Motorcycles are popular, and while most motorcyclists enjoy their time riding without any issues, motorcycle accidents do happen for many reasons. When these incidents occur, it is vital for riders to know their rights in terms of how they can recover their losses and how to identify the party responsible for injuring them. However, liability could be called into question due to the actions of the rider. Specifically, if a motorcyclist was lane splitting when an accident occurred, they face liability for the resulting damages. If you or a family member recently experienced a motorcycle accident because of lane splitting, it will be essential to firmly prove fault for the incident before you can recover any compensation for your damages. Lane splitting is illegal in the state, and any driver who causes an accident in this manner faces not only liability for the resulting damages but also criminal penalties for breaking state law. Whenever illegal misconduct causes harm to a victim, the at-fault party faces harsher penalties along with responsibility for the civil damages they inflicted on the victim.
Is Lane Splitting Legal in Nevada?

What Is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is also often called white lining and refers to a motorcyclist passing between adjacent lanes of slower-moving traffic by riding on the white lane between the lanes. Splitting the lane in this manner can allow the motorcyclist to move ahead of slower-moving traffic, but it also poses significant safety risks in some situations. As such, the state has outlawed the practice, and any motorcyclist caught lane splitting faces fines and other penalties. Additionally, if this practice causes an accident, they face responsibility for the resulting damages.

Lane splitting is often conflated with lane sharing and lane filtering. Lane sharing occurs when two vehicles ride next to one another in the same lane. For example, two motorcyclists are allowed to ride side-by-side in the same lane, effectively sharing the lane, and this can help them be more visible to other motorists in some situations. Lane filtering happens when traffic is stopped, and motorcyclists filter to the front of the stopped lanes between the other vehicles so they can go first once the light changes to green.

Recovering From a Motorcycle Accident

If you or a loved one suffers injuries in an accident that happened because of lane splitting, you are entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver. Because lane splitting is illegal in the state, any rider who engages in this practice and causes an accident faces criminal penalties along with civil liability for the victim’s damages.

Filing an insurance claim against an at-fault driver is typically the first step in recovering from a motorcycle accident. You need to identify the driver who caused the accident and then prove that their actions caused the damages you are claiming. Once you have done this, you can proceed with a personal injury claim to recover compensation their insurance cannot provide.

Lane splitting can cause accidents in many ways. A motorcyclist could split a lane and surprise the drivers they pass, potentially causing them to lose control of their vehicles. They may also split the lane and hit a driver who was changing lanes or performing a turn. Ultimately, no rider should attempt this maneuver in the state because it is illegal and easily capable of causing a catastrophic accident.


Q: Which States Have Legalized Lane Splitting?

A: Currently, lane splitting is only legal in eight states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. These states have laws that specifically detail when and where lane splitting is acceptable. There are nine other states in which lane splitting is not explicitly illegal: Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia.

Q: Why Is Lane Splitting Illegal?

A: Opponents of lane splitting claim that the practice increases the risk of accidents and encourages risky maneuvers on the road. Motorcycles are smaller and easier to overlook than larger passenger vehicles, and it is believed that lane splitting can lead to very dangerous road conditions. For example, a motorcyclist may attempt to split a lane and startle another driver, causing them to swerve and crash.

Q: What Are the Penalties for Lane Splitting?

A: If a motorcyclist splits a lane by riding the white line between two adjacent lanes of traffic, this typically qualifies for a fine of $190. The fine may increase based on the speed the motorcyclist was traveling and whether they caused harm with their actions. Any traffic violation can also lead to demerit points on the driver’s license, and too many points can lead to automatic suspension.

Q: Why Do Some States Allow Lane Splitting?

A: Proponents of lane splitting claim that the practice, when done responsibly, enables a smoother flow of traffic and can actually limit the risk of motorcycle accidents in some situations. Lane splitting can potentially allow a motorcyclist to avoid being hit from behind, as passing through lanes of slower-moving traffic may amount to an escape route in this situation. Ultimately, lane splitting should only be done in states where it is legal, and any motorcyclist who attempts this should use the utmost care in completing the maneuver.

Q: What Happens if Lane Splitting Causes an Accident?

A: If lane splitting leads to an accident, the fault for the incident will likely fall to whichever motorist splits the lane. This is illegal in the state, and whenever a party causes an accident due to intentional misconduct, they are liable for the resulting damages and face criminal prosecution for violating state law.

Professional Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

If you have recently been injured in a lane-splitting accident or any other vehicle crash caused by another party, you need legal counsel you can trust to help you recover. The right attorney can guide you through the insurance claim process and maximize the compensation you win from a subsequent personal injury claim. Easton & Easton is ready to provide the legal counsel you need in this situation, so contact us today and schedule your consultation with our team.