Is Lane Splitting Legal In Nevada?

parked motorcycle
Madeleine Jones
March 24, 2021

Driving a motorcycle in Nevada can be a great way of moving around and a very fun hobby and lifestyle as well. However, bikers face serious risks while being on the road. Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than people in driving cars. According to the Office of Traffic Safety, in Nevada in 2017, one out of six of all traffic accident fatalities were motorcycle riders. Injury lawyers in Las Vegas see several cases involving bikers suffering the aftermath of severe motorcycle crashes every year. When a motorcycle accident happens, the State of Nevada reviews it by applying a comparative negligence standard to determine who is liable for the crash. This determination has an impact on the compensation the biker receives for their injuries. The question we get the most in relation to motorcycle accident cases is usually “Is lane splitting legal in Nevada?” Learn all about lane splitting below.

motorcycle changing lanes on a road

Lane Splitting Motorcycle Accidents

Lane splitting events can lead to severe motorcycle accidents, causing grave consequences for the rider and their ability to recover damages for their injuries. In Nevada, lane splitting is illegal under NRS 486.351(2). This particular law states the illegality for mopeds or motorcycles to pass another vehicle in the same lane.

What Is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is when a motorcycle rider passes another vehicle in the same lane as that vehicle or when they pass between two cars down the center of a lane. This should not be mixed up with lane sharing. Lane sharing is when two motorcycles share a lane riding side by side and it is legal in Nevada. 

A motorcyclist may be found 100 percent liable for the crash if it happens when they are lane splitting. This is because they broke the law and acted negligently.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Other States?

The State of Nevada takes a different approach than other states. For example, in California, lane splitting is legal. The Nevada Legislature considered making motorcycle lane splitting legal in 2013, but it did not proceed in the State Senate. Additionally, motorcyclists are not allowed to use the extra space in a lane of traffic or in between lanes to pass other cars. Similar to cars, they have to pass other cars from a separate lane of traffic. However, two motorcycles are allowed to ride side by side in one lane.

Lane Splitting Penalties in Nevada

Motorcyclists who are caught lane splitting can be ticketed and fined starting at $190. But, motorcyclists are protected. Other cars won’t try to squeeze in next to a motorcycle on the road, since bikers have a right to fully use their traffic lane.

Who Is Liable In A Lane Splitting Accident?

Even if this law was designed to be pretty clear when it comes to lane splitting, there have been issues when trying to show that another vehicle involved in the accident was responsible for the crash.

For example, if the other vehicle swerves towards the motorcycle while passing and causes an accident, they may be held liable for the crash. If the other car’s driver acted negligently by texting or talking on the phone and failed to see the motorcyclist passing them and moved the car in a way that caused the accident, they may also be held liable. If the motorcyclist was lane splitting in order to leave a traffic jam to get help and got hit by another vehicle, then the other car may be held liable for it.

There can be many other instances where even when the motorcyclist was lane splitting when the accident happened, the other driver may be held liable for the accident.

Proving Liability

It is up to the motorcycle rider to prove the following in order to get a claim:

  • The biker was experienced in riding their motorcycle
  • They were riding carefully and not going in and out of lanes or even speeding
  • It helps if they completed a safety course
  • The other car’s driver was negligent and did something more dangerous than lane splitting, like changing lanes abruptly without signaling

Common Injuries in Lane Splitting Accidents

In Nevada, lane splitting accidents can be severe and can cause serious injuries in the event of a crash. These are some of the most common injuries that can happen:

  • Head injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Bone fractures

If you have sustained any injuries from a lane splitting motorcycle accident, contact the best motorcycle accident attorneys at Cogburn Law.

Protecting Bikers in Nevada

Motorcycle riders have to act assertively to take care of themselves on roads and highways in Nevada. This includes obeying all traffic laws and wearing all mandatory safety gear approved by the DOT’s (Department of Transportation) regulations. Unfortunately, many bikers are hurt not because of their unsafe practices but because of other drivers’ negligence. This includes aggressive drivers, drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and distracted drivers.

There are a number of things a biker can do to try and stay safe. These include:

  • Slowing down: even if motorcycles are made to go fast, speeding can only increase the biker’s chances of being involved in a serious accident. Riding the motorcycle at a safe speed will give you more time to react to dangerous situations.
  • Riding sober: we shouldn’t have to mention this one, but mixing alcohol and/or drugs with riding a motorcycle can lead to tragic results. Refraining from riding under the influence, especially in Las Vegas where temptation is everywhere, is the best way to stay safe.
  • Wear protective gear: protective gear not only can potentially save your life, but it can increase your visibility and make your ride even more comfortable. Every motorcyclist should be wearing full protective gear before riding on the road.

Lane Splitting Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Las Vegas

If you were injured in a lane-splitting motorcycle accident in Las Vegas, you may be entitled to some compensation. With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, you will be able to determine if someone else acted negligently and caused your accident. This way we can build you a strong case and get you the compensation you deserve. Call Cogburn Law today at (702) 748-7777 for a free initial consultation.

“After being hit by a car while riding my bike, I was hesitant hire a lawyer. Cogburn Law Office made it so easy. The team at Cogburn Law have been nothing but amazing in helping guide me through this scary unfamiliar process. They Ubered me to the free consultation, gathered facts and went straight to work. They closed my case and I had my settlement check in 7months. I was thrilled with the care I received from day one. I have nothing but good to say about Cogburn Law Offices and would recommend them 100% to friends and family with great confidence. Hands down fantastic firm!”

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