Is there lane splitting in West Virginia?

A common question that we often receive in at-fault accidents throughout the state of West Virginia is whether or not the other driver may share some fault in the accident. The answer to this question is unfortunately, it depends on the circumstances of each particular case.

In general, West Virginia is what is known as an at-fault state when it comes to car accidents. This means that the person who caused the accident is typically responsible for any damages or injuries that result from the accident. However, there may be certain circumstances where both parties are deemed partially responsible for the accident and can share the liability for any costs or damages associated with it.

One of these potential scenarios is known as lane splitting, also sometimes called lane sharing or filtering.

What is lane splitting?

This is a term that is often used to describe when a vehicle travels between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. While this may seem like a simple and harmless maneuver, lane splitting can pose significant risks for both the driver doing the splitting and anyone else on the road who might be involved in an accident as a result.

Some of the potential dangers of lane splitting include:

  • Increased risk of accidents due to changing lanes abruptly or cutting off other drivers
  • Reduced visibility for both the person doing the splitting and those around them
  • Increased vulnerability to road debris, construction zones, adverse weather conditions, and other hazards on the road
  • Greater risk of being involved in a collision with a vehicle that is changing lanes or trying to pass, especially if the splitting driver does not signal their intentions

Lane splitting for motorcyclists:

While lane splitting is often associated with motorcyclists, it can be a dangerous practice for any driver on the road, whether they are in a car, truck, or another type of vehicle.

In these situations, motorcyclists may run into trouble with the following potential problems:

The opening of car doors when vehicles are stopped or slowing

Intersecting hands coming out of windows

Vehicles suddenly turning or changing lanes

Lane splitting for motorcyclists:

While lane splitting is often associated with motorcyclists, it can be a dangerous practice for any driver on the road, whether they are in a car, truck, or another type of vehicle.

lane splitting wv

When can motorcyclists share lanes in West Virginia?

According to the law in West Virginia, motorcyclists are allowed to share lanes with other motorcyclists as long as road conditions permit and they are both riding motorcycles.

However, there are additional safety precautions that should be taken when both riders are making the same turn. For example, it is important to always use turn signals so that other drivers are aware of your intentions.

Motorcyclists also require all applicable safety gear and if they plan on riding with a passenger, their bike must be equipped with the applicable seating and safety measures to carry that passenger.

Does West Virginia allow lane splitting?

Lane splitting in West Virginia is against the law. The state will issue citations to drivers participating in lane splitting. Lane splitting in West Virginia is unpredictable for other motorists and is generally considered to be a dangerous and illegal maneuver.

The argument for allowing lane splitting:

Many motorcyclists believe that lane splitting can actually help to improve safety on the roads by reducing accidents and decreasing the risk of rear-end collisions at slow speeds.

Studies completed at UC Berkley suggest that lane splitting may be beneficial for motorcyclists as it can help them avoid being rear-ended by other vehicles. The data collected in these studies showed that lane splitting was generally safe when traffic was moving at under 50 mph and when motorcyclists did not exceed the speed of surrounding traffic by more than 15 mph.

However, without clear guidelines or regulations in place, this practice is often dangerous in West Virginia and puts both motorcyclists and other drivers at risk for serious injury or even death.

There are no current bills that would reform the law on lane splitting in West Virginia, and it is not likely that this practice will be allowed anytime soon. Even with significant data suggesting that it could be a safer practice, it is the opinion of many road safety advocates and officials that lane splitting is simply too risky to be allowed in West Virginia.


Liability in lane splitting:

If you are involved in a crash with lane splitting, you may be found at least partially responsible for the accident and be liable for any damages that result from it. If you are injured in an accident while lane-splitting, you may also have a more difficult time receiving compensation for your injuries from the other driver, as they may argue that you were breaking the law and contributed to the accident.

Insurance companies may also be reluctant to provide coverage for an accident if they determine that lane splitting was a factor. As a result, it is important to consult with a legal professional if you have been involved in an accident while lane splitting, as they can help you navigate the complex process of filing an insurance claim or pursuing compensation through litigation.

West Virginia has a modified comparative negligence system when it comes to car accidents, which means that you can seek compensation for your injuries or damages if you are found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident. This system may be able to help you recover compensation even if you were lane-splitting at the time of the incident.

Ultimately, whether or not a driver is involved in lane splitting can have a significant impact on their liability in the event of an accident. If you are involved in an accident while lane splitting, it is important to seek legal counsel to ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best chance of recovering the compensation you need and deserve.

If you need assistance in West Virginia and quality legal counsel, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you understand your rights and options under the law. Call us today at Jacobs Law to get started.