Vacaville Motorcyclist Hospitalized After Lane-Splitting Crash

Lane-Splitting Crash Injures Rider

On the morning of Wednesday, September 29, 2021, a Vacaville motorcyclist was injured in a lane-splitting crash, according to a report from the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Details of the Incident

The collision happened at approximately 8:15 a.m. between Vacaville and Napa, on westbound Highway 12 (Jameson Canyon). Traffic was heavy and moving slowly in the vicinity of Kirkland Ranch Road, according to a CHP spokesperson. A man was riding a 2015 Harley-Davidson and was lane-splitting between the two westbound lanes when his bike clipped the side mirror of a Ford F-150 pickup truck. The impact caused the motorcycle and rider to crash to the pavement.

Injuries to the Involved Parties

The rider sustained moderate to major injuries and was transported by an American Medical Response ambulance to Providence Queen the Valley Medical Center. The rider was later identified by the CHP as a 49-year-old man from Vacaville. 

The driver of the Ford F-150 was a 42-year-old man from Vacaville. It was reported that he did not receive any significant injuries. 

The Aftermath of the Lane-Splitting Crash

According to a CHP representative, no citations were issued, and no one was charged with any violation. 

One lane of Jameson Canyon Road was blocked off from traffic after the collision, which caused a backup of vehicles. After around 45 minutes, the road was fully reopened.

What is Lane-Splitting?

Lane splitting, which is sometimes called lane sharing, is the practice of riding a motorcycle between two lanes of traffic that are moving slowly or stopped.

Is Lane-Splitting Legal in California?

Lane-splitting officially became legal in California on August 19th, 2016, when then-Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that declared it a lawful act. Enacting the bill authorized the CHP to develop safety guidelines related to lane-splitting for motorcyclists and all other motorists.

Even prior to the bill becoming law, the practice of lane-splitting was not explicitly against the law. However, there was a lot of uncertainty about whether the Department of Motor Vehicles or the CHP could issue guidelines about how lane-splitting should be safely performed. The passage of the bill relieved the uncertainty.

Is Lane-Splitting Safe?

Multiple studies have revealed that lane-splitting is a safe driving maneuver, and it can actually reduce the risk of accidents when it is performed correctly. The caveat is that it is done safely and correctly. Lane-splitting at high speed or when conditions are not safe puts the rider in greater danger. It is crucial that motorcyclists and all motorists understand the safety practices involved with sharing lanes.

Watch the YouTube video. The clip below, posted by Ultimate Motorcycling, offers lane-splitting safety tips.

Restrictions on Lane-Splitting

Even though the practice of lane-splitting is legal in our state, there are a few restrictions under the law. It is illegal to ride a motorcycle on the shoulder of a highway or road – that practice is not considered lane-splitting. Lane-splitting should not be done next to large vehicles such as RVs or big rigs. The road conditions also need to be taken into account, as well as the weather, lighting conditions, and the width of the lanes.

Vacaville Personal Injury Attorney

Thank you for visiting our legal blog. I’m Ed Smith, a Vacaville personal injury attorney. Because there are many visitors to the Vacaville region who may not be familiar with the roads in the area, there are a lot of vehicle accidents that occur. Every year we see pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents in addition to those solely involving motor vehicles. If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic incident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, reach out to our experienced injury lawyers for free and friendly advice. Call us at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400.

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Photo: by Jakub Sisulak on Unsplash

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