Is Lane Splitting or Filtering on a Motorcycle Legal in Kansas?

/ / Car Accidents, Kansas Auto Insurance, Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle in city traffic near miss crash

The smaller profile of a motorcycle offers distinct advantages in traffic congestion as it allows riders to weave their way through lanes of cars. Unfortunately for other motorists, this convenience comes at the cost of their comfort and often their safety while also creating a higher risk of a motorcycle accident.

Known as lane splitting, this common maneuver that motorcyclists are notorious for is frowned upon in many states as it puts motorcyclists, other drivers, and even pedestrians at risk. Lane splitting, also known as filtering, is illegal in many states, so take a look at how it’s treated in Kansas.

Is lane splitting legal in Kansas?

No, it isn’t! Two Kansas laws- K.S.A. 8-1522 and K.S.A. 8-1595 make such maneuvers explicitly illegal although the first one does not specifically mention lane splitting.

K.S.A. 8-1522: Driving on roadways laned for traffic: This statute dictates that motorists should stay within a single lane. It categorically states that vehicles should be driven “entirely within a single lane” and discourages lane changes without ensuring safety. While not directly mentioning lane splitting, it restricts movement between lanes, effectively making the practice illegal.

K.S.A. 8-1595: Motorcycles on roadways laned for traffic: This statute highlights the rights and limitations for motorcycles on multiple-lane roads. While granting motorcycles the full use of a lane, it specifically prohibits them from operating between lanes of traffic, between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles. Once again, this effectively outlaws lane splitting.

K.S.A. 8-1595 does allow two motorcycles (no more than 2) to be operated abreast in a single lane, but no law in Kansas allows motorcyclists to share the lane with cars at any time.

Lane splitting isn’t the only problematic maneuver!

“Lane splitting” refers to a motorcyclist navigating through lanes of moving traffic, usually at high speeds. It’s certainly not the only illegal and risky maneuver of its kind. In Kansas laws, it is not permitted to operate a motorcycle between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic, which is known as lane filtering.

Typically, motorcyclists resort to lane filtering to get to the head of the traffic flow which has stopped at a red light. Similarly, riding a motorcycle on the shoulder of the road is also illegal.

Why is lane splitting considered dangerous?

  • Safety Concerns: Lane splitting introduces untold risks by placing motorcycles in close proximity to moving vehicles. Sudden lane changes or blind spots often lead to car wrecks.
  • Driver Awareness: Lane splitting is certainly something that Kansas motorists are accustomed to or expecting, so it increases the potential for unintended collisions. As it is, motorists have a hard time anticipating the maneuvers of motorcyclists.
  • Infrastructure Variations: Road conditions and lane widths differ across the state. Lane splitting is particularly unsafe on narrow lanes and uneven roads.

What happens if you are involved in a lane-splitting accident?

As a motorcyclist, if you get into a collision while lane splitting, you significantly diminish your chances of claiming compensation for your personal injuries and property damage. On the other hand, if you were involved in a car wreck involving a lane-splitting motorcyclist, proving this can help you avoid a third-party personal injury claim.

If you were hurt in such a collision, all other motorists, including the lane-splitting motorcyclists, can be held responsible for your losses. However, like with all car wreck injury claims, it is imperative to prove liability beyond a reasonable doubt, and for that, you will need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.

DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers has a team of expert Kansas personal injury attorneys who have helped hundreds of Kansas accident victims get fair compensation. Contact us today, and we will ensure that you have all the information you need to make the right decision at the right time.