Left turn

Is Lane Splitting Illegal in Indiana?

If you’re a motorcycle rider in Indiana, you’ve likely noticed other bikers weaving between lanes of slow or stopped traffic. This maneuver, known as lane splitting, may seem efficient for getting around congestion. However, cyclists must understand that lane splitting is illegal in Indiana and can lead to severe motorcycle accidents.

What is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of vehicles traveling in the same direction. Essentially, the rider shares space in a traffic lane instead of staying within the lane boundaries. Lane splitting is sometimes referred to as “white-lining” or “stripe-riding” since the motorcyclist rides along the line dividing the lanes.

Indiana’s Law on Lane Splitting

Under Indiana Code § 9-21-10-6, a vehicle must not be driven or operated in a manner that deprives another vehicle of the full use of a traffic lane. Lane splitting encroaches on the space of other drivers and denies them the ability to make full use of their lanes, making it highly dangerous and illegal.

Why Do Riders Lane Split?

Despite the risks, some motorcyclists engage in lane splitting for various reasons:

lane splitting in indiana

1. Efficiency: The ability to move through traffic more quickly is seen as a perk by many riders.

2. Recklessness: Some riders knowingly lane split despite the dangers, perhaps because they are in a rush.

3. Road Rage: If a motorcyclist has an altercation with another driver, they may attempt to catch up by weaving through traffic, putting everyone at risk.

4. Lack of Knowledge: Since lane splitting laws vary by state, some riders may not realize it’s illegal in Indiana.

5. Inattention: Drivers not paying suitable attention to road conditions may unintentionally lane split.

Dangers of Lane Splitting

Lane splitting poses significant risks, especially to motorcyclists due to their lack of protection compared to those in enclosed vehicles. The size and weight disparity between motorcycles and cars or trucks can lead to devastating injuries for riders in the event of a collision. Common injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), even when wearing a helmet.

Lane splitting accidents can occur due to various factors, including:

  • Close proximity to other vehicles, startling drivers
  • Failing to check blind spots
  • Driving too fast for road conditions
  • Irritating drivers by “queue jumping”

Determining Liability in Lane Splitting Accidents

motorcyclist lane splitting

In most cases, the motorcyclist is held liable for a lane splitting accident due to the maneuver being illegal in Indiana. However, liability can vary case by case, and proving fault can be challenging for riders. Insurance companies often attempt to shift blame onto victims to avoid paying the maximum compensation owed.

If you’ve been involved in a lane splitting accident, it’s time to seek legal representation from an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Your lawyer will investigate the incident, gather evidence (such as photos, witness statements, and documentation), and build the strongest possible case for you.

Compensation for Lane Splitting Accidents

If another party’s negligence caused your lane splitting accident, you might be entitled to compensation for various damages, including:

  • Medical treatment costs
  • Vehicle repair costs or replacement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential

Your attorney will work to establish the other party’s negligence and ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Crossen Law Firm

While lane splitting may seem like a convenient way to bypass traffic, it’s important to remember that it’s illegal in Indiana and can lead to severe motorcycle accidents. The risks of lane splitting outweigh any perceived benefits, as it puts not only the rider but also other motorists and pedestrians in danger.

If you’ve been involved in a lane splitting accident, it’s crucial to seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney at Crossen Law Firm who can protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. Remember, every accident is unique, and determining liability requires a thorough investigation.

By understanding the dangers of lane splitting and adhering to traffic laws, motorcyclists can help keep themselves and others safe on Indiana’s roads. Call our office at 317-401-8626 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation.