Lane splitting is a practice used by motorcyclists where they maneuver their motorcycle to pass between stopped or slow-moving traffic. This is done on roadways where the lanes allow a wide enough gap to have both a car and motorcycle share the same lane.
Lane splitting can be a safety benefit to motorcyclists in that lane splitting can reduce the frequency of some collisions by staying inside of the lane and moving with traffic. However, lane splitting can also lead to injuries to motorcyclists at the hands of negligent drivers.
Arkansas Lane Splitting Laws
In Arkansas, lane splitting is not mentioned in the statutes. Therefore, it is not technically considered illegal. This simply means that Arkansas motor vehicle code does not reference lane splitting at all.
Therefore, it is up to motorcyclists to remain safe and vigilant on Arkansas’s roadways. As California is the only state where lane splitting is legal and has guidelines regarding safe lane splitting practices, they have instituted the following lane splitting guidelines for motorcyclists:
- Consider your total surroundings including the weather, roadway, and lighting conditions.
- Slow down to avert danger.
- Lane split only in the far-left lanes.
- Try not to lane split when beside large or commercial vehicles.
- Stay off of the shoulder if lane splitting.
- Keep out of other vehicles’ blind spots.
- Always use your headlight and wear brightly colored clothing.
Along with these specific guidelines for staying safe while lane splitting, there are more general motorcycle safety guidelines to follow. These include:
- Be properly licensed. Take and pass your state-approved course.
- Practice riding your motorcycle in all weather and road conditions before riding in traffic.
- Check your motorcycle’s equipment is operational before each ride including looking for leaks and making sure turn signals work.
- Wear proper protection such as goggles and helmets.
- Ride responsibly by obeying traffic laws and placing reflective material on your motorcycle.
- Never be impaired by drugs and alcohol.
What If You Are Hurt While Motorcycle Lane Splitting?
Motorcyclists who are lane splitting are often hurt by the negligence of other drivers. Common motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers operating motor vehicles while distracted or not yielding when it is proper.
If you are hurt while lane splitting, it is important to contact an attorney who knows and understands motorcyclists and their rights in Arkansas. Only a seasoned attorney can explain Arkansas negligence statutes and how they might apply to you and your injuries.
Negligence in Arkansas
Negligence in Arkansas as it pertains to lane splitting refers simply to what another driver should have or should not have done that a reasonable person would have or would not have done. In other words, a reasonable person would not have run into you because they were drunk or texting on their phone.
If you were injured due to the negligence of another while you were lane splitting, were you at fault as well? This is called contributory negligence.
Should you be partly at fault for the accident, but less than half, you may recover for your lane splitting injuries to the degree of your own fault. If your fault is greater than the other party, you may not recover at all.
Finally, there is a statute of limitations to filing your lawsuit for your personal injury due to lane splitting. A statute of limitations is a time period in which you must bring a lawsuit, in Arkansas it is three years, from the date on which you where injured.
Contact an Experienced Arkansas Motorcycle Lane Splitting Injury Attorney
This can all be very complicated. That’s why we at the Law Offices of Alan LeVar are here to help should you be hurt by a negligent driver in a lane splitting accident.
We feel it is our privilege to help you recover from this difficult time in your life. Not only do we specialize in motorcycle lane splitting accidents, but we are strongly tied to the Arkansas community.
Mr. LeVar grew up in Arkansas, and attended law school in Arkansas as well. Serving the surrounding areas of his offices in Little Rock, Bentonville, Conway and Arkadelphia, he looks forward to putting his experience at work for you. Contact us today if you have been in a lane splitting accident.