There are many benefits to using a motorcycle as opposed to a four-wheeled vehicle. They are much more fuel-efficient in most cases. They also have lower purchase prices and insurance costs.
Motorcycles are also more maneuverable than larger passenger vehicles. Motorcycles can go off-road and can move in and out of traffic quite easily, while bigger vehicles can get stuck in a traffic jam that lasts for hours with no hope of escape.
Many motorcyclists in Washington use their two-wheeled transportation for their daily drives, not just for weekend joy rides. The maneuvers they use when they encounter heavy traffic or a traffic jam could affect their rights later if they get hurt while riding.
Lane splitting isn’t legal in Washington
The difference in motorcycle traffic laws from state to state can leave some people confused. In California, it is perfectly legal for motorcycles to split lanes or drive in an already occupied lane of traffic, provided that they can do so safely.
In Washington, lane splitting is illegal. You cannot maneuver through lanes of traffic around other vehicles. Aggressively moving from lane to lane and sharing space with other vehicles to move through heavy traffic may help you reach your destination on time despite a gridlock on the highway, but it puts you at increased risk of other drivers not seeing you. Drivers’ failure to notice you is already a major concern, and if you add unpredictable maneuvers into the mix, you can easily get hurt.
Illegal driving reduces your right to compensation
Although the other driver might ultimately be the one to blame for the crash, they could accuse you of contributing to the collision if you take them to court. Contributory fault rules can influence a civil lawsuit against the other driver. If they can prove you were partially at fault for the wreck, possibly due to breaking traffic laws, they can reduce how much compensation you receive.
The courts would assign you a percentage of fault based on how much they felt your lane-splitting contributed to the wreck and it would then reduce what you earn in the lawsuits accordingly. Understanding the rules that govern a motorcycle transportation and personal injury claims can help those impacted by a motorcycle crash in Washington.