When it comes to motorcycle riders and safety advocates, lane-splitting is a hotly contested topic. While some bikers claim that lane-splitting can help reduce collisions, others believe that it actually puts more people in danger. Exactly, who is right, and is lane-splitting even allowed in Colorado? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at that. To learn more, click here.

Can You Explain Lane-Splitting?

Motorcyclists who “lane split” go between two lanes of traffic going in the same direction. Only motorcyclists are able to “divide” the space between two lanes of traffic in order to make a maneuver.

In Colorado, can you legally switch lanes with another vehicle?

Put simply, no. Following the rules established by the Colorado Department of Transportation, a biker may not operate within the same lane as an automobile. Only the state of California permits lane splitting at this time, and even then, only under specific conditions.

A bill to legalize lane splitting in Colorado was rejected by a House committee in 2016.

On the other hand, two motorcyclists can travel side by side in the same lane. Motorcyclists can increase their visibility to other road users by riding in groups, a practice known as “co-riding.” However, only two motorcyclists are permitted to use a single travel lane at a time.

Is it risky to switch lanes?

Whether or not lane-splitting is risky is a matter of opinion. Proponents of lane-splitting say it reduces the risk for motorcyclists because:

  • It facilitates cyclists’ ability to escape heavy congestion
  • They are less likely to be rear-ended by a car, one of the leading causes of fatal motorbike accidents.
  • Protecting motorcyclists from the potentially fatal effects of extreme heat and bad weather.
  • Opponents of lane splitting argue that it endangers the safety of drivers everywhere by doing the following:
    • The risk of collisions when vehicles merge or side-swipe one other
    • Increasing the possibility that a motorist will be struck by a motorcyclist, leading to an accident.
    • A rise in the frequency of “dooring” accidents (e.g., cars opening their doors and motorcycles running into them)

In the event of a collision involving a motorcycle caused by the driver’s decision to change lanes, whose fault is it?

Keep in mind that you may still be able to get money for your injuries if you get into a motorcycle accident while lane splitting. Although lane splitting is prohibited by law, if an accident occurs and you were not the principal culpable party, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury case.