We have tackled motorcycle lane splitting before on our Bethesda motorcycle accident page, but we focused primarily on your rights if you are involved in an accident while lane splitting. Here, we wanted to take a moment to go over some safety tips regarding lane splitting. Not only do we aim to keep you safe, but if you are exercising good sense and caution while lane splitting and happen to be involved in an accident, the strength of your case will rely on your knowledge and application of proper technique.
Just as in normal riding situations, the more visible you are, the better. Headlights, reflective or bright clothing, and a helmet are your primary defenses against other cars on the road. Being visible is a two-way street, however—just as you dress to be visible for other drivers who are on the lookout for you, you must also defend against drivers who may not be as vigilant. Staying out of blind spots and traveling at speeds only slightly above slowed traffic can help you be spotted quickly and easily.
The above are good rules whenever you’re driving, but when you are lane splitting, you really need to go above and beyond to not only protect yourself in the moment, but also in the event you are injured in an accident. Be cognizant of the speed differential between the lanes that you are splitting—if it is too great, you are risking a car from the much slower lane switching lanes in front of you. Once traffic starts moving at a decent clip again—from 25 to 35 mph—pick a lane and merge back in with traffic.
While we don’t necessarily recommend lane splitting, when executed properly, you should be able to protect your own safety. If you have been hurt while responsibly lane splitting in the D.C. area, call the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia motorcycle accident lawyers at Lewis & Tompkins today at 202.296.0666 for a free consultation.