Many motorcyclists lane split to avoid collisions, especially in bumper-to-bumper traffic where they are more susceptible to accidents and injuries than people in cars or trucks. In a state as densely populated as New Jersey, motorcyclists need to be even more aware of their surroundings and when they need to split lanes to avoid collisions. If you are a motorcyclist in New Jersey, it’s important that you understand the legality of lane splitting and what to do if you’ve been involved in a lane splitting accident.
The responsibility of safe driving is shared by all drivers and riders on the road. For those in cars and trucks, it’s equally important that drivers “Look Twice” for motorcyclists and practice safe driving. Just as you remind yourself to look for children in school zones when you drive in Monmouth, Middlesex, Burlington, Ocean, Bergen, Passaic, Union and other counties, you must consciously be aware of motorcyclists. In many instances, riders are unable to protect themselves. It is entirely up to the drivers of the cars and trucks to avoid making mistakes that can be fatal to motorcyclists.
We don’t recommend you lane split for long periods of time while driving, though it can be an effective way to avoid collisions on busy roads. That being said, most drivers aren’t aware of motorcyclists in their surrounding area. If you do split lanes, we suggest doing so sparingly and carefully. Pay attention to every car around you, as they may be preparing to change lanes as you pass them, putting you at risk.
For motorcyclists, the roads themselves can be obstacles with hazards such as potholes, manhole covers, live animals, and debris. When a car confronts those driving conditions, the worst outcome is often misalignment; however, if a biker fails to avoid the obstacle, it can have tragic consequences. When done properly and carefully, lane splitting can help a motorcyclist avoid an accident, but it can also be the cause of an accident when done in an unsafe manner.
Lane splitting isn’t expressly illegal in New Jersey, however, it’s not legal, either. New Jersey law doesn’t address lane splitting, but motorcyclists and drivers may be cited for failure to keep right. That’s why, on top of the safety concerns, we suggest motorcyclists return to clearly marked lanes as soon as it’s safe for them to do so. We also suggest that drivers of cars and trucks check their blind spots before changing or turning lanes.
New Jersey motorcyclists often have a tough time seeking compensation after being involved in lane splitting accidents, regardless of who was at fault. Oftentimes, motorcyclists aren’t the responsible parties, as drivers have responsibility in operating their vehicles in a safe and defensive manner.
It is crucial that the necessary evidence is gathered after an accident. If possible, call the police and report the accident. Also, if possible, take photos of the crash scene, speak to witnesses, and gather contact information and exchange insurance information with the other driver. The evidence and contacts you collect will be key in a personal injury case. If you’re transported by ambulance and/or badly injured requiring immediate medical attention and unable to gather evidence following the crash, our law firm will conduct its own investigation.
If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a motorcycle crash, you should seek the assistance of the motorcycle injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law™. The trial attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law™ offer assistance to all motorcycle and car accident victims in New Jersey and New York. If you are suffering from injuries sustained in a bicycle, car, or motorcycle accident, call Judd Shaw now. If you do not recover, you pay no attorneys’ fees – that’s our No Fee Guarantee! Schedule a free initial consultation now by calling us at 732-888-8888.
If you ride a motorcycle, you know just how much fun it is to cruise down the road – likewise, you know that you face many challenges on the roads. If you’re tired of yelling “back off,” when others on the road fail to provide plenty of room, email us for a free “Back Off” t-shirt at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on Instagram @juddshawinjurylaw and view our post on receiving the free safety shirt for motorcyclists.
Content edited by personal injury attorney Judd Shaw. From the beginning, Judd established a set of Core Values laying out the pursuit for excellence in client service. He is a regular host of the Working The Wow podcast, with the belief that providing an exceptional client experience is just as important as delivering a quality service or product. You can find us in Red Bank and Tom‘s River, New Jersey.