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Should Motorcycles Be Able to Pass Between Cars in California?

Should Motorcycles Be Able to Pass Between Cars in California?

A common maneuver by motorcyclists is called lane splitting. This is when a motorcyclist passes between cars while riding the lines, usually when traffic is going slower than the motorcyclist is riding.


An often heated debate among riders and drivers, there are residents that argue for both sides of the debate as to whether or not motorcycles should be legally allowed to pass between cars in California.

Legality in California

In other states, lane splitting is an illegal act for motorcyclists. However, lane splitting is neither legal nor illegal in the state of California. There is no law that actually prohibits motorcyclists from passing cars between lane.


If a motorcyclist is excessively speeding while passing cars, they could be pulled over for riding dangerously. However, if a car attempts to hinder a motorcyclist from passing by pulling out in front of the motorcyclist or drifting between lanes, the driver could be considered at fault if a collision occurs.

Lane Splitting Accidents

One of the common causes of motorcycle accidents is between a vehicle and a motorcyclist who is passing between cars. Although this occurs typically when the motorcycle is going faster than the vehicle, the vehicle can be considered at fault if it attempted to hinder the motorcyclist from passing.


Motorcyclists are the most susceptible to sustaining severe injuries without the physical protection of a car. Whether you agree with allowing motorcycles to pass in between cars, the fact is that it’s safer for drivers to always allow motorcycles to pass. Hindering them from passing between lanes is not only against the California Vehicle Code but is also extremely dangerous and one of the common causes of motorcycle accidents.


As motorcyclists are the most vulnerable on the road, it’s essential that motorists always be aware of their surroundings and constantly check their side and rearview mirrors as well as blind spots for possible motorcycles. Motorcyclists should always try to predict the next moves of vehicles as well to ensure they have time to react if they need to avoid a collision.

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to contact our firm at (800) 905-8777.


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