Two Abreast, Lane Sharing and Lane Splitting Wrecks

What is the North Carolina law for motorcycles and lane sharing and how does this law affect my accident claim?

North Carolina statutory law specifically allows motorcycles to share a lane and drive two abreast.  The law which can be found at N.C.G.S. 20-146.1 specifically states:

“All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane.  This section shall not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane.”

“Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.”

Most experienced motorcylists know the dangers of riding two-abreast.  Indeed, the NCDOT Motorcycle Handbook states that motorcyclists should not share lanes.  However, while this can sometimes appear more dangerous, riding two abreast can also be safer because other vehicles are more likely to see a both motorcyclists.

Lane splitting refers to a motorcycle, bicycle or moped riding between two lanes of slow moving or stopped traffic.  This practice is not specifically illegal in North Carolina but there are several passing laws that could be interpreted to mean that the practice is illegal.  For instance, it is illegal to pass a vehicle on the right except under very limited circumstances such as when the overtaken vehicle is in a lane designated for left hand turns.

If you or a family member has been injured in a motorcycle wreck involving lane sharing or lane splitting and would like more information about your rights, contact Mike Malone at Hendren Redwine & Malone for a free consultation.

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