Why isn't lane-splitting legal for Florida motorcycle drivers?
Updated: Nov 17, 2019
Lane-splitting is commonly referred to in Florida as the practice of a motorcycle driving in between lanes or over on the shoulder, often in rush hour or traffic that is backed up due to an accident or road construction.
While it may seem harmless to use this tactic to bypass otherwise stopped traffic, in Florida it is against the law. Florida Statute 316.209 states in part that No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.
A common reply I hear from motorcyclists is that carefully splitting lanes is actually safer than staying in bumper to bumper traffic. The NHTSA even suggests that lane-splitting is one option for motorcyclists that could help to provide an escape route in a situation where one might be hit from behind.
Nonetheless, lane-splitting is still illegal in Florida, and if riders don't maneuver appropriately they could be subjecting themselves to serious head and torso injuries, or even death. Serious motorcycle accidents have unfortunately arisen from a biker carefully riding between lanes only for a car driver, not looking for a motorcycle, pulled out to change lines directly in front of the biker.
In addition to motorcycle accidents, I handle all negligent claims for personal injury in Stuart, Florida and the surrounding cities.