Nobody wants to be in a traffic jam, but motorcycle riders may “split lanes” to avoid them, unlike automobile drivers. Since Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a splint lane law into effect earlier in 2022, many Arizona drivers, both of cars and motorcycles, still have questions and concerns about this law and how it applies to them. The motorcycle accident lawyers at Lerner and Rowe are here to answer any questions you might have about the new Arizona split lane laws.
What Is Lane Splitting?
Lane splitting, or lane filtering, is something we have all witnessed while out on the road, even if we aren’t aware of it. When a motorcycle travels between two clearly defined lanes of traffic moving in the same direction, this is referred to as lane splitting.
Lane splitting typically happens when traffic is going slowly or has halted altogether, and motorcyclists try to get around the stalled traffic. Along with motorcycles, lane splitting is also practiced by bicycle riders. Lane splitting is a common practice among motorcycle riders, even though it is not always legal.
While lane splitting is dangerous, a 2015 study found motorcycle riders who split lanes in congested traffic are considerably less likely to be hit from behind by other drivers, suffer head or body injuries, or incur fatal injuries. Numerous accidents could occur while a motorcycle rider is lane splitting, such as losing control and hitting another vehicle, clipping a side mirror or vehicle, or causing a pileup collision.
What Are the Arizona Split Lane Laws?
The Arizona split lane law allows motorcycles to ride beside or pass a car that is stopped in traffic. However, it only applies to areas with a 45 mph or lower posted speed limit for motorcycles with a 15 mph top speed limit. The new Arizona split lane laws only apply when cars are stopped in the same lane as the motorcycle, despite the fact that the technical definition of lane splitting relates to any biker moving between lanes (independent of the speed of the cars).
Lane Splitting Safety Tips
While this law was passed in order to decrease motorcycle accidents and improve the flow of traffic in Arizona, accidents are inevitable.
Here are a few lane splitting safety tips for motorcycle riders.
- Be aware of the environment such as weather, lighting conditions, road conditions, the width of the lanes, the size of the cars in the surrounding area, etc.
- Avoid splitting lanes when speeding.
- In most situations, switching lanes between the far left lanes is a safer option than switching lanes between any of the other traffic lanes.
- If possible, try to avoid changing lanes near trucks or other large vehicles.
- Help other drivers see you by wearing brightly colored or reflective protection gear and driving with your high beams turned on during daylight hours.
Other drivers on the road can help keep everyone safe by sharing the road. Motorcycle riders can be very hard to see by drivers in cars and this leads to a significant number of collisions. Always keep a close eye on your blind spots and mirrors especially when switching lanes or making a turn.
Injured In an Accident Due to Split Lane Laws? Contact Lerner and Rowe!
Hopefully, the new Arizona split lane laws will decrease motorcycle accidents on the road. If you or a loved one are injured in an accident caused by a negligent motorcycle rider, Lerner and Rowe can help. With a free case consultation from one of our personal injury attorneys, you can find out if you are entitled to compensation. There is no fee unless we win your case!