Lane Splitting Maniac

BoIt is and will always be a controversial topic. Many riders know “Lane splitting” may save riders a lot of time, it can be considerably safer than sitting in traffic and acting like a car, as long as it’s done within certain guidelines.

It’s time for certain drivers to get these thoughts out of their heads: “lane splitting is jumping ahead,” “motorcyclists should have to wait in line like the rest of us,” “riding in between cars is suicidal.” While it’s illegal in most of the United States, it’s accepted in many other parts of the world, and evidence is mounting that lane splitting is safer for riders than sitting in traffic, and actually benefits car drivers as well as the riders themselves.

lane splitting

One of the key arguments against lane splitting is that to many driver’s, it seems like a dangerous practice.

The most common type of accident on the road is a rear-ender. These make up 40 percent of all accidents in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And while most of these are minor fender benders between car drivers, there’s really no such thing as a minor fender bender if someone slams into the back of a motorcycle. By splitting between lanes, riders are able to put a shell of slow or stopped traffic around their bikes and protect against the inattention of other road users.

In a recent Berkeley study undertaken with the California Highway Patrol’s assistance, 7,836 motorcycle crashes were examined closely, with some 1,163 of these crashes having occurred while the rider was lane splitting.

Riders who were splitting at the time of their accident were significantly less likely to be injured in every category than those who weren’t: 45 percent fewer head injuries, 21 percent fewer neck injuries, 32 percent fewer torso injuries, 12 percent fewer arm/leg injuries, and 55 percent fewer fatalities.

This is quite possibly because the majority of those splitting accidents happened at speeds between 1 and 30 mph (50 km/h). The data also shows that the safest way to lane split is to travel at less than 30 mph, and less than 10 mph above the speed of the surrounding traffic. Injury rates leap up in all categories when both of these conditions are not met.

Personally I really don’t make lane splitting a practice, I may do it only a few times a year mostly in heavy traffic and only using the above guidelines. So if you must do it use caution and follow the guidelines.


Trivia Question of the Month:

QUESTION: What year did Harley bump the displacement of the FLH to 80ci. from 74ci., it is also the same year as their 75th anniversary?

Answer to last month’s trivia question:

Question:  1957 was the first year of the XL Sportster, that year Harley and that year only Harley also produced a version designated XLC. What did the “C” stand for?

  Answer:  XLC Sportster is an off-road version of the XL. “C” designates Competition.

Bo’s Monthly Words of Wisdom:

GOOD NEWS, I just saved a ton of money on my insurance by out running the cops!

“Live to Ride or Step Aside”

Written by Bo

“The Hog Shoppe”