Is Lane Splitting Legal in New York?

Lever & Ecker, PLLC March 30, 2023 Personal injury

Motorcycle riding is a fun way to get around New York, but unfortunately, motorcyclists have far fewer protections than other drivers and often end up in other driver’s blind spots. According to New York State’s Department of Health, an average of 141 fatal motorcycle accidents occur annually. Due to the disproportionate risks motorcyclists face, motorcyclists should avoid lane splitting, an illegal maneuver used by motorcyclists to pass between other vehicles on the road.  However, even a motorcyclist who avoids lane-splitting and follows all additional safety measures may become injured if another driver fails to exercise sufficient caution on the road.

If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, our experienced, award-winning lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC, can listen to your story and determine if you have a case. Even if you were lane-splitting at the time of the accident, you may be able to recover compensation. We understand the legal process is confusing and complicated, so we handle every aspect of your claim and communicate with you every step of the way, so you can focus on recovery while staying informed.

What Are New York’s Lane Splitting Laws?

According to New York VTL § 1252, lane splitting, also known as “white-lining” or “stripe-riding,” refers to riding a motorcycle between two lanes of moving traffic, and is illegal in New York State. This means motorcyclists cannot drive on the white lines, or in the middle of designated lanes, in adjacent rows of traffic. However, this law grants motorcyclists the right to ride next to each other in the same lane and occupy an entire traffic lane. New York is one of 49 states that prohibit lane splitting because it puts motorcyclists at higher risk of injuries for reasons including the below:

  • Heavy and fast-moving New York traffic increases the risk of an accident
  • Other drivers on the road, including truck drivers, cannot see motorcyclists when they lane split due to blind spots
  • Motorcyclists often lane split at high speeds
  • Narrow lanes make lane splitting more dangerous
  • Other drivers can make sudden lane changes

While some may assume lane splitting is safer for motorcyclists because it allows them to avoid road hazards, it ultimately puts the motorcyclist and other drivers in danger and increases the risk of an accident and severe injuries to those involved.

Can You Recover Damages After a New York Motorcycle Accident if You Were Lane Splitting?

While lane splitting is against the law in New York, you may still be able to recover compensation after a motorcycle accident if you were riding between lanes of traffic. Under New York law, in a motorcycle accident, one or multiple individuals or entities may be found responsible for the accident. If the accident was caused by a car or truck’s failure to notice a motorcyclist, that driver can be held responsible for the accident. In some cases, if poor road conditions contributed to the accident, the municipality that is responsible for road maintenance may also be held accountable. 

In cases where you have been injured in a motorcycle accident while lane splitting, the situation can become a little complicated, and you should reach out to a New York motorcycle accident lawyer who knows how the system works. At Lever & Ecker, PLLC, our experienced attorneys have a thorough understanding of the laws surrounding motorcycle accidents and can help you present a strong case to recover for your injuries, lost wages, and additional damages. 

Get in Touch With a Seasoned New York Motorcycle Accident Attorney at Lever & Ecker, PLLC

When riding your motorcycle in New York, the heavy, stop-and-go traffic is frustrating, and you may be tempted to ride between the lanes. This action is illegal in New York due to its potential for an accident resulting in serious injuries. However, if you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, our compassionate lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC, are here to listen to your story and develop a personalized plan that will help achieve compensation for your losses.

We have over 65 years of combined experience, giving us the skills, knowledge, and resources to take on your motorcycle accident claim. Our unmatched legal services and innovative solutions have achieved successful outcomes for thousands of New Yorkers. Our supportive team wants to help you make the best decisions for your health and future, so we communicate with you every step of the way to clearly and concisely explain the claims process and your legal options. Give us a call at (914) 288-9191 or (718) 933-3632 (Bronx office) or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation today.

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