Motorcycle lane splitting, the act of riding between lanes of traffic, is prohibited in the state of Nevada though legally practiced elsewhere. Understanding the debate around its legal status and safety impact is key.

Comparing Key Points

TermDefinitionLegal StatusSafety Impact
Lane-SplittingRiding a motorcycle between lanes of traffic on road linesIllegal in Nevada under NRS 486.351Mixed evidence on risks vs benefits
Traffic Jam BypassingAbility to continue riding while traffic is stoppedConsidered a benefit by someAvoids standstill collisions but enables speeding
NRS 486.351Nevada law prohibiting driving “abreast of or overtake or pass another vehicle within the same traffic lane”Explicitly bans lane-splittingIntended to improve motorcycle safety

Is lane-splitting by motorcycles permitted under Nevada law?

No, Nevada law prohibits motorcycles from lane-splitting or driving between lanes of traffic.

Although virtually all states adhere to extraordinarily similar standards for operating motor vehicles with four or more wheels, motorcyclists often face different laws when entering different states. One controversial subject of motorcycle operations is the use of the lane-splitting technique. Motorcyclists should understand the concept of lane-splitting and its current legal status in the State of Nevada.

What is Lane-Splitting?

  • Lane-splitting is the act of a two-wheeled motor vehicle, usually a motorcycle or other motorized bicycle, driving between lanes of traffic on the lines of a road.
  • Virtually all side streets and highways have white lines used as a boundary to indicate the division between multiple lanes of traffic.
  • When traffic has slowed or come to a complete stop on a muti-laned street or highway, most commercial motorcycles and motorized bikes are narrow enough to drive between two lanes of traffic on the white lines (i.e., lane-splitting). The act of lane-splitting allows a motorcycle or motorized bike to continue driving through traffic by driving between lanes instead of waiting for traffic to move.

Is Lane-Splitting Legal in Nevada?

Lane-splitting as a driving technique has been outlawed in the State of Nevada for some time. Motorcycle and motorized vehicle operators should understand the legal parameters of lane-splitting and other similar acts before hopping on a bike for a ride.

Lane-Splitting Statute

Under Nevada Revised Statutes NRS 486.351(2) states that “a person shall not drive a motorcycle, moped or trimobile abreast of or overtake or pass another vehicle within the same traffic lane.

Consequences of Lane-Splitting

Drivers caught lane-splitting face fines and other civil penalties commencing at $190. If a driver is caught lane-splitting multiple times, they risk losing their license and subjecting themselves to criminal liability. Furthermore, drivers caught in the act of lane-splitting may be liable for accidents resulting from their driving. Lastly, persistent fines and criminal penalties relating to lane-splitting may lead to insurance carriers refusing to provide coverage or raise their rates.

Other Forms of Motorcycle Lane Usage

  • Under NRS 486.351(1), motorcycles or mopeds drivers are prohibited from operating their vehicles between moving or stationary vehicles occupying adjacent lanes of traffic.
  • This prevents motorcycles from swerving in and out of multiple lanes of traffic during instances where traffic has slowed or stopped.

Although lane-splitting is illegal in Nevada, state law allows motorized bike operators to share lanes of traffic.

  • However, under NRS 486.351(3), no more than two motorcycle operators can operate within the same traffic lane if both operators consent.

Is Lane-Splitting Dangerous?

It really depends on who you ask. According to studies cited by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), 59.2% of all comprehensive motorcycle crashes were caused by motorcyclists driving in moderate to severe traffic.

While the dangers of driving in traffic are evident, there are other risks on the road that drivers should be aware of. For instance, the consequences of driving under the influence in Vegas can be severe, as highlighted in this article on DUI dangers in Vegas. Additionally, with the rise of technology, dashcam footage has become a pivotal piece of evidence in many traffic-related cases, shedding light on the actual events leading up to accidents.

Further, data compiled in a 2015 study conducted by the University of California Berkeley found that lane-splitting allowed motorcyclists to avoid being stuck between multiple motor vehicles during heavy traffic, avoiding minor to severe contact accidents. However, the same study found that of 997 traffic collisions attributed to lane-splitting, the vast majority were caused by motorcycle operators exceeding the posted speed limit.

Currently, only three states in the United States (Montana, Utah, and California) have legalized the act of lane-splitting. However, many countries worldwide, including regions with large metropolitan areas, have allowed lane-splitting to become a common practice. Although more data is necessary to determine whether lane-splitting is dangerous, motorists should always abide by state and local traffic laws.

Types of Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Injuries

Like many motorcycle accidents, lane-splitting can cause massive amounts of damage to the human body. Types of lane-splitting motorcycle and other motorized bicycle accidents can include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Fracturing injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
  • Internal injuries, including organ damage, organ failure, internal bleeding, impalement, and other penetrating trauma
  • Lower-extremity injuries, including fractures, scarring, and dismemberment
  • Road rash occuring when human skin makes contact with asphalt, concrete, or another ground surface, which causes blisters, burns, and scarring

Nevada Motorcycle Laws to Know

Nevada has numerous laws and compliance standards before anyone can ride a motorcycle through public streets. As a result, motorcyclists open themselves to numerous forms of liability and potential physical harm without proper licensure, registration, insurance, and equipment information.

