Lane Splitting: Dangerous and Illegal or a Good Idea?

Lane Splitting Motorcycle Laws

In recent years, the number of motorcycle riders has grown rapidly in the United States.

At the same time, unfortunately, the number of accidents involving motorcycles have increased as well.

Therefore, it is important to be aware of the laws regarding motorcycle riding in your state.

What is Lane Splitting?

If you have ever been stuck in a traffic jam on the freeway and seen a motorcycle, scooter, or moped zip past you between all the other cars that are stopped in their lanes, then you have witnessed “lane splitting.”

Lane splitting is sometimes also called whitelining, stripe-riding, or filtering. Many people believe lane splitting is disrespectful to other drivers on the road.

Is this practice dangerous, or is it a good idea for clearing up traffic?

Why do motorcycle, scooter, or moped riders lane split?

Most often, lane splitting is done to avoid traffic. By riding between the lanes, a motorcycle, scooter, or moped may be able to move past other vehicles that are stopped or moving slowly.

The idea is that it will help clear up some congestion on the roadways by allowing those who are able to get through and out of the way.

How safe is lane splitting?

This practice may involve numerous safety risks.

Among other risks, lane splitting leaves very little room between vehicles traveling down the road.

Drivers of larger vehicles may not be able to see a smaller and less visible motorcycle, scooter, or moped approaching between lanes from the rear.

Many drivers may not expect lane splitting and be startled by a rider whizzing past them while they are stuck in slower traffic.

And all of these factors may heighten the potential for an accident when the driver of a larger vehicle is changing lanes.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Chicago and/or Illinois?

Lane splitting is illegal in both Chicago and the state of Illinois.

The rider of a motorcycle, moped, or scooter is required to follow the same procedures as any other driver when passing another vehicle on the road.

Specifically, under Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-703, the rider of a two-wheeled vehicle shall not pass another vehicle driving in the same direction unless he or she does so safely in an unobstructed traffic lane.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Des Moines and/or Iowa?

Lane splitting is illegal in Iowa.

The rider of a motorcycle, moped, or scooter is required to follow the same procedures as any other driver when passing another vehicle on the road.

In particular, under the Iowa Code section 321.275, a motorcycle or motorized bicycle shall not be operated between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Your State?

This practice is illegal in most states.

This is due to the safety issues laid out in previous sections.

One notable exception is California, where lane splitting is allowed by statute.

Contact VanDerGinst Law

If you have suffered injuries in a car or motorcycle accident, you should always contact a lawyer.

An experienced personal injury attorney can determine if you have a case.

If you do have a case, they help you negotiate with insurance companies so you get the best possible compensation.

At VanDerGinst Law, we specialize in personal injury cases.

We have represented tens of thousands of injury victims in Illinois and Iowa and obtained millions of dollars in settlements for our clients.

Call us at 800-797-5391 for a free consultation, or send us a message online.

The law is tough, being injured is tougher. We’ll make it easier for you.

The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.