Lane Splitting & Filtering Is Legal in Missouri

Waiting in stopped or slow-moving traffic is one of the most frustrating aspects of driving any motor vehicle. If you’re riding a motorcycle, you could be wondering if you can fit your vehicle through the space between the stopped cars and keep going. “Lane splitting” is another name for this technique.

Although lane splitting is not technically prohibited under Missouri state law as of 2022, it is nonetheless seen as a risky driving habit that can cause car and motorcycle accidents.

What Is Lane Splitting?  

Lane splitting is the practice of riding a motorcycle between two lanes of stopped or delayed traffic moving in the same direction. 

Many motorcycle riders argue that lane splitting keeps traffic flowing and are in favor of the practice. Riders can save time by lane splitting when there is heavy traffic congestion.

Lane splitting has potential benefits and drawbacks. For instance, lane splitting may be safer for motorcycle riders than traditional lane riding during periods of heavy traffic, according to a University of California, Berkeley study.

Researchers found that drivers who don’t stop are more likely to rear-end motorcycle riders. Motorcycle riders who practice lane splitting move between lanes and avoid stop-and-go traffic. Those who don’t can be trapped in traffic, where they are in danger of being hit from behind. 

The study suggests that allowing lane splitting could significantly reduce the likelihood of rear-end collisions.

Although lane splitting is not officially prohibited by Missouri law, it is a risky practice that should be avoided.

According to Missouri Section 304.015, Part 5, vehicle operators should drive as closely as is reasonably possible wholly inside a single lane. Drivers should depart from the lane only after they have determined that the maneuver can be accomplished safely. 

The use of the space between two lanes of traffic by motorcyclists is not specifically forbidden by this rule.

The Risks of Lane Splitting

Even when it is authorized, lane splitting may still be dangerous. Careless lane changes in front of motorbikes that split lanes might lead to severe crashes. Even if they are just traveling at a rate of roughly 20 mph, motorcycle riders’ lack of protection can lead to severe injuries.

For instance, there isn’t much room between automobiles. A motorcyclist has little room to maneuver between two cars. Due to their close proximity, the rider runs the danger of colliding with an automobile if they make a mistake.

Similarly, motorcycle riders are harder for automobiles to spot. When a motorcyclist is lane splitting, they risk being hit when they are in a car’s blind spot.

Can I Be Penalized for Lane Splitting? 

While the practice of lane splitting is not illegal, if a motorcycle rider lane splits recklessly or dangerously, the rider might be subject to consequences like a traffic ticket and fine or may be held liable for an associated accident.

Similarly, motorcyclists are not prohibited from bringing a personal injury claim or lawsuit because they were hurt while lane splitting in Missouri because it is not against the law to do so. 

However, it is commonly believed that lane splitting is dangerous. As a result, even if you are not prohibited from filing a claim, the opposing party, the insurance adjuster, and, if the matter goes to trial, a jury is likely to consider that you put yourself in a reasonably risky situation.

Depending on the specifics, the opposing party can argue that you put yourself in danger of causing the accident, which might affect how much compensation you are entitled to under Missouri law.

Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm For Help Today

For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.

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1424 Washington Ave Suite #300 St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 400-0000

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1509 NE Parvin Rd, Suite A., Kansas City, MO 64116
(816) 408-3448

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