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Is lane splitting legal?

Lane splitting is something that motorcyclists do to move faster than the flow of traffic around them. They drive between cars, often when those vehicles are waiting at a stoplight or in a traffic jam. The cars take up both lanes, but the small bike still has room to filter through between them and move to the front of the line.

But is this practice legal? Are motorcyclists allowed to drive like this even though they have to weave through traffic and leave the travel lanes to do it?

They are. Lane splitting is legal in California. Riders who do this are not breaking the law, even though other drivers may feel frustrated that they have to wait in traffic in their cars and SUVs while the bikes get to keep passing them by.

That does not mean that motorcyclists do not need to be careful when lane splitting, however. There have been accidents caused by drivers opening their doors or suddenly trying to merge into another lane. Many times, drivers just do not realize the bikes are there and they never think to check -- especially if they're just visiting California from a state where lane splitting is illegal. They inadvertently cause accidents, which are almost always more dangerous for the person on the motorcycle.

If you do get into a motorcycle wreck, whether you were lane splitting or not, you must know what legal options you have. You may deserve financial compensation for lost wages, medical bills, disabilities, and much more. With so much on the line, you have to know exactly what steps to take.

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