Yes, it is legal to share lanes in California. If done safely, lane sharing, also referred to as lane splitting and white-lining is an acceptable driving technique in California. If the phrase “lane sharing” is new to you, it refers to when a motorcycle travels between two lanes and overtakes vehicles in slower traffic on either side.
The only state in the union that allows lane sharing is California, but keep in mind that it is only permitted when done safely. The California Highway Patrol has put out the following general rules for sharing a lane with a motorcycle:
- Do not exceed 10 mph faster than the traffic you are passing. You have less time to react to other drivers’ changing lanes the faster you are traveling.
- Never share lanes when traffic is moving at 30 mph or faster. The faster you go, the greater the likelihood that you will crash or suffer an injury.
- Keep in mind that the 1 and 2 lanes are the safest lanes to split between. The lane that is furthest to the left is designated as Lane #1 (excluding any carpool lanes).
- Pay attention to your surroundings (lane width, vehicle size, road condition, weather, and lighting).
- Be aware of other drivers. Always anticipate other drivers’ movements to ensure that you can safely evade them.
- Avoid sharing lanes if you are a novice rider. To share lanes, one needs proficiency and experience.
- Lane sharing still carries the risk of a ticket. If you share lanes in a dangerous way, a police officer can give you a ticket.
8. Sharing lanes with trucks, buses, RVs, and other wide vehicles is prohibited when traveling around curves, through them, and when traffic is moving too quickly.
Despite the fact that lane sharing is permitted in California, it’s important to understand that many fatal collisions involve negligent drivers who fail to look out for motorcycle riders who are lane sharing. If you are changing lanes, whether you are driving a car or a motorcycle, please be mindful of your surroundings and watch out for other moving vehicles.
If you were lane sharing when a motorcycle crash occurred, call West Covina car accident lawyer Lem Garcia for assistance. CarMats will provide a free case evaluation and address any queries or worries you may have.