Lane splitting is not currently legal in Texas. Motorcycles are not allowed to ride between lanes or rows of slow moving or stopped traffic that is moving in the same direction. However, the legislature recently introduced a bill that could make lane splitting legal.
Bill SB-273 Could Allow Motorcycle Riders to Ride or Share Lanes
, authored by Texas State Senator Kirk Watson, was introduced in December of 2018 and sent to the Transportation Committee. The proposed bill would allow lane splitting or sharing on certain highways during heavy traffic. If it passes, motorcycle riders would have the ability to cut through congested traffic ahead of cars and other traffic.
Lane Sharing Can Make Commutes Faster But Potentially More Dangerous
If the proposed legislation passes, motorcyclists could find their commutes shorter. They would not have to wait in traffic. This could potentially reduce the number of vehicles in slow-moving or stalled traffic. In some cases, it can also help motorcyclists avoid being rear-ended by distracted motorists in traffic jams.
However, lane splitting could also increase the likelihood of injury. Motorcycles can be difficult for motorists to see. They are smaller and therefore can appear to be further away. Lane splitting could increase the risk of motorcycle accident injuries and loss of life.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle fatalities are 28 times more common than fatalities in other types of vehicles. Those who survive often suffer severe or catastrophic injuries. Common accident injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Internal bleeding and organ loss
- Broken, shattered, or crushed bones from the impact or ejection
- Loss of limbs
How to Minimize Your Risk of Injury
If lane splitting is legalized in Texas in 2019, there are a few steps you can take to reduce the risk of injury:
- Wear a helmet
- Make sure your bike’s headlamp and brake lights work
- Wear reflective or brightly colored riding gear
- Do not assume that drivers see you, particularly if you are splitting or sharing lanes
- Always signal for turns
- Wear proper footwear
You can use these tips to stay safe any time you are riding your motorcycle.
What to Do If You Are Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident
Your first action if you are involved in a motorcycle accident is to get medical care. After a healthcare professional has examined you, call a motorcycle accident lawyer in Texas. You could be entitled to recover compensation for medical bills, lost pay, and damage to your motorcycle.
The motorcycle accident lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC have helped many injured motorcyclists recover compensation. We work on a contingency basis. For a free case evaluation, please call 713-850-8600.