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Is Lane Splitting Legal in Texas?

If you’re a motorcycle rider in the Lone Star State, you may be wondering if lane splitting is legal in Texas. The lane-splitting process as a motorcyclist is not always safe, especially in heavy or fast-moving traffic. If you’re a frequent motorcyclist in Texas, here is what you need to know about the practice of lane splitting on Texas roadways.

What is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is the practice of motorcycles sharing lanes of traffic with full cars or trucks. It also means that a motorcycle could cross a lane’s dashed lines to maneuver around a slow-moving or stopped car. The benefit of this is that a motorcyclist could get through heavy traffic faster. However, it is very unsafe in many cases as many vehicle drivers may not expect a motorcyclist to be winding around traffic. This could make the situation riper for motorcycle accidents. Lane splitting can also be especially dangerous if the traffic moves very quickly or is very dense.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Texas?

As of right now, lane splitting is not legal in Texas. For that reason, a motorcyclist should be careful about trying to split lanes or move around other cars in traffic. It’s best to avoid this practice altogether.

TX Lane Splitting Laws

The legality of lane splitting has always been a controversial topic in the US. Should it be legal? Is it legal? Should riders split lanes even when the law permits it? The questions go on and on. But the truth is, if you are a motorcyclist or you go on a bicycle ride often, you will agree that splitting connotes danger. And accidents by lane splitting are one of those things the offenders always wish they could rollback; they never leave anyone the same afterward.

Lane splitting in plain terms

Lane splitting is oftentimes referred to as stripe-riding or white lining. It’s a practice where motorcyclists or bicycle riders move between lanes or rows of slow-moving vehicles in the same direction. From a vantage point, the riders can save more time and also bypass traffic congestion (or what’s the point of going on a two-wheel if you can’t go faster). However, if we consider safety, then we would agree that it’s a safer alternative for riders than having to stop behind stationary vehicles.

What Do the current Texas Laws say?

The Texas laws have never been in favor of lane splitting. It’s always been an absolute no for motorcycle riders no matter what the excuse may be. The hope for a change only came in December 2018 when the Texas state senator, Kirk Watson, proposed a bill that could favor lane splitting.

While everyone is waiting for Lawmakers to pass Bill SB-288, lane splitting is still pretty much considered illegal in the state. It’s expected that all vehicles (motorcycles inclusive) stay in a single lane of traffic on roads that are marked into planes. If there’s a need for vehicles to change lane, then they must do so only when it’s safe.

The proposed bill will allow motorcycles that are operating on a limited-access highway to split lanes if the rider operates the motorcycle:

  • At a speed that does not exceed those of other vehicles by more than five miles per hour, and
  • In traffic that is moving at a speed not greater than 20 miles per hour.

Without a doubt, motorcyclists will benefit a great deal if this bill is passed into law. However, one should not lose sight of safety. Accidents caused by lane splitting are never palatable and the law never goes easy on the motorcyclist whenever these accidents occur. Therefore, while we anticipate fast commute in the future, in the meantime, the $175 fine still stands on occasions of any lane-splitting violations.

What to Do if You’re in a Motorcycle Accident

If you are in a motorcycle accident, whether it was a result of lane splitting or not, there are some important things you should keep in mind. First and foremost is to avoid injury by wearing proper safety gear, including a helmet and clothing that protects your skin. You should also be aware of experienced personal injury and motorcycle accident lawyers in your area of Texas. Texas personal injury attorneys are your best bet if you aim to recover any damages from your accident.

Contact Herrman & Herrman P.L.L.C. at 361.882.4357

Our firm is equipped with over 100 years of combined experience handling personal injury cases across Texas. Our outstanding record of favorable settlements and verdicts includes over 20,000 successfully resolved cases. Once we take on a case, we are relentless, and you can rely on us to pursue full compensation for you.

  • You can trust our attorneys to be compassionate and professional.
  • We will fight hard to obtain a fair settlement for you.
  • Our firm represents the injured and families who have lost a loved one due to the negligent acts of others.
  • We serve as counsel in a range of injury cases – including car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian accidents, premises liability cases, product liability cases, and medical malpractice claims.
  • We have the ability to dispatch the Herrman & Herrman Accident Investigative Team to the crash scene to start an investigation and preserve critical evidence.