If you don’t know what lane splitting is, then you are running a big risk on the road, particularly this time of the year. Even if you have never ridden a motorcycle, and never intend to ride one, you should still be familiar with some of the common practices of bikers. While most riders are very conscientious of others, there are those that give the others a bad name.
Lane splitting is one of the very controversial practices generally reserved for those commuters on two wheels. It is the act of riding between two rows of stopped traffic. It is generally a move used when in a traffic jam.
It is important to understand that this does occur, especially when on a long road trip. As you navigate unfamiliar roads and try to contend with heavy traffic around busy cities, it is important to recognize the possibility that a biker might unexpectedly split the lanes. If you are trying to change lanes or pass someone when that motorcycle cuts through, the outcomes can be devastating.
There are still some states that recognize lane splitting as a legal maneuver; others have no official legislation in place with regard to the maneuver. In the state of Florida, a biker that is lane splitting, and is subsequently involved in an accident, will be forced to accept liability. This state considers the act of lane splitting a prohibited maneuver.
While it is considered an illegal maneuver in Florida, if a Tampa auto accident occurs and the other driver did something (or didn’t do something) that also contributed to the accident, the biker may not be fully responsible for the resulting damages.
This is called shared liability. The courts will consider the actions of both (or all) parties to an accident, and will assess a percentage of liability to each based on their findings. If the driver of a passenger vehicle changes lanes without signaling, failing to see the lane splitting biker, he or she could, in fact, carry a large percentage of the liability. This is why it is so important to consult a personal injury attorney. A professional can help you collect the evidence needed to prove that you were not negligent in the accident, or at least, to lessen the percentage of liability that falls on your shoulders.