Is Lane Splitting Legal in Alabama?

Stopped traffic presents far more than an inconvenience for a motorcyclist. There is a great risk that a distracted driver may not see them and hit them from behind. Lane splitting is a way for motorcyclists to pass more safely in slower traffic, but it is illegal under Alabama law and in almost every other state. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need the help of an experienced Anniston motorcycle accident attorney, both to seek compensation and to defend you against any allegations relating to your conduct. Call Steve Morris Law today to discuss your case.

The Laws on Lane Splitting in Alabama

Like in nearly every other state in the country, lane splitting is prohibited in Alabama.

Motorcyclists are not allowed to ride in between lanes during periods of slow-moving traffic.

Although lane splitting may arguably be safer for motorcyclists from a theoretical standpoint, it is illegal in practice.

In Alabama, the law is very clear. According to Section 32-5A-242 ©:

“No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.”

This is an explicit prohibition on any form of lane splitting. Regardless of how slow traffic is or how slow you are going as a motorcyclist, you are not allowed to split lanes. Motorcyclists can be stopped by police and fined if they are found to have engaged in this behavior. In addition, lane splitting will also have a significant detrimental effect on your legal case.

If you are found to have departed from your lane before the accident, it could even keep you from receiving financial compensation entirely for your motorcycle accident. Alabama uses the law of contributory negligence, which keeps you from receiving any compensation if you are in any way to blame for the accident.

Lane Splitting vs. Lane Filtering

Lane splitting and filtering are closely related, but they are not the same. Lane splitting is riding between two lanes when traffic is moving. The motorcyclist is using the space between the lanes to travel in slower traffic, not going much faster than the cars in the adjacent lanes.

Lane filtering permits motorcyclists to travel at certain speeds between cars when traffic is stopped. The biker must travel very slowly, under a certain speed. In addition, there are also limits that only allow lane filtering on roads that have certain speed limits. Lane filtering is considered less dangerous than lane splitting, although it is also illegal in most jurisdictions.

Lane Splitting Is Not Legal But Perhaps Should Be

While the practice is legal throughout much of Europe, lane splitting is not legal in a large majority of the United States, with the exception of California. Experts have called for further analysis of whether state laws should change regarding lane splitting. Some even argue that lane splitting can enhance motorcyclist safety, especially when there is slower traffic. A rear-end crash is one of the greatest risks to motorcyclists in stopped or slow traffic, and splitting lanes could reduce that risk. Nonetheless, it remains illegal in most states.

Because lane splitting is expressly prohibited in Alabama, an insurance company could accuse a motorcyclist of lane splitting as a way to blame them for the accident. This could enable the insurance company to avoid paying any claim in an accident. Again, Alabama law can be very harsh towards motorcyclists when they are looking to recover financial compensation for their injuries.

Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If the insurance company succeeds in blaming you in any way for the accident, your pursuit of financial compensation could be over under Alabama law. Your attorney may need to prove that the driver was to blame for the accident and also negotiate the highest possible compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries. They are dealing with a stubborn and recalcitrant insurance company, which has every motivation to try to lower or eliminate your settlement check. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will protect your legal rights while fighting for you at all times.

Contact an Alabama Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need an aggressive and experienced attorney to handle your legal case. Steve Morris Law represents injured accident victims seeking financial compensation for your injuries. We offer free consultations to prospective clients, where we will learn more about your case and discuss your legal options. To speak with an attorney, you can message us through our website, or you can call our office today at 256-357-9211. The consultation is free, and you pay nothing unless you win.

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