Articles Tagged with motorcycle accidents

When you are stopped or slowed in traffic while riding your motorcycle, you may experience a strong temptation to drive between lanes and avoid the congestion. This practice is known as lane splitting, in which a motorcyclist travels down the narrow path separating vehicles. Florida traffic regulations prohibit lane splitting, and the ban on this maneuver was imposed for safety reasons. A motorcycle rider increases the risk of serious crashes by operating the vehicle in what amounts to an unofficial, illegal lane of their own creation. 

A motorcyclist could face fines, points on their driving record, an increase in insurance premiums, and many other consequences for lane splitting. In addition, the practice could affect your rights if you were injured in a collision because it could weaken your claim against the at-fault driver. You can overcome challenges with help from a Miami motorcycle accident lawyer, but read on for some important information about lane splitting in Florida.

Specifics of Florida’s Lane Splitting Law

Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating, liberating experience but can also be extremely dangerous. You are not as well-protected as occupants in passenger vehicles, which are much larger and heavier than your cycle. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there are more than 9,000 motorcycle accidents statewide every year, causing around 620 fatalities and injuries to 7,800 victims. Around 1 in 4 of these crashes occur in South Florida, where almost 130 motorcycle operators and passengers are killed in collisions annually. 

The vast majority of motorcycle crashes are caused by negligent motorists who fail to exercise proper precautions behind the wheel. However, there are other reasons behind these collisions, often related to road conditions instead of traffic. You may still have legal remedies, though your options vary based on the circumstances. A Miami motorcycle accident attorney can assist with the legal process, and some information on the dangers is useful.

Road and Non-Traffic Hazards

Motorcycle riders are considered “vulnerable” road users in Florida, so it is reassuring that the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has dedicated an event that aims to reduce the risk of motorcycle accidents. May 2022 is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and there are multiple campaigns focusing on how motorcyclists can protect themselves: 

  • Always ride sober, as around one-third of all rider fatalities in motorcycle crashes had a BAC in excess of the legal limit.
  • Increase your riding safety with the proper equipment, motorcycle safety technologies, and maintenance tasks.

Florida is one of just a few locations within the US where the weather is perfect for motorcycle riding throughout the year. The long riding season is perhaps why the state ranks high for accidents. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there are around 9,000 motorcycle accidents every year. More than 23% occur in South Florida, leading to dozens of fatalities and hundreds of injured victims. Various causes and factors contribute to these collisions, including speeding, failure to yield, and other forms of driver negligence. 

However, motorcyclists are required to abide by the same traffic laws as other motorists, so they can also be at fault in crashes. One maneuver used by some riders is the subject of some controversy — lane splitting. This practice is illegal in Florida, which is why it could affect your rights if you were hurt. A Miami motorcycle accidents lawyer can explain the details, but an overview is helpful.

Florida Traffic Rules on Motorcycle Operation

Florida Justice Association
The National Center for Victims of Crime
outh Florida Legal Guide
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