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What Is Lane-Splitting and Is It Legal in Georgia?

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Posted on September 12, 2022

For motorcyclists, it is common to want to bypass large blocks of traffic by riding between the lanes. This action, known as lane-splitting, may seem beneficial to motorcyclists—but this practice can be extremely dangerous and heighten the risk of an accident. Additionally, lane-splitting is illegal in Georgia.

If you are riding a motorcycle in Georgia, it is important to be aware of the rules of the road and avoid lane-splitting as much as possible. In the event of an accident, you could suffer severe injuries and struggle to recover fair compensation after your crash.

The Definition of Lane-Splitting

Lane-splitting refers to the practice of driving on the lines that separate lanes of traffic, rather than riding in the lane itself. Because motorcycles are smaller than motor vehicles and relatively agile, it is common for motorcyclists to engage in this practice to avoid being stuck in traffic. 

While this practice is dangerous, it occurs far too often on Georgia roads. Lane-splitting can take place between lanes that are moving in the same direction as the motorcycle, or in the opposite direction. 

Georgia’s Laws on Lane-Splitting

Many states have laws that explicitly prohibit the act of lane-splitting—including Georgia. The state recognizes that lane-splitting is extremely dangerous for motorcyclists and outlaws this practice in the name of public safety.

Under this law, motorcyclists are not allowed to pass in the same lane as the vehicle that they intend to overtake. Additionally, motorcyclists may not ride between lanes of traffic or between rows of vehicles. The only people who are allowed to engage in this practice are police officers who are acting within their official capacity.

Why Motorcyclists Should Avoid Lane-Splitting

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Lane-splitting is illegal in Georgia for a reason. This practice makes motorcyclists extremely vulnerable in an accident. If a driver suddenly moves into another lane or opens his or her door into traffic, a motorcyclist can easily crash and lose control of his or her bike. These incidents can lead to severe injuries and devastating fatalities.

Additionally, Georgia is a fault-based accident state. This means that drivers who are responsible for collisions must pay for their victims’ damages, such as medical care and property repairs. If you were hurt in an accident while lane-splitting, you could struggle to recover fair compensation for your losses.

The insurance company may deny your claim if it discovers that you were lane-splitting at the time of the accident, stating that you were responsible for the collision. If you escalate your claim to a lawsuit, the court may find you partially responsible and Georgia’s comparative negligence laws will apply to your case.

The court will assign a percentage based on the liability that you share in your claim. Your settlement will be reduced by this percentage. If you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you will not be eligible to recover any compensation.

Speak to an Attorney About Your Motorcycle Accident Claim

If you are injured while lane-splitting, you need an attorney on your side who can protect your best interests and help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact an Athens motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your next steps.