Motorcyclists who split lanes, or ride between lanes in order to move stalled or slowly moving traffic in California are riding perfectly legally. The state is the only state that allows motorcyclists to split lanes in this manner. But, although these practices don’t necessarily increase the risk of an accident, they do place a motorcyclist’s life in danger if he rides at excessive speeds between lanes.
Researchers recently went through accident data involving thousands of accidents in California. They found that lane splitting is not necessarily dangerous. A motorcyclist who is weaving between lanes, in order to pass parked cars, is not necessary at a higher risk of being involved in an accident. However, if the motorcyclist increases his speed by 10 mph more than the cars that he is passing, he is at a higher risk of causing an accident.
Riding even 10 mph faster than the other cars does increase the risk of an accident. Additionally, motorcyclists must avoid lane splitting during rush hour in the early morning or late afternoon. The risks of causing accidents seem to increase during these periods of time.
The findings of the study will be shared with the California Highway Patrol which is currently working on drafting rules for motorcycle lane splitting.
As a motorcyclist, you are at a much higher risk of suffering serious and fatal injuries in an accident, compared to the occupants of the cars that are you are passing by. Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers advise that motorcyclists ride at safe speeds not just when they are riding between lanes, but even otherwise. Riding at safe speeds, riding while sober and wearing a helmet while riding significantly reduce the risks of being in an accident or suffering injuries in a crash.