Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist rides between slow-moving or stopped traffic lanes. While legal in some states, such as California, it remains illegal in Texas.
In the event of a lane-splitting accident in Texas, determining liability and responsibility can be a complex process.
Negligence and responsibility
Generally, an accident’s responsibility is usually assigned based on negligence or fault. Negligence refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care, which leads to harm or injury to another person. Both parties involved in the accident may share some negligence, or one party may be solely responsible.
Since lane splitting is illegal in Texas, the motorcyclist who engages in this practice assumes some responsibility for their actions. The motorcyclist must demonstrate that they exercised reasonable care and followed all other traffic laws to minimize the risk of an accident.
Liability may also be attributed to other parties involved, such as the driver of a motor vehicle. If a driver was negligent and failed to exercise reasonable care, they may be held partially or fully responsible for the accident. Actions like suddenly changing lanes without signaling or checking blind spots could contribute to the accident.
Factors for determining liability
Various factors will be considered to determine liability in a lane-splitting accident. These factors may include the actions of the motorcyclist, the behavior of the other drivers involved, the condition of the road and any applicable traffic laws. It is crucial for all parties involved to gather evidence, such as witness statements, photographs and police reports, to support their claims.
Determining responsibility after a lane-splitting accident in Texas can be challenging. The motorcyclist assumes some responsibility due to the illegal nature of lane splitting, but liability may also be attributed to negligent drivers. Knowing your legal rights and options is the best way to protect yourself.