Is Lane Splitting Legal in Los Angeles, CA?

You might be surprised to learn that lane splitting is legal in Los Angeles, CA. In fact, all motorcyclists in the state of California are permitted to lane split, that is of course when they do it safely. Now, if you aren’t familiar with this term, lane splitting is defined as “driving a motorcycle … that has two wheels in contact with the ground, between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, including on both divided and undivided streets, roads, or highways.” While many assume that when a biker lane splits, they are being impatient and/or failing to abide by state law, but the truth is, they are simply taking advantage of the rights they hold as a motorcyclist.

Now, just because a biker is permitted to lane split doesn’t exactly mean they can’t be ticketed for the act. That is one misconception that you should forget if you are a biker or are in the market to purchase one. You see, if you lane split recklessly, then you risk being ticketed for this behavior. Just as cars and trucks are permitted to make certain turns and drive certain speeds, they too will receive a ticket when they engage in reckless behavior that puts the lives of other drivers around them at risk.

Now, lane splitting can be dangerous and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) says you should only do it if you are an experienced rider. The CHP recently released a list of safety tips for bikers to keep in mind and added a disclaimer which stated, “the risk of death or serious injury during a lane splitting collision increases as speed and speed differential increases.” In an effort to help keep you safe when lane splitting, below are the safety tips the CHP wants you to implement into your everyday riding.


Lane Splitting Safety Tips All Motorcyclists Should be Aware of


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Lane splitting can increase your chances of engaging in a motorcycle wreck so it is highly recommended that if you are going to do it, you do so with caution.

  • Consider the total environment when lane splitting. This includes “the width of lanes, the size of surrounding vehicles, as well as current roadways, weather, and lighting conditions.”
  • You will want to avoid lane splitting next to large vehicles such as big rigs and buses.
  • Always be visible. Avoid lingering in blind spots of other vehicles or in between vehicles.
  • Help other drivers see you by wearing brightly colored clothing or reflective gear. You will also want to use your high beams in the daylight which can also increase visibility.


Important Facts Drivers Need to be Aware of


  • You should never intentionally block or impede a motorcyclist in a way that could cause harm to the rider. This is illegal and you risk being ticketed for it.
  • Opening a vehicle door to impede a motorcyclist is illegal.
  • Drivers who are occupying the far-left lane should move to the left of their lane to give motorcyclists enough room to pass.


If both motorists and motorcyclists implement these safety tips and others, we can all help reduce the number of serious and fatal crashes that are occurring on our roadways today. And if you are the unfortunate victim of a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles, CA and sustained severe injuries, it is highly recommended that you contact a Los Angeles, CA motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you recover the compensation you need to cover the medical expenses that have now accrued. If you would like to learn more about how much compensation you are entitled to and how an attorney can help you recoup this amount, contact The Ledger Law Firm now by calling 888-908-2584.


The Ledger Law Firm is located at:

5160 Birch Street, Suite 100

Newport Beach, CA 92660