Motorcycle License and Registration Requirements

To operate a motorcycle in Nevada, motorists must obtain a Class M license used explicitly for motorcycles. In addition, motorists must pass a written skills test or a certified course that teaches motorcycle skills training. Eligible applicants must be at least 18 years or older (or must obtain permission from a parent or guardian assuming liability for any willful misconduct committed by the underaged motorist).

  • All motorcycles must be registered with the State of Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
    • NRS 486.041 defines a motorcycle as a “motor vehicle equipped with a seat or a saddle for the use of the driver and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground.” Certain electric bicycles, mopeds, and tractors are exempt from registration.

Motorcycle Insurance

Nevada requires a motorcyclist to maintain a minimum level of coverage, which provides liability protection for the other driver. Because Nevada is an at-fault state, motorists must at least provide coverage for the other party’s injuries. This ensures that if a motorcyclist is found to be at fault, their insurance can pay for the other party’s damages or vice versa.

Helmet Usage and other Equipment.

  • Nevada requires anyone operating or riding a motorcycle to wear a helmet while the vehicle is in motion.
  • Helmets must meet the minimum safety requirements established by the U.S Department of Transportation (USDOT). The Nevada DMV encourages motorcycle operators to purchase helmets labeled USDOT-approved.

Nevada also has equipment-related rules and regulations for all registered motorcycles. For example, a registered motorcycle must have two sets of turn signals (one in the front and the other in the back) visible for at least 500 feet. Further, all wheels must have brakes, and tires must be USDOT-approved and labeled.

Other relevant motorcycle regulations pertain to:

  • Handlebars and fenders
  • Headlamps
  • Tail and stop lights
  • Reflectors and mirrors
  • Horns
  • Mufflers

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Las Vegas, you need an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer on your side. Our team of legal experts will fight tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to learn more.

As founder of Gina Corena & Associates, she is dedicated to fighting for the rights of the people who suffer life-changing personal injuries in car, truck and motorcycle accidents as well as other types of personal injury. Gina feels fortunate to serve the Nevada community and hold wrongdoers accountable for their harm to her clients.

  • This was my first time using a lawyer, which I needed due a major car accident. They made everything simple and stress free, and I couldn’t be happier with the attentive care I received from everyone at the law office. Gresia was fantastic, and kept in touch regularly. She was professional, knowledgeable, and very kind. I would recommend them to anyone.

    - Deb Compton

  • Gina and her crew are truly amazing. They exceeded my expectations. They kept in contact with me throughout the whole time and any questions I did have They would take the time and explain everything so I would know what to expect. I would highly recommend them at any time.

    - Chris S

  • Thank you very much for the services everyone answered every single one of my calls and this firm took care of me from start to finish. Thank you so much Gina for taking on my case and assisting me I will recommend you to everyone.

    - Sayra Sánchez

  • I rarely do reviews but I want to share what an outstanding team Gina Corena has. Mahna Pourshaban did such an awesome job In helping us get our settlement, she has treated us like family since day 1 that we met her.. Me and my family want to tell u guys thank u from the bottom of our hearts.

    - The LOPEZ Family

  • Working with Gina was An amazing feeling as the client to know that my case is being handled professionally and to the best it can be ! Knowing that Gina can handle it gave me confidence and peace, 100 percent recommend Gina and her associates team !

    - Jonathan Rodriguez

  • GINA CORENA is the best attorney indeed! Thank you to her amazing team the attention to detail I received was incredible. 100% recommend to everyone!

    - Clara Maria

  • My experience with Gina Corena’s office was amazing. They were all professional and were easy to reach out to during my whole case. I’d recommend their services 10/10!!

    - Mark Surban

  • I'm really satisfied with the work these ladies provide. They’re Super reliable and Professional, Alexandra was the one that helped me with my case and she’s super nice and sweet. She made sure I was aware about all the updates with my case. Overall the work they provide to the citizens of Las Vegas is top notch. Thank you Gina Corena and associates.

    - Gil Axel

  • This is the best company I have dealt with hands down. I am super thankful with them for all the work they did on behalf of my case. The process was rather simple and very well explained from start to finish. Thank you so much Gina Corena &. Associates. Thank you Kim for assisting in my case.

    - Raidel Echavarria

  • I received nothing but top notch service from this firm not once but twice please keep up the outstanding job customer service is very important to me and your firm went above and beyond again THANK YOU

    - Freda Smith

  • Such a great law firm. This was my first time having to get a lawyer due to an auto accident and they explained all the ins and outs of my case and the process. I will definitively keep them in mind again for the future.

    -Alyssa Ortega

  • If I can give Gina’s firm 10 stars I would. They have the best customer service & most knowledgeable staff I’ve ever come across. The office is always clean and it has a lovely and positive vibe. Thank you to this amazing firm to make my experience fast and easy for me. Gina definitely knows how to care of her clients and treated me like family. I will recommended to my friends and family.

    -Cony Jordan


CALL US 24/7

Schedule A Free
Injury Consultation Below

    By contacting Gina Corena & Associates, you agree to receive emails, text messages, and phone calls regarding your legal inquiry, which may be considered advertising material.