Stephen Hasner | Motorcycle Accidents | July 19, 2022
It would be great if you could move around traffic on busy Atlanta roads. If you ride a motorcycle, you technically can. A motorcycle can fit between lanes of cars to weave around traffic jams.
Lane splitting is the practice of driving a motorcycle between lanes of traffic. Lane filtering is a similar activity. It involves passing between stopped or slowed lanes of traffic.
However, lane filtering and lane splitting are illegal in Georgia. Georgia’s Motor Vehicles and Traffic Code §40-6-312 states that motorcyclists cannot operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or adjacent rows or lines of traffic. This law does not apply to police officers performing their official duties.
Other Motorcycle Laws Atlanta Motorcyclists Need to Know
In addition to understanding that lane filtering and lane splitting is illegal in Georgia, other motorcycle laws that riders need to be aware of include:
- Riders must have a Class M license to operate a two or three-wheeled motorcycle
- Riders must keep their headlights and taillights on at all times
- Motorcyclists cannot pass vehicles in the same lane as the vehicle being passed
- Riders can ride side-by-side in the same lane with a maximum of two motorcycles riding side-by-side
- Only motorcycles built for passengers can carry a passenger
- Georgia has a mandatory motorcycle helmet law
- Riders must wear goggles or eye protection if the motorcycle does not have a windscreen offering eye protection
- Georgia motorcyclists must have the required vehicle liability insurance
Riders should also consider wearing protective gear when riding a motorcycle. Protective gear can include boots, gloves, and clothing. Motorcycle gear can reduce the risk of some injuries in a motorcycle accident.
Why Is Lane Splitting Illegal in Georgia?
Many states outlaw lane splitting. Some people argue that the practice is dangerous. Allowing a rider to weave through traffic and ride in the middle of lanes could cause an accident.
However, there are also those who believe lane splitting is a safe practice that could reduce some types of motorcycle accidents. For example, a motorcyclist riding between lanes of vehicles in congested traffic could reduce the risk of an Atlanta motorcycle accident. Riders are less likely to be rear-ended in traffic if they are between other vehicles.
Regardless of your opinion of lane splitting or lane filtering, you could face fines and points on your driver’s license if caught breaking traffic laws. Being involved in a motorcycle accident while lane splitting could impact your personal injury case.
Are Motorcyclists Liable for Lane Splitting Accidents in Atlanta?
It depends on the facts of the accident. A jury could find that the lane splitting contributed to the cause of the motorcycle accident. If so, the motorcyclist could share liability for the traffic accident.
Negligence is failing to take reasonable care to avoid causing injury or harm to another person. All motorists owe a duty of care to others on the road, including the duty to follow traffic laws. Therefore, breaking the law could be a factor in determining fault for a traffic accident.
Georgia has a modified contributory fault law. Under the current law, you cannot recover any compensation for an accident that is 50% or more your fault. If your fault is below 50%, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault.
Therefore, proving fault for a motorcycle accident is crucial. Motorcyclists can sustain numerous injuries in an accident that result in substantial damages. A rider’s compensation could be reduced dramatically if they are found partially to blame for the cause of a crash.
What Damages Could a Motorcyclist Receive for an Accident Claim?
If the rider is not partially at fault for the cause of the accident, they should be entitled to full compensation for their damages. The at-fault parties would be responsible for economic and non-economic damages such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Medical expenses, including nursing care, surgeries, therapy, and doctors’ bills
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Loss of income, including diminished earning capacity
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Personal care and household services
- Decrease in quality of life
The amount of your compensation depends on numerous factors. In addition to fault for the cause of the motorcycle crash, other factors to consider when deciding how much an accident claim is worth include the extent of your injuries and the availability of insurance coverage.
Hiring a car accident lawyer in Atlanta can help you receive the compensation you deserve. An attorney investigates the motorcycle crash to gather evidence proving causation and fault. That evidence establishes liability, which is necessary to hold the at-fault parties responsible for your injuries and damages.
Contact the Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Hasner Law, P.C. For Help
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