What Is Lane Shifting?

March 4, 2023 Motorcycle Accidents

As a popular mode of transportation, motorcycles are becoming increasingly common on the roads. However, with this rise in popularity comes an increase in the number of accidents involving motorcycles. Lane shifting, also known as lane splitting, is a common technique used by motorcyclists to maneuver through traffic. While it can be an easy way to avoid traffic congestion, it can also be dangerous.

Understanding the laws surrounding lane shifting is critical for all motorcyclists. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident while lane shifting, it can have a significant impact on your ability to recover compensation following the collision. Additionally, this behavior may put you at a higher risk of injury.

Lane Shifting: A Common Technique for Motorcyclists

Lane shifting is a practice in which motorcyclists ride between two lanes of traffic to maneuver through congestion or slow-moving vehicles. While it can be a risky technique, some bikers find it to be an effective way to avoid getting stuck in heavy or halted traffic.

In addition to lane shifting, some motorcyclists use two other strategies to navigate through traffic: lane filtering and lane sharing.

  • Lane filtering involves riding between stationary or slow-moving vehicles.
  • Lane sharing occurs when two motorcyclists ride alongside each other in the same lane. 

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Nevada?

Lane splitting is strictly prohibited in Nevada under NRS 486.351(2). The law states that it is illegal for motorcycles or mopeds to pass another vehicle within the same lane, including passing between two vehicles down the center of a lane.

If a motorcyclist decides to disregard this law and engage in lane shifting, he or she not only puts himself or herself at risk but also other motorists on the road. In the event of an accident, the motorcyclist may be found to be partially responsible for the crash, as he or she was technically breaking the law at the time of the collision.

How Lane Shifting Could Impact Your Motorcycle Accident Claim

Nevada is a fault-based accident state, which means that victims of road accidents have the right to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident but were found to be lane shifting at the time of the collision, you could face significant scrutiny during the claims process. This evidence could result in the insurance company reducing your award or denying the claim altogether.

If your case goes to court, Nevada’s modified comparative negligence laws will apply to your case. Under this statute, the court will reduce your settlement by the percentage of fault that you allegedly share. For example, if the court finds that you are 40% at fault due to lane shifting and you ask for a $100,000 settlement, you will only recover $60,000. If you are found to be 51% or more at fault, you would not be able to recover any compensation.

In these situations, you need an attorney on your side who can defend you against allegations of shared liability and fight for the compensation that you deserve. As soon as possible following your accident, contact a Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your case and begin crafting a compelling case for your right to recovery.