An Even Split

With the Street Vibrations motorcycle rally coming once again to Reno on September 25th, it’s important to know the laws regarding motorcycling. Just like any other laws, they may vary from state to state, as well as in the severity of any penalties imposed for related offences.

Street Vibrations takes place every year in beautiful Northern Nevada and in addition to the motorcycling involves music and other entertainment, spread across various venues in Reno, Virginia City, and Carson City, as well as rides to Lake Tahoe.

So, there will be more motorcyclists than ever sharing the streets and freeways of Reno, and more importantly, they will have come from all over the country, where different laws concerning motorcyclists are in operation. The law around lane splitting is one of the more convoluted: although 13 states don’t explicitly state whether or not lane splitting is permitted, here in Nevada, it is illegal. In fact, it is only technically legal in one state: California. With many of the motorcycle enthusiasts coming to the rally from California, it is very important to take this difference into consideration.

“Lane splitting” is the practice of motorcyclists not remaining in one lane but instead riding the white dashed lines between cars that may be stopped or going at a slower rate, enabling them to travel quicker.

Whether or not lane splitting is dangerous is the subject of much debate. Some claim it contributes to more accidents, while others argue that it makes for less congestion on the road during peak traffic conditions.

UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) conducted research in 2015 to find out more about how lane splitting affects traffic conditions. They established that between 2012 and 2013, about 16% of accidents involving motorcyclists were due to lane splitting.

However, it is imperative to be aware of the different laws when you are driving in a new state, whether it is in a car or on a motorcycle.

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a motorcycle accident, navigating a case on your own may be overwhelming. This is where we can help. The team at Joey Gilbert Law are well versed in cases relating to motorcycle accidents, so please do get in touch.

But be sure to be responsible and ride safely during this month’s events!