Lane sharing, which is also known as lane is splitting, is when a motorcyclist is able to ride alongside other motorists (or between them) in the same lane space. This driving technique can be helpful in minimizing congestion on the roads by allowing motorcyclists to bypass stopped traffic by safely moving between vehicles.
When cars and trucks are moving in their own lanes, motorcyclists may also have enough room to move between those vehicles safely. Doing this, they avoid being in positions where rear-end collisions or head-on crashes are more likely. Essentially, they don’t have to be sandwiched between two vehicles in the same lane.
Is lane splitting legal in Florida?
Lane splitting isn’t legal in Florida, even though traffic congestion continues to increase and become problematic. A motorcyclist who splits lanes with drivers today could face a citation for a traffic violation. Additionally, drivers who aren’t familiar with lane splitting may not look to see if a motorcyclist is beside them before merging or changing lanes, which could lead to a collision.
People who would like to make lane splitting legal argue that lane splitting improves motorcyclist safety. Why? Primarily because the likelihood of rear-end crashes is reduced significantly. When two vehicles are alongside the motorcyclist, someone coming from behind would be more likely to see them next to the other vehicle and to give them enough space. Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has suggested that lane splitting may reduce rear-end crashes and should continue to be studied.
What should you do if you’re at risk of being hit on a highway and have space to split lanes with other vehicles?
If someone is tailgating you or causing a dangerous situation in other ways, don’t automatically turn to lane splitting. If you can, call 911 or the Florida State Highway Patrol with your license plate ID and information about the other driver. Usually, there is an officer nearby on highways to address the situation. If you have no other choice but to evade the driver, consider moving to the shoulder and coming to a stop until help arrives. Then, you’ll be able to avoid a citation while also helping to prevent an auto collision.