Is Lane Splitting Legal in Texas?

Can I File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Texas if I was Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is a controversial issue for Texas motorcyclists. Lane splitting means driving a motorcycle on the line between two cars. Texas law requires that vehicles, including motorcycles, remain in a single lane of traffic and only change lanes when it is safe. 

While Texas does not have a law directly prohibiting lane-splitting, some motorcyclists argue it prevents accidents, and others cite the behavior as irresponsible. Some motorcyclists believe that lane splitting is safer because it can prevent rear-end crashes with cars. It is also thought to be a faster way to commute in heavy traffic as the motorcycle threads through cars that have slowed down due to congestion. 

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Texas?

Texas does not have a law that specifically prohibits lane-splitting currently. However, Texas Transportation Code § 545.060 states that all road users must use a single lane. This law essentially makes lane-splitting illegal. If you are pulled over for lane-splitting, you could receive a $175 ticket. Additionally, motorcyclists who violate this law by lane splitting can also face fines or citations for unsafe lane changes, driving recklessly, following another vehicle too closely, or speeding.

Texas legislation to legalize lane-splitting specifically has been proposed as recently as 2019 like in SB 273. However, much like previous attempts to address lane-splitting in other bills, these attempts have failed to pass.

Lane-splitting is a polarizing topic amongst motorists and motorcyclists alike. Arguments against lane-splitting say the practice is reckless. However, advocates for lane-splitting contend the practice prevents serious accidents for motorcyclists.

Who is Liable in a Lane Splitting Accident?

In addition to tickets or fines, liability is also a serious concern for motorcyclists who choose to lane-split. If you get in an accident while lane splitting, you could be declared negligent. Texas is a comparative negligent state. This means any compensation you could receive from the accident may be reduced based on your liability.

Since there is no explicit prohibition of lane splitting in Texas law, being in an accident while lane splitting does not automatically make the rider negligent. Negligence, the increase in legal liability due to being cited for lane splitting, and any issues regarding damages from the accident will require an investigation and a negotiation between the insurance companies for the car and motorcycle driver. 

Talk to Our Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Austin, Texas

If you’ve been in an accident that resulted from lane-splitting, an experienced attorney can help with your case and fight for the compensation you deserve. The knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyers at Loewy Law Firm in Austin can mitigate and negotiate on your behalf and help you navigate comparative negligence laws in Texas.

Contact us at Loewy Law Firm to discuss your motorcycle accident and how lane splitting might impact your claim. We have handled many lane-splitting cases, and we can represent you and fight for the compensation you need and deserve.