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 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.
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:
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.
Lane splitting is considered dangerous for several reasons:
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.
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.
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.
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.