motorcycle on a highway

Just like other road users, motorcyclists must follow the rules of the road or face potential legal consequences. One rule that clients frequently ask about is Arizona’s lane-splitting law. Understanding the legality of lane splitting is important to avoid legal trouble when cruising on Arizona roads. The legal team at the Silkman Law Firm can clear up any doubts you may have in a free, no-obligation consultation. Read on to learn more about lane splitting in Arizona.

Arizona Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Motorcycle wrecks account for a small percentage of all auto accidents in Arizona. However, as most motorcyclists know, their near-complete exposure to the full force of a collision leaves riders extremely vulnerable to catastrophic injuries when accidents do occur. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), motorcycle accidents accounted for 2,317 crashes statewide in one recent year alone. These crashes resulted in 160 fatalities and 1,921 reported injuries.

What is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting occurs when motorcyclists squeeze in between the lanes of stopped or slowed traffic. The maneuver is also sometimes referred to as “white lining” or “stripe riding.” In general, the purpose of lane splitting is to save time and bypass congested traffic. Proponents of lane splitting also argue that it allows vulnerable motorcyclists to move away from hazardous road conditions more quickly.

Is Lane Splitting Legal?

No. Under current Arizona law, lane splitting is prohibited in the state. In fact, of all the fifty states, only California expressly condones lane splitting in its traffic laws. Though some lawmakers have proposed changing this prohibition in recent years, it remains in place. That said, the governing statute makes clear that motorcyclists may ride “two abreast in a single lane.”

Lane Filtering vs. Lane Splitting

While lane splitting is still illegal in Arizona, lane filtering is not. Lane filtering involves riding a motorcycle between stopped vehicles to the front of the line, according to the American Motorcyclist Association. If a street has at least two adjacent lanes in the same direction of travel and a speed limit of 45 mph or lower, a motorcyclist can move between stopped vehicles up to the entrance of an intersection under Arizona law.

What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Arizona?

Being involved in a motorcycle accident can be very stressful. Involved riders are often left with debilitating injuries and mounting medical bills. In many cases, motorcycle accidents are fatal. Take the following steps if you are involved in a motorcycle wreck:

  1. Safety First – Your safety should be your top priority. If you can, move away from the scene of the accident to avoid further harm.
  2. Seek Immediate Medical Attention – Regardless of whether you think you have been seriously hurt, it is important to consult with a medical professional. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  3. Contact Law Enforcement – It is also important to report the accident to the police. The responding officers will create an accident report which can turn into significant evidence in any potential insurance or legal disputes.
  4. Gather Information – If possible, collect as much information as you can from the scene. This includes the other driver’s information (name, contact information, and insurance details), photos of the scene and your injuries, and contact information of any witnesses.
  5. Document Everything – Keep a record of all your medical treatments, prescriptions, and any other expenses related to the accident. Also, start a journal detailing how your injuries impact your day-to-day life.
  6. Do Not Discuss the Accident Publicly – Avoid discussing the accident details publicly or on social media platforms. Anything you say could potentially be used against you later on.
  7. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney – Hire a personal injury attorney, particularly one who specializes in motorcycle accidents. They can make sure you know your rights and help you navigate the complex legal process of securing compensation.

Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer Is Here to Help

Motorcycle accidents tend to result in very serious and sometimes fatal injuries. The legal team at Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer is dedicated to helping injury victims throughout Arizona secure the full and fair compensation they deserve. Contact us today to learn how we can help you in a free consultation.  

Author: Alex Silkman

Alex Silkman is the founder and managing member of Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer. He focuses exclusively on personal injury and wrongful death cases, with the goal of getting truly just results for accident victims and their families.