Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist attempts to drive between two vehicles on either side of him in order to pass them and make his way through traffic. This practice is illegal in Maryland and is considered to be highly dangerous.
Some motorcyclists support lane splitting as being acceptable. This is mostly due to the fact that they say it helps to prevent accidents by allowing the motorcycle rider to avoid traffic jams where they are often at a higher risk for injury.
Nevertheless, lane splitting is dangerous as it can create traffic accidents caused by a movement that drivers of motor vehicles do not expect. The motorcyclist can easily be run over or even struck by another motorist who is not expecting them to be in their lane.
Contact our law offices by calling (410) 484-0400 and scheduling a free initial consultation if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident.
How is Motorcycle Lane Sharing Different Than Lane Splitting in Maryland?
Lane sharing, unlike lane splitting, is legal in the state of Maryland. Lane sharing occurs when two motorcyclists ride side by side in the same lane. While this practice is legal within the state, it should also be noted that this type of driving takes skill. Only motorcycle riders with a great deal of riding experience should attempt to do this as it could prove dangerous to a rider unfamiliar with the technique.
As always, motorcyclists should follow Maryland State traffic laws when riding their motorcycle or operating any other type of motor vehicle on the roadways.
Can I Sue For Injuries if I Was Lane Splitting in Maryland and Was Hit By a Driver?
Due to the fact that lane splitting is considered to be illegal in Maryland, it would be extremely difficult to win a claim against another driver if you were lane splitting when the accident occurred.
Even in regular motor vehicle accidents, it is difficult to determine who is actually at fault because each driver will claim that it was the other party who caused the accident. Often cases such as these drag on in court because neither side can come to a resolution.
Insurance companies are often looking for ways not to have to pay claims. This is especially true for accidents where a motorcyclist has been injured but was also lane-splitting when the accident occurred. The insurance company can claim they are not liable for the damages because the motorcyclist broke the law while engaged in lane splitting.
Is it Legal For a Motorcyclist to Drive on the Shoulder of the Roadway to Avoid Traffic in Maryland?
The short answer is no; this is not legal in the State of Maryland. Because of the heavy amount of traffic and congestion on Maryland roadways, it can be very tempting to ride along the shoulder in order to get to your destination sooner. However, it is highly dangerous to you, the motorcycle rider, to drive anywhere but in the designated lanes of the roadway.
It is important to remember that there is normally a great amount of debris that collects on the side of the road that could also be potentially hazardous for you to drive through, such as glass, nails, and sand. Not only do you run the risk of damaging your motorcycle, but you also take a chance of being harmed in an accident should you lose control or encounter an object hidden from your view.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call our law firm at (410) 484-0400 and ask to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys, who can explain your legal options and rights. We look forward to serving you.