As dedicated motorcycle accident attorneys in Albuquerque, New Mexico Biker Lawyer is committed to advocating for the rights and safety of riders across our state. Today, we’re diving into the often-debated topics of lane splitting and lane filtering. While these practices are currently not legal in New Mexico, we believe it’s crucial for riders to understand the concepts and their potential benefits.

Understanding Lane Splitting and Lane Filtering

Lane splitting and lane filtering refer to a motorcycle rider passing between lanes of traffic to navigate past other vehicles. While these terms are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences:

  • Lane Filtering: This typically refers to when a motorcycle moves between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic, often approaching a traffic light.
  • Lane Splitting: This usually describes when a motorcycle travels between lanes while traffic is in motion.

For simplicity, we’ll use “lane splitting” to cover both practices in this article.

Lane Sharing vs. Lane Splitting

It’s important not to confuse lane splitting with lane sharing. Lane sharing is when two motorcycles ride side-by-side in the same lane. This practice is legal in New Mexico and is common, especially at stoplights.

Current Legal Status of Lane Splitting in New Mexico

As of now, lane splitting is not legal in New Mexico. However, as motorcycle accident attorneys, we at New Mexico Biker Lawyer believe there’s merit in considering its potential benefits for rider safety and traffic flow.

a motorcycle rider does not lane split as he enters an intersection

The Safety Argument for Lane Splitting

While some view lane splitting as dangerous, when done responsibly, it can actually enhance rider safety:

  1. Reduced Risk of Rear-End Collisions: Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to rear-end accidents in heavy traffic. Lane splitting allows riders to position themselves away from this danger zone.
  2. Heat Safety: In New Mexico’s scorching summers, sitting in traffic can expose riders to dangerous heat levels. Moving between lanes allows for airflow, reducing the risk of heat-related injuries.
  3. Increased Visibility: Lane splitting can help riders stay out of blind spots and maintain better visibility to other drivers.

Responsible Lane Splitting Practices

If lane splitting were to become legal in New Mexico, it would be crucial for riders to practice it responsibly:

  • Only split lanes when traffic is moving slowly or stopped
  • Maintain a safe speed differential with surrounding traffic
  • Be aware of potential hazards like opening car doors or lane changes
  • Avoid splitting in situations with limited visibility or narrow lanes

The Push for Lane Splitting Legislation

While New Mexico currently doesn’t allow lane splitting, several states are reconsidering their stance. California has long permitted the practice, and other states are introducing legislation to allow it under certain conditions.

At New Mexico Biker Lawyer, we believe that with proper education and clear guidelines, lane splitting could be safely implemented in our state, potentially reducing traffic congestion and improving rider safety.

How New Mexico Biker Lawyer Can Help

As motorcycle enthusiasts ourselves, we understand the unique challenges riders face on New Mexico roads. Whether you’re dealing with a motorcycle accident claim or have questions about motorcycle laws in our state, New Mexico Biker Lawyer is here to help.

Our team of experienced attorneys is dedicated to protecting the rights of motorcyclists across Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico. We stay up-to-date on all aspects of motorcycle law, including potential future changes regarding lane splitting.

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident or have legal questions related to riding in New Mexico, don’t hesitate to reach out. We offer free consultations to discuss your case and explain your rights under New Mexico law.

Remember, while lane splitting isn’t currently legal in New Mexico, staying informed about potential changes in traffic laws is crucial for every rider. At New Mexico Biker Lawyer, we’re committed to being your trusted resource for all things related to motorcycle law in the Land of Enchantment.

Ride safe, and know that New Mexico Biker Lawyer has your back on the roads of Albuquerque and beyond!