Riding a motorcycle safely on the roads means following traffic rules all of the time. This includes adhering to certain laws that are specific to motorcycles. For example, motorcyclists need to know which states require the use of a helmet as well as where and when a motorcycle can legally be driven. Many of us have witnessed motorcycle riders drive in between lanes of cars to get ahead of traffic. This certainly seems dangerous, but is it legal?
Lane Splitting Explained
Lane splitting is basically when a motorcyclist rides between two lanes of traffic — essentially splitting the lane and creating his or her own space. Not surprisingly, motorcyclists who lane split put themselves and others on the road in danger, especially if the two lanes that are being split have traffic moving at any time. Because motorcycles fit into smaller spaces than passenger vehicles, they can easily slip in between lanes during traffic jams. And, when traffic is at a complete stop, a motorcyclist can slip between the two lanes and completely get out of the traffic jam.
While it may be convenient, lane splitting is not necessarily safe. This is because lane splitting requires a motorcycle to move through a very small and narrow space. If any vehicle — particularly a large one — moves or changes lanes, it can easily sideswipe the motorcycle before the driver of the car even realizes there was a motorcyclist there. Likewise, motorcyclists who are splitting lanes need to successfully complete tighter moves versus when they are taking up an entire traffic lane.
Nevada Traffic Laws
Notably, lane splitting is not legal in the state of Nevada. Although lane splitting is perfectly legal in parts of the European Union and Asia, the only state in America that has legalized lane splitting is California. Motorcyclists are required to remain stationary when traffic is not moving, even if the motorcyclist feels that he or she can slip their bick through the lanes to reach their desired destination faster. Simply put, motorcyclists in Nevada and virtually all other states in America should not attempt to navigate through or around traffic and should not ignore existing traffic while trying to get to their destination.
That being said, Nevada does permit two motorcycles to share the same lane as long as the riders agree. When it comes to large groups of motorcyclists traveling together, it increases safety for all the riders because other drivers are not likely to attempt to cut between group members. This is because the lane splitting prohibition in Nevada does not only prevent motorcyclists from using the space between lanes, it also prohibits other vehicles from trying to get into a motorcyclist’s lane; these drivers face the same consequences as motorcyclists. Fees for lane splitting in Nevada start at $190, with fines increasing in amount with multiple violations. If a motorcyclist has too many citations, they may lose their motorcycle license or even their driver’s license. Drivers of passenger vehicles may face similar consequences in Nevada.
Nevada Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
H&P Law’s skilled personal injury attorneys have years of experience protecting the legal rights of those injured in motorcycle accidents. Contact our Las Vegas or Henderson offices today to speak with one of our Nevada personal injury attorneys and learn how our legal team can help fight for the compensation you deserve.