Image for Is Lane Splitting Legal in Illinois? post

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Illinois?

Riding a motorcycle is an often exhilarating and freeing experience, but motorcyclists face more dangers on the road than other motorists. Motorcyclists were involved in 400 fatal accidents in Cook County in 2022, and hundreds of other riders were injured in other incidents.

Some motorcycle accidents involve lane splitting, which is illegal in Illinois. This is important to understand under Illinois law because it can affect your motorcycle accident claim. Learn more about lane splitting below, and contact a personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of Jack M. Shapiro if you have specific questions about a claim.

What is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting means when a motorcycle rides between two rows of motor vehicles going in the same direction. Lane splitting is legal in only a few states, including Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Ohio. Many states do not allow lane splitting because it is often considered a high-risk behavior that may lead to more accidents.

Lane splitting should not be confused with lane sharing. Lane sharing involves two motorcycles sharing the same lane, while lane splitting means riding a bike between two lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction. Motorcyclists who lane share may stagger their positions, which is usually safer than riding next to each other.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Illinois?

No. The Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual for 2024 states that motorcyclists must follow the same rules, signs, and signals as other motorists. Motorcyclists cannot pass between two motor vehicles going in the same direction without an empty lane. The law makes motorcyclists an exception where they ride side-by-side on a three- or four-lane roadway. In this case, riders may pass other vehicles while staying in their lane.

If you are found lane splitting in Illinois by the police, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If the lane splitting led to bodily injury, it could be charged as a felony.

Can Lane Splitting Affect Your Motorcycle Accident Claim?

If you were lane splitting in Illinois when an accident occurred, obtaining compensation for your injuries could be more difficult but not impossible. For example, let’s say your motorcycle accident attorney proves that a Cook County driver cut you off and caused the accident. However, the defendant’s attorney will likely argue that you were lane splitting and contributed to the accident. However, you could still be partially compensated for your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Your personal injury lawyer will tirelessly prove that the other party was more liable for the crash than you were. The legal concept of comparative negligence states that if the court says you were less than 50% responsible for the motorcycle accident, you can still be compensated.

Hiring an experienced attorney such as Jack M. Shapiro will ensure you have the highest chance of a financial recovery. If you were less than 50% at fault for the motorcycle crash, you still may recover compensation proportional to your degree of fault. For example, if the other driver was 90% at fault for the collision and you have $100,000 in damages, you would get a $90,000 settlement.

Being in an accident when you were lane splitting may complicate your case, but a skilled personal injury attorney can give you a fighting chance with the insurance company or jury.

Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today

If you were recently injured in a motorcycle accident, you should speak to the personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Jack M. Shapiro today. Our attorneys offer aggressive representation, so you receive the best settlement from the insurance company. Our attorneys have years of personal injury law experience and excellent client testimonials, so call (847) 243-8917 today for a complimentary legal consultation.

Back To Blog