What Is Lane Splitting?
Lane splitting, also known as lane filtering or white-lining, refers to the practice of motorcycles maneuvering between two lanes of traffic that are traveling in the same direction. This technique is employed by motorcyclists to bypass congestion, gain a positional advantage, or avoid being trapped in slow-moving traffic. In addition to its efficiency in navigating heavy traffic, lane splitting is also utilized by motorcyclists to mitigate the risk of rear-end collisions that could potentially damage their bikes or cause harm to themselves. But is lane splitting legal in Florida?
Lane-Splitting is Illegal in Florida.
It is worth noting that in the state of Florida, lane splitting is currently not recognized as a legal maneuver on public roads. Whether you're a new motorcycle rider or are a recent Florida transplant, all riders should know that an action known as "lane-splitting" is illegal in the state. According to Florida Statute 316.20, no rider is permitted to go between lanes of traffic or rows of vehicles. Doing so may result in a moving violation.
Why is Lane Splitting Illegal in Florida?
Depending on where you sit, lane splitting in Florida can be considered safe or dangerous. Motorcycle riders may proclaim that there are safety benefits to the practice, while drivers may cite it as risky behavior. One of the most common reasons for this law is that lane-splitting is often considered dangerous—not just for motorcycle riders but other motorists on the road. In one study, 17% of motorcycle accidents were directly linked to this action. However, multiple factors can contribute to this, including:
- Distracted drivers changing lanes without checking their mirrors.
- Compact lanes.
- Increased speeds while lane splitting.
- Limited space between the motorcycle and other vehicles.
This action can also result in significant injuries from a collision, although at reportedly lower rates than other crashes.
Will Florida Ever Legalize Lane Splitting?
Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately common in Florida; from 2018 to 2020, an average of 8,694 crashes occurred, resulting in 544 fatalities. As such, the state is committed to reducing the number of motorcycle fatalities on the roads by implementing laws designed for safety.
Several petitions have circulated online seeking support, often citing the need to reduce roadway congestion. However, as of 2021, no bills have been passed that would legalize lane-splitting in the state.
Northeast Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney
The team at Canan Law is dedicated to protecting the rights of motorcycle riders throughout Florida. Our attorneys have over 60 years of combined experience conducting over 250 trials and are prepared to take on even the most challenging cases. If you were injured or a loved one was killed by a negligent driver, know that you may be eligible to receive compensation for damages.
Schedule a free consultation with a member of our team by calling (904) 849-2266 or filling out this short form.