Is Lane Splitting Legal in Las Vegas?

Lane-splitting, where motorcyclists ride between traffic lanes, is illegal in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada. This means that riders cannot maneuver between lanes, even in situations where traffic is congested or moving slowly.

 Lane Sharing Vs. Lane Splitting in Las Vegas

Lane sharing is different than lane splitting. Lane sharing is where two motorcyclists travel side-by-side in the same lane. It is legal and should not be confused with lane splitting. It is a way for two riders to travel together while maximizing the use of road space. 

Who Is Liable for Motorcycle Accidents While Lane Splitting?

Since this maneuver is illegal in Las Vegas, motorcyclists are typically wholly or partially liable when an accident occurs involving lane splitting.

The events leading up to the crash will be considered; for instance, if there was a hazard in the road the motorcyclist had to avoid, they may only be partially liable. Whereas, if there was no imminent danger forcing the motorcyclist to lane split, they would likely hold the majority of the blame, if not all. 

Other factors include: 

  • Whether there is evidence that lane splitting was the cause of the accident.
  • Whether the motorcyclist was riding carefully — not speeding or weaving in and out of lanes. 
  • Whether the motorcyclist is an experienced rider.
  • The traffic conditions — if traffic was slow or not moving at the time of the crash.  
  • Whether the driver’s actions were reckless — for instance, an abrupt lane change without signaling, swerving between two lanes, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, etc. 

These details and more will determine which party is at fault and therefore, liable for damages. Nevada courts follow a modified comparative negligence rule. This law states that an injured party can recover compensation as long as they are no more than 50% to blame for the accident. If a party is found 51% or more at fault, they cannot receive compensation. 

Reasons Why Lane Splitting Is Considered Dangerous

Reasons Why Lane Splitting is Considered Dangerous

Lane splitting is considered dangerous for several reasons:

Limited Visibility

When a motorcyclist splits lanes, they may be partially or entirely hidden from the view of other drivers, especially larger vehicles. This reduced visibility increases the risk of collisions as motorists may not anticipate a motorcycle passing between lanes.

Sudden Movements

Lane splitting often involves rapid changes in speed and position. Other drivers may not expect or be prepared for a motorcycle to maneuver between lanes.

Space Constraints

The limited space between vehicles during lane splitting leaves little room for error. Any unexpected movement by the motorcyclist or surrounding vehicles can result in a crash.

Skill and Experience Variances

Lane splitting requires a high level of proficiency, and inexperienced riders may find it challenging to navigate safely through traffic. As of now, California is the only state that has passed legislation to allow lane splitting. 

Have You Been Involved in a Lane-Splitting Accident In Las Vegas?

If you or someone you love has been injured in a lane splitting accident, contact a Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer. They can work with you to determine liability and ensure you recover the compensation you are entitled to. A free consultation to evaluate your case may be available.