South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Claims & Lane Splitting
With fall right around the corner, the October Myrtle Beach motorcycle rally will once again be bringing motorcycle enthusiasts to the Low Country from all over the country. With the influx of riders, both traveling to and attending this event, it is important to beware of the types of conditions that can lead to an increase of motorcycle accidents and injuries. Recently passed laws in California allowing lane splitting (the practice of riding a motorcycle in the median space between traffic) have created some controversy, and while some advocates claim it can actually help to protect riders, it continues to be prohibited under South Carolina state law.
Lane Splitting and Motorcycle Safety
An August 2016 Road and Track report on lane splitting states that California has now become the first state in the country to pass a law making the practice legal for motorcycle drivers. While lane splitting is still considered illegal in most states, the practice of weaving in between traffic that is stalled or moving slowly is common among riders. Laws prohibiting lane splitting in most states were established both to help create order and to prevent motorcycle accidents and injuries that could occur from side sweep collisions with motorists. Safety experts, however, are now claiming that lane splitting could actually help to prevent motorcycle accident injuries in certain circumstances.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), through research studies with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, now claims that lane splitting does not put motorcyclists or other drivers at any increased risk of danger, and could actually help to prevent motorcycle accident injuries. The NHTSA states that lane splitting could benefit riders in the following ways:
- By allowing riders greater flexibility in responding to traffic partners
- By providing a way for rider to avoid hitting other drivers or being hit from behind
- By acting as an escape route to prevent motorcyclists from being trapped between other vehicles when accidents do occur
Motorcycle Accident Claims & Lane Splitting
While the debate continues over the merits of lane splitting, the fact is that it is still illegal in the Palmetto State. Under South Carolina motorcycle laws, riders are prohibited from entering another vehicle’s lane and from riding in the median space between two vehicles. Does this mean that you would not be entitled to compensation in an accident if you were injured while engaged in lane splitting? Not necessarily.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney may be able to help you prove that your behavior was not the primary cause of the accident and that your actions may have prevented more serious injuries from occurring. Even in the event that lane splitting is considered a contributing cause of the accident or your injuries, South Carolina’s comparative negligence law (SC Code Section 15-38-15) still entitles you to receive some form of compensation for motorcycle accidents, provided the other driver’s behavior is found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident.
Get Help From A South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or someone you care about is injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm right away. Our experienced South Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys can advise you on how to hold responsible parties accountable for the damages you have suffered, and assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.