Hunter & Cassidy Law

What’s lane splitting, and is it legal in Missouri?

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2023 | Motor vehicle accidents

Lane splitting is a practice wherein motorcyclists ride their bikes between slow-moving or stopped traffic lanes.

While it’s a common sight in some places, it’s critical to understand the specific rules and regulations that apply to it, especially if you’re in Missouri.

What is lane splitting

Lane splitting, also known as white-lining or filtering, involves a motorcyclist navigating traffic by riding between cars in adjacent lanes. Riders often employ this practice to bypass congested roads and reach their destinations more swiftly.

In some states, lane splitting is legal and even encouraged as a way to reduce traffic congestion. However, in many other states, including Missouri, the practice is not explicitly addressed in the traffic laws, which leaves room for ambiguity.

Without specific regulations in place, motorcyclists in the state should prioritize caution and be aware of potential risks when considering lane splitting. It’s crucial to prioritize safety and avoid reckless riding, as unpredictable maneuvers can lead to accidents and injuries.

The importance of safety

While lane splitting may seem convenient for motorcyclists to navigate traffic, safety should always be the top priority. For starters, motorists should always wear appropriate protective gear, including helmets, gloves and riding attire. This gear can significantly reduce the severity of injuries in the event of an accident. Additionally, they should use headlights, wear high-visibility clothing and use turn signals to communicate their intentions to other motorists.

Finally, riders should keep their speed within reasonable limits when considering lane splitting. High speeds increase the risk of accidents and can be dangerous for riders and other road users.

In the absence of clear lane-splitting laws in the state, motorcyclists should approach this practice with caution and prioritize safety above all else. While lane splitting may offer some advantages in heavy traffic, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks and exercise responsible riding habits accordingly.