- Felipe Garcia, Esq.
THE FACTS ABOUT LANE SHARING
When driving in California, it's common to see motorcyclists passing by in the narrow space between two lanes of cars. This is commonly known as lane-sharing (or lane splitting). While some drivers may find it unnerving, the practice of lane sharing/splitting is legal in California.
A 2015 report by UC Berkeley transportation researchers suggests that it's not as dangerous as some drivers believe it to be. The study found that lane-splitting doesn't necessarily increase the risk of injury.
Lane sharing is one way for motorcycle riders to avoid collisions and reduce traffic congestion. However, it is important for both riders and drivers alike to practice safe behaviors in order to minimize the risks associated with lane splitting.
It is important to note that lane sharing is not without its risks, and all parties involved must take appropriate precautions in order to minimize the likelihood of accidents. Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System data indicates that motorcyclist fatalities in California have increased yearly. These increases in motorcyclist deaths have occurred at a time when significant gains were achieved in other areas of traffic safety. Motorcyclists are overrepresented in the overall number of traffic fatalities in California.
As A Motorcycle Rider, How Can I Practice Safe Lane Sharing
Motorcycle riders should always be aware of their surroundings. They should constantly scan the road ahead, look for potential hazards, and anticipate the movements of other drivers. Riders should also be sure to maintain a safe speed while lane sharing and avoid weaving in and out of traffic. It is crucial that riders exercise good judgment and avoid lane sharing in situations where it is clearly unsafe. Riders should also always wear a helmet, as well as other protective gear such as gloves and jackets.
As A Driver, How Can I Practice Safe Lane Sharing
Drivers of cars and trucks need to be aware of the presence of motorcycle riders, especially when lane sharing is occurring. This includes avoiding distractions such as texting or eating while driving. Drivers should resist the temptation to change lanes without signaling and should leave plenty of space between their vehicle and the motorcycle. It is also important for drivers to check their mirrors and blind spots regularly, especially when changing lanes or making turns.
Lane sharing/splitting is a legal practice for motorcycle riders in California. However, it is crucial that both riders and drivers practice safe behaviors in order to avoid accidents and reduce risks. By remaining aware and following recommended safety practices, both motorcycle riders and car drivers can help ensure the safety of everyone on the road.
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California Highway Patrol – Lane Splitting in California
KQED - 10 Things to Know About Lane Splitting in California (No. 1? Yes, It's Legal)
Berkeley News – Is motorcycle lane-splitting safe? New report says it can be