An unsafe lane change happens any time a driver shifts from one lane to another without taking proper precautions. It’s not just a bad idea; it’s illegal!

California law is clear about what constitutes an unsafe lane change for a motorcyclist or any other motorist. Drivers may only change lanes when it’s safe to do so and after signaling their lane change for others to see.

Here’s what Chapter 6 of the California Vehicle Code says:

No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.

Still, drivers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and across California make unsafe lane changes regularly. This dangerous behavior puts everyone on the road at risk and contributes to thousands of traffic injuries, including more than 200 deaths in Los Angeles every year.

Why Motorcyclists Make Unsafe Lane Changes

Motorcyclists have a reputation for frequently making unsafe lane changes, whether this reputation is deserved or not. Some motorcyclists also have a habit of lane splitting, which means sharing the lane with other vehicles to advance in traffic.

California is the only state that permits lane splitting but state law is confusing and unclear on this topic. Sharing the lane is technically legal in some situations. However, it’s never legal to create a dangerous situation for other drivers, and motorcyclists must travel in a “safe and prudent” way.

Speeding often complicates the issue and goes hand-in-hand with unsafe lane changes. Motorcyclists race past other vehicles and weave through traffic at high speeds, which is extremely risky. Nearly one in three road deaths involves speeding.

Causes and Consequences of Unsafe Motorcycle Lane Changes

At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we see the results of unsafe lane changes firsthand in our clients’ injury lawsuits and insurance claims. Below are some of the most common situations we encounter involving motorcyclists and unsafe lane changes.

Common Causes of Lane Change Accidents:

  • A motorcyclist or motorist fails to signal before changing lanes
  • Someone is speeding too fast to make a safe lane change
  • There’s a failure to check mirrors and blind spots
  • A motorcyclist is drifting or swerving in the lane
  • Unsafe lane splitting
  • Someone crosses multiple lanes at once
  • Misunderstandings and impatience during merges
  • Drowsy, drunk, drugged, and distracted driving

When these situations happen, the result can be severe injury or even death. Our legal office has handled personal injury and wrongful death cases involving motorcyclists, motorists, and unsafe lane changes of many kinds. Here are some common injuries in these cases:

Common Injuries Arising From Unsafe Lane Changes:

  • Broken bones, especially leg, arm, pelvic, and back injuries in motorcyclists
  • Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Injuries that lead to foot, leg, hand, and arm amputations
  • Cuts, abrasions, and lacerations including severe road rash
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Whiplash and neck injuries

If you’re in an accident due to an unsafe lane change, here’s the best thing you can do next: Contact the team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation about what happened and what your options are.

We have a long track record of securing injury compensation for injured motorcyclists and other motorists who have been in lane-change accidents. We’ll approach your case with compassion, sympathy, and the legal expertise it takes to pursue a successful outcome!

We Handle Your Personal Injury Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including unsafe lane change motorcycle accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.

Accident Client

“Last March, my partner was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street. During this difficult time of healing, we knew that bills were going to pile up and his was going to be a long process. After looking at multiple law firms, we knew that Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers was going to be the best place to work with. Lauren and her team were patient, supportive and caring during his difficult time. His schedule was always busy with work and doctor appointments that his main source of communication was through email. Lauren and her team made it to where he didn’t have to worry about anything but just sending over the paper work he got from the hospital, and other bill collectors involving his incident and they worried about the rest.

Because of all their help my partner Aaron, was able to heal with less worries on his shoulders. By end of December, everything was settled and we were pleased with the results. I’d like to give a huge thank you to Lauren & the Sally Morin team. If you’re looking for a law firm for your incident, I’d definitely look at this law firm.”

We're here to help with your Personal Injury claim

Check out our Personal Injury FAQ Page to learn more about how the process works.

We Handle Your Personal Injury Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including pedestrian and car accidents that involve speeding. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of San Jose and all of California. Contact us today for a
free online case evaluation.

KNOW HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AFTER AN ACCIDENT

It is essential to know your rights after a traffic accident so you can protect yourself and the value of your claim.
This guide will help you:

  • 1Know what to do when dealing with insurance claims, police reports and lawyers.
  • 2Avoid making mistakes that undermine the value of your claim
  • 3Put yourself in a position to get the best settlement possible