Lane Splitting: Why Motorcyclists Shouldn’t Do This in Oklahoma
One of the most convenient ways for motorcycle riders to squeeze past traffic jams and get to their next destination faster is by doing lane splitting. Motorcyclists who lane split use the space between lanes to pass through, instead of following a single designated lane.
While lane splitting does help motorcycles bypass the long line of vehicles wider than them, it is not something that a motorist should do on the road. The following reasons should discourage you from lane splitting.
First Off, It’s Illegal!
Lane splitting is not legal in the state of Oklahoma. According to Oklahoma Statute 47-11-1103(D), motorcycles, along with electric-assisted bicycles, motorized bicycles, motorized scooters, and motor-driven cycles, shall not overtake vehicles between traffic lanes going in the same direction. It adds, though, that the statute does not apply to emergency vehicle operators.
The law is clear: Lane splitting is illegal unless you are a police officer or an emergency responder. When the authorities catch you in the act of committing such a traffic offense, you will receive points to your driving record along with a traffic ticket. Accumulating 10 points or more within a five-year period will result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
Motorcycle Riders Are More Vulnerable to Injury
On top of being illegal, motorcycle riders are automatically more susceptible to injury simply because of how they’re exposed, compared to other motorists. Motorcyclists who lane split have a greater chance of colliding with another vehicle due to their proximity to that vehicle. Lane splitting during a red light or a traffic jam can also be disastrous, as motorcycle riders can hit a car door that opens without warning, resulting in potential injury.
Likelihood of a Multi-Vehicle Collision Increases
Motorcyclists are not the only individuals in danger when they lane split. They also endanger other motorists in the process. Other vehicles, in response to lane splitting, may attempt to swerve to avoid hitting a motorcycle rider. Unfortunately, this raises the likelihood of a side collision with an adjacent vehicle.
Additionally, the probability of a catastrophic multi-vehicle collision is high, especially when motorcycle riders do lane splitting on a busy highway.
What to Do in a Lane Splitting Accident
Given the dangers of lane splitting, it is best for all motorcyclists to drive safely, conservatively, and lawfully. If you happen to be the unfortunate victim of a lane splitting motorcycle accident, take these steps to enable you to hold the motorist accountable for negligence as well as recover compensation for damages.
- File Your Claim as Early as Possible – The statute of limitations allows you only two years from the time of the accident to file a lawsuit. So, gather and preserve supporting evidence as early as possible.
- Store Medical Bills in a Safe Place – You’ll need to keep all financial losses related to the motorcycle accident, including the medical treatment costs, to allow you to recover damages.
- Keep a Journal of Your Health Condition – If you’re facing an extended recovery period, a daily health journal can help your attorney negotiate a fair settlement.
When you need a trusted motorcycle accident lawyer in Oklahoma City, turn to Little Oliver Gallagher PLLC. We’ll guide you through the steps of filing a claim as well as pursue maximum compensation for you.