benefits, lane splitting is largely considered to be unsafe. It is illegal to lane split in Tennessee and all surrounding states. In fact, lane splitting can only be done legally in two states: California and Utah.
Help Following an Accident
When you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation through legal action. This includes damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and personal pain and suffering, along with any damage to your bike. You diminish your chances of securing full compensation if your accident occurred while you were breaking the law by, for example, lane splitting.
Tennessee uses the “50% rule” when determining damages in motorcycle accidents. This means that you may still be entitled to some compensation even in cases where you contributed to your accident. Your damages will be reduced by the percentage of the accident that can be pinned on you and, if this amount is greater than 49%, you cannot collect damages at all. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your accident, it is a good idea to have an attorney on your side as soon as possible to help make sure you are not waiving any of your rights.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Tennessee, please call Herbert Thornbury, Attorney at Law at 423-991-2231 to schedule a complimentary case review at our Chattanooga office today.