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Is Lane Splitting Legal in South Carolina?

Since South Carolina has a warmer climate and nice weather year-round, many people choose to ride motorcycles in our state. Even though motorcyclists are more vulnerable when they’re on their bike, they still choose to ride because the feeling is freeing and fun. When traffic gets heavier, some motorcyclists might choose to lane split to get around stopped traffic. However, this can be dangerous and is even illegal in South Carolina.

If you’ve been in an accident on your motorcycle that wasn’t your fault, then you’ll likely want to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. With the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer from The Solomon Law Group, you’ll be able to recover what you’re owed from your injuries and other damages.

South Carolina Motorcycle Laws

When you’re riding a motorcycle in South Carolina, you should be aware of the laws that apply to you before you get on your bike and ride. One thing you might be compelled to do while riding your motorcycle is lane splitting. When traffic is stopped, sometimes motorcyclists ride in between the stopped vehicles to try to get around traffic and keep moving. This is also known as lane sharing or white lining.

As it probably sounds, this practice is dangerous. If a driver of a regular vehicle doesn’t see the motorcyclist coming, they could change lanes or open their door and hit the rider. That’s why the practice is illegal in South Carolina—because the dangers of it outweigh the benefits.

According to state legislature, the motorcyclist is entitled to the full use of the lane. Additionally, motorcyclists cannot overtake another vehicle within the same lane, which means that lane splitting is illegal in our state. The law goes on to say that motorcycles cannot ride between lanes of traffic or between adjacent rows of vehicles.

Even though it might seem like a practice that would be the benefit of riding a motorcycle, lane splitting is dangerous and can cause serious injuries. Let’s take a look at the common damages that can be done to motorcyclists if they choose to ride between traffic illegally.

Common Lane Splitting Injuries

When a motorcyclist rides between lanes of traffic that are stopped, an accident can happen at any time if the rider or a surrounding driver makes the wrong move. That’s why lane splitting is so dangerous—motorcyclists can be injured more seriously than those riding in a vehicle because they’re more exposed on their bikes. If a vehicle hits a motorcyclist, the impact could injure the rider, and if they’re knocked off their bike, they could suffer more injuries when they hit the ground.

Here are some of the injuries that motorcyclists could incur if they lane split and get into an accident:

  • Bruises and lacerations
  • Burns
  • Road rash
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocations
  • Head injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputations
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Much like dooring causes severe injuries for motorcyclist, lane splitting accidents can also cause the above injuries, and in the most serious cases, they can even cause death. That’s why it’s crucial for motorcyclists to pay attention and not ride between traffic, because motorists typically aren’t watching for riders on motorcycles, especially in stopped traffic.

Drivers should also stay vigilant at all times for motorcyclists. Typically, people driving cars are only looking out for other cars, but they should also be looking for motorcyclists so that they can avoid accidents as best as possible. When they aren’t paying attention, they could cause a collision and serious harm to people on motorcycles.

The Solomon Law Group Can Help

If you were on a motorcycle and hit by a motorist who was at fault for your injuries and other damages, then you could use the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer from The Solomon Law Group. Even if you were lane splitting when you got into the accident, you might still be able to recover compensation. That’s why having an attorney on your side is so important—they can answer all of your questions and ensure you get what you deserve.

Our experienced lawyers will know exactly what to do for you so that you can get what you deserve. We’ll investigate what happened, who was at fault, and calculate how much you’re owed in damages. Reach out to our office today so we can get started discussing your potential claim.

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