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Connecticut Lane Splitting Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Lane Splitting in Connecticut

There are many laws and regulations involving motorcycles, both for the riders themselves and the other vehicles that share the road with them. Complicating the matter, every state has its own rules and motorcycle owners must learn what laws apply no matter where they go.

One example of a motorcycle maneuver that has different rules in various jurisdictions is lane splitting. Lane splitting is defined as riding a motorcycle (or bicycle) in between lanes of slower moving or stopped traffic headed in the same direction. Other names include lane sharing, white lining, filtering, or stripe-riding. This maneuver lets motorcyclists bypass traffic congestion and, in certain instances, may actually be safer than stopping behind stationary vehicles.

Is Lane Splitting Legal?

While many states do not have specific rules regarding lane splitting, it is illegal in Connecticut. Section 14-289b of the Operation of Motorcycles manual states, "The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass, in the same single traffic lane occupied by such motorcycle, any motor vehicle other than a motorcycle, or operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic." California is the only state where lane splitting is legal, and there is a great deal of debate over the practice, with opponents claiming that it is dangerous, both for the motorcyclist and for the surrounding traffic.

Lane splitting can be quite controversial in other jurisdictions, where there is often fierce disagreement over whether it is actually covered by existing law. Here in Connecticut, if a motorcyclist is lane splitting (other than in cases where it would have been more dangerous to come to a complete stop), then he is likely at fault for any accident that results.

What Are Good Motorcycle Practices?

Besides being illegal in Connecticut, lane splitting can also be quite dangerous. Drivers of other vehicles do not expect a motorcycle weaving through traffic - they will assume that no one is there. You should never lane split in Connecticut, but here are some best practices that apply in many situations.

As a motorcyclist, you should:

  • Wear reflective or highly visible clothing.
  • Ride with your headlights on, even during the day.
  • Be sure that drivers can see you before changing lanes close to them.
  • Never drive excessively faster than the other vehicles around you.
  • In highly congested traffic, honk to let other drivers know you are there.
  • Stay alert for vehicle blind spots and stay out of them as much as possible.
  • Make eye contact with drivers when possible to anticipate lane changes.

As a driver of a car or other motor vehicle, you should pay special attention to motorcyclists on the road. They are much more vulnerable than you in the event of a collision. Remember, just because you don’t see a motorcycle doesn’t mean one isn’t there. You should take the following precautions while driving:

  • Always signal before switching lanes or turning.
  • Don’t weave in and out of traffic.
  • Don’t swerve onto the shoulder unless absolutely necessary.
  • If you see a motorcycle on the road with you, pay special attention to where it is and keep it in mind if it enters your blind spot.
  • Don’t open your doors while sitting in traffic.

Call a Connecticut Motorcycle Attorney

While lane splitting is illegal, it does not mean that you will automatically be at fault for an accident. If someone else’s negligence led to the collision, then you have the right to fight for compensation for any injuries you received. Naizby Law has a great deal of experience with cases that involve motorcycle accidents and injuries. We work with our clients to ensure that they receive the proper medical treatment and are able to meet their financial obligations. Call a Connecticut motorcycle accident lawyer today at (203) 245-8500 to schedule a free consultation.

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About John Naizby

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For over 20 years, John has exclusively represented people (not insurance companies).

John has received the America’s Top 100 Attorneys Lifetime Achievement Award.

Since the year 2000, John has been a Board Certified Civil Lawyer.

John is a graduate and senior instructor at the Trial Lawyers College.

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