Is Lane Splitting Legal In Florida?

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Lane splitting is not legal in the state of Florida. According to Florida motorcycle laws for lane splitting and statute 316.209 (3), no individual is permitted to operate a motorcycle between traffic lanes or adjacent lines or rows of vehicles. 

Consequently, the State of Florida does not permit lane splitting due to its high rate of motorcycle crashes. If an individual attempts a lane split, they are breaking the law and will be subject to receiving a moving violation as punishment for going against their state’s regulations.

What is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is a maneuver in which a motorcycle is navigated between the 2 lanes of traffic moving slowly or stopped. Sometimes, lane splitting is used interchangeably with lane sharing. 

However, both terms are different; lane sharing occurs when motorcycle riders are riding side by side in a similar traffic lane and has been made legal in Florida.

Is Lane Splitting Dangerous?

The short answer is yes. Lane splitting is dangerous because of the limited space between the rider and the other cars. It can reduce your visibility in front of other drivers, primarily when you land in a blind spot. 

According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), nearly 8,600 motorcycle accidents occurred between 2018 and 2020. Lane splitting is a safer option than other measures while motorcyclists are stuck in traffic.  

However, a lack of awareness can cause motor vehicle accidents if motorcyclists change lanes, increase or decrease speed, and switch lanes without giving any signal.

Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been discussing lane splitting, as it can reduce traffic congestion. However, motorcyclists and other vehicle riders must be aware of the driving strategy while on the road; therefore, for the time being, lane splitting is illegal in Florida.

Common Injuries in Lane-Splitting Accidents

For motorcyclists, lane-splitting can be dangerous when other drivers are not aware of the maneuver and inadvertently cause an accident. Injuries sustained in lane-splitting accidents can range from minor to serious.

Regardless of whether injuries are caused by running late, frustration, substance abuse or lack of experience behind the handlebars; lane-splitting can be dangerous and can lead to severe injuries, such as:

  • Spinal injuries,
  • Whiplash,
  • Lacerations,
  • Broken ribs,
  • Broken or amputated limbs,
  • Internal bleeding,
  • Organ damage,
  • Wrongful death, and more.

These injuries can cause long-term pain, suffering and other damages. These consequences can significantly impact your life, leaving you with overwhelming medical bills and other losses.

What Are The Penalties For Lane Splitting?

As lane splitting is illegal in Florida, many motorcycle riders violate the practice and routinely drive without following the rules. Therefore, they have to bear the consequences. If the police stop them, a traffic violation or a non-criminal traffic infection can result in a moving violation. Furthermore, authorities may impose a fine of $100. Please note that the fine may vary depending on the county.

If an individual is found liable for an accident as a result of lane splitting, the penalties may be more severe. The court can impose harsher sanctions such as jail time, heavy fines, loss of driving privileges, and more.

Moreover, that person may be liable for compensation for any injuries caused by the accident. Thus, it is advisable to abide by all traffic regulations and laws and avoid lane splitting, as it can have serious consequences.

Does Lane Splitting Cause More Accidents?

Although lane-splitting may reduce the likelihood of traumatic brain injuries and other life-threatening injuries in an accident, it is still an incredibly risky activity that can lead to severe harm.

In some cases, lane-splitting causes more accidents due to the limited space between the rider and vehicles. It is also more difficult for drivers to identify motorcyclists when they are lane-splitting. Additionally, the maneuver can cause confusion and traffic congestion.

Were You Hit By A Motor Vehicle While Lane-Splitting? Contact Us Today!

Schedule a free case consultation if you have suffered an injury due to a lane-splitting accident in Florida. Our attorneys will help you understand the legal options available to you and how we can help protect your right to full compensation. We will fight for justice every step of the way.

FAQs About Lane Splitting