Two motorcyclists riding in the same lane

North Carolina Lane-Sharing Laws & Your Personal Injury Claim

By Jeremy Bradford
Founding Partner

Lane-sharing, a frequent practice among motorcyclists, often leads to confusion and disputes on North Carolina roads. While many riders use lane-sharing as a common method of traveling, it raises significant safety and legal concerns. This blog delves into the rights and responsibilities of road users, aiming to shed light on common misconceptions and promote safer travel for everyone.

Understanding Lane-Sharing

In North Carolina, the distinction between lane-sharing and its counterpart, lane-splitting, is important for all road users to grasp. Lane-sharing refers to the practice where two motorcyclists ride side by side within the same traffic lane. This differs from lane-splitting, which involves a motorcyclist navigating between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving vehicles. Unlike some other states, lane-splitting is not explicitly illegal in North Carolina.

However, motorcycles may not pass vehicles on the right-hand side except under specific conditions. In addition, the law prohibits cars from sharing a lane with a motorcycle. Understanding these requirements is essential for anyone riding or driving in North Carolina to maintain road safety.

Lane-Sharing Safety

Lane sharing is legal in North Carolina under North Carolina General Statute § 20-146.1.

While North Carolina does not prohibit lane-sharing, experienced motorcyclists recognize the possible dangers of riding two abreast. The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles Motorcyclists’ Handbook discourages the practice and states “Cars and motorcycles need a full lane to operate safely.” When two motorcycles occupy the same lane, their reduced space can lead to decreased visibility and maneuverability for both riders. This proximity can make it difficult for motorcyclists to react to sudden stops, obstacles, or changes in traffic flow. Additionally, other drivers may not expect to encounter two motorcycles side by side, leading to possible misjudgments in distance or speed.

How Lane-Sharing Affects Your Personal Injury Claim

If you’re involved in a traffic accident while lane-sharing in North Carolina, it could impact your personal injury claim. The specifics of each incident matter greatly; the degree to which lane-sharing contributed to the accident can affect compensation outcome. The actions of all parties involved and adherence to other traffic laws at the time of the incident will be thoroughly examined. It’s important for your case to accurately represent your adherence to legal lane-sharing practices to ensure a fair evaluation and outcome of your claim.

What to Do If You’re Involved in a Lane-Sharing Accident

If you’re involved in a lane-sharing accident, immediate actions can significantly affect the outcome of any potential claims. First, ensure the safety of everyone involved and call emergency services if needed. Document the scene by taking photos and collecting contact information from witnesses and other parties involved. Avoid admitting fault or discussing details of the incident at the scene. Seek medical attention even if injuries seem minor, as some symptoms may appear later. Then, report the accident to your insurance company without delay.

Finally, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney who understands North Carolina’s lane-sharing laws to discuss your rights and options. Proper documentation and legal advice can be pivotal in navigating the aftermath of such incidents.

Contact Bradford Law If You’ve Been Involved in a Lane-Sharing Accident

Bradford Law can guide you through the complexities of your lane-sharing accident claim. Our dedicated team provides personalized support, ensuring your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact Bradford Law today for a thorough evaluation of your case.

About the Author
I am Jeremy Bradford, the founding and managing attorney of Bradford Law. From my offices in Charlotte, NC, I travel all across North Carolina helping injured people fight against insurance companies, in what could be life-altering circumstances. I have made a point to develop strong relationships with my clients. I take the trust my clients put in me personally and put myself into every case. If my client calls, my client will always be able to speak directly with me. You will get to know me as we work our way through the personal injury process. So when we make recommendations on whether to settle or go to trial, you will know your best interests are always at heart.