Clearwater Lane Splitting Accident Lawyer

Depending on who you ask, lane splitting is either a dangerous action or a life-saving measure, but what is lane splitting in the first place? The term refers to a maneuver in which motorcyclists move in and out of travel lanes to circumvent heavy traffic. 

Nevertheless, that difference in opinion regarding the behavior has formed a similar rift regarding the laws that govern it. Only five states — California, Arizona, Utah, Montana, and Hawaii — allow some version of lane splitting.

As Florida is one of the many states that doesn’t permit the behavior, your location on the road, if you’re in a motorcycle accident in a place like Clearwater, FL, can determine whether you’re entitled to recover injury compensation. Turn to a lawyer from Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for help. 

Contact our law firm at(727) 796-8282 to schedule a free consultation at our Clearwater office to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. Our Clearwater motorcycle accident lawyers offer a free initial consultation to answer your questions and provide guidance.

How Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Clearwater, FL

How Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Clearwater, FL

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers was the first injury law firm in Clearwater, Florida. Since its founding in 1955, our Clearwater motorcycle accident attorneys have recovered over $675 million in financial compensation for injured clients just like you.

If you are injured by someone else’s actions, our attorneys can provide the following:

  • A free case evaluation to assess your claim and explain your legal options
  • Preparation of your insurance claim
  • Aggressive negotiation to try to settle your claim
  • A legal team with over 300 years of combined courtroom experience ready to fight for you if your claim does not settle

A motorcycle crash can seriously injure your limbs, head, and neck. Contact Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your motorcycle crash injuries and how we can help you recover financial compensation for them.

Is Lane Splitting Safe?

In its purest form, lane splitting sees motorcyclists riding on lane lines rather than in the traffic lanes themselves. 

The five states mentioned above allow these maneuvers because they believe they keep motorcyclists safe. The theory is that by allowing motorcyclists to travel outside the traffic lanes, they are less likely to be hit in a rear-end collision. That said, the counter-theory is that motorcycles traveling on the lane lines are more likely to get hit in lane change crashes.

The University of California, Berkeley studied lane splitting and found it safe in scenarios where traffic was moving at less than 50 miles per hour and motorcycles were moving no more than 15 miles per hour faster than the surrounding traffic.

Perhaps more importantly, the study produced two key findings: First, the speed differential was a more accurate predictor of a crash over absolute speed. In other words, crashes tended to happen when motorcyclists rushed up on cars, as the action would take drivers by surprise.

Second, the injuries that occurred in lane-splitting crashes were less severe than in non-lane-splitting crashes. This is likely due to the fact that lane splitting leads to sideswipe collisions, which involve less crash energy, while crashes within travel lanes tend to involve rear-end crashes, which are more forceful.

Does Florida Allow Lane Splitting?

Florida law specifically outlaws lane splitting. Motorcycle operators cannot ride between lanes of traffic or between lines or rows of traffic. Instead, they must remain inside the lanes. They can swerve into the shoulder or between lanes during an emergency maneuver, but they must return to the travel lanes after avoiding a collision.

Splitting lanes in Florida is a non-criminal moving violation. In Pinellas County, which is home to Clearwater, the fine for a moving violation is $166, and a judge may also assess court fees.

Consequences of Lane Splitting in Florida

In addition to imposing a fine, a state’s laws may carry additional consequences for riding on lane lines. 

Florida, in particular, uses comparative negligence to allocate fault after an accident. In other words, if you are found to have contributed to the cause of your injuries, you’ll be assigned a percentage of the fault, and your recoverable damages will be reduced by your share of the blame.

Seeing as how the state outlaws lane splitting, the jury or claims adjuster can assign some of the fault to you. For example, if you are considered to have contributed 45% of the fault, as you were riding on the lane line, you would only be able to receive 55% of your total damages. If your assigned responsibility exceeds 50%, you’ll be barred from any financial recovery from the other party.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

A motorcycle crash can cause debilitating injuries that prevent you from working or caring for yourself. Contact Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to learn about the compensation you can seek for these injuries and damages.