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Lane Splitting in Indiana: What is it, and Why Does it Cause Accidents?

Updated February 23, 2023 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

Lane Splitting in Indiana: What is it, and Why Does it Cause Accidents? 

Each year, thousands of auto and motorcycle accidents occur. Many motorcycle accidents result in fatalities as they carry a very high risk of injury to the minimally protected rider. Lane splitting is the act of riding a motorcycle (or bicycle) between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. Lane splitting can be extremely dangerous but remains a common practice because it saves riders time. Lane splitting accidents typically involve both a vehicle and motorcycle. 

Is Lane Splitting Legal?

Lane splitting is illegal in the state of Indiana. Vehicles and motorcycles operating on roads in Indiana must drive or ride by occupying the full use of a traffic lane. While lane splitting may save time, data suggests that lane splitting is dangerous and often deadly. According to the Insurance Information Institute and the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2017, 5,172 motorcycle accident fatalities occurred, and roughly 89,000 injuries were reported.

 Lane Splitting Accidents

Lane splitting is a common cause of accidents involving automobiles and motorcycles due to several factors. One is the close proximity of the cars to the motorcycle. Cars on the road often do not anticipate or can’t react quickly enough to a motorcycle lane splitting through traffic. However, there is a frequent debate that lane splitting actually lessens the likelihood a motorist will be involved in an accident or sustain injuries. Lane splitting motorcycle crashes can be caused by the following but are not limited to:

  • Close driving proximity to other motorists
  • Startling drivers in moving traffic
  • Failing to check blind spots
  • Driving too fast for road conditions
  • Irritating drivers with queue jumping

Determining Liability for Lane Splitting Accidents

Responsibility for a lane splitting accident is most commonly attributed to the motorcyclist due to the illegality of lane splitting in Indiana. While liability does vary case by case, it is very probable the rider would be legally responsible for the accident if their behavior was proven negligent and ultimately causing the accident. Riders may experience difficulty proving to the insurance company that a lane splitting accident was the fault of the automobile driver. For a specific case evaluation on determining potential liability, contact the auto accident attorneys at WKW today. Our legal team will help you determine who is liable and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Steps to Take Following an Accident

Accidents caused by lane splitting are scary, especially if there are injuries or damages involved. If you have been in an accident, take the following steps

  1. Stay calm and get to safety

Don’t panic. First, get to a safe location and ensure you and all passengers are safe and uninjured. Your safety is always the top priority.

  1. Check for injuries

Check yourself and passengers for injuries if you are able. If anyone is seriously injured, call 911 immediately.

  1. Call the police

Contact law enforcement to file an official accident report. Be sure to stay at the scene of the accident.

  1. Document the accident

Documenting the accident is an important part of building your case. Take photos of the scene if you are able to and record all details.

  1. Collect information

Collect names and information from other drivers and passengers involved in the accident, including license plate numbers, insurance information, names and contact information of any witnesses.

  1. Seek medical attention

Even if you don’t have visible injuries, it is important to get checked by a doctor. Injuries from an accident can take days or months to appear.

  1. Inform your insurance company

Make an accident report to your auto insurance company. Don’t sign any documents or give any statements until you have spoken with an attorney.

  1. Call an attorney

The experienced Indiana auto accident attorneys at WKW specialize in assisting people who have been involved in a crash. Our team can help you navigate the legal process of obtaining the compensation you deserve.

What Types of Damages Am I Eligible for?

If you have been involved in a lane splitting motorcycle accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Forms of compensation include medical bills, vehicle repair costs, lost wages, loss of future earning potential, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. The legal team at Wilson Kehoe Winingham can help you determine and receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been involved in a lane splitting accident, contact the attorneys at WKW. With experience in auto accidents and injuries, the attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham can help you get the compensation you deserve. Fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation, or call 317.920.6400 today.

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