The MAIDS study from 5 countries in Europe was recently published and from what I can tell the underlying majority of accidents between motorists and motorcyclists occurs from both motorists and motorcyclists failing to do a traffic scan ("traffic scan error"). Of course, the percentage of accidents due to traffic scan error by motorists eclipses motorcyclists (68%). Rear end collisions were very small and in all these countries lane splitting is widely practiced but not legal in some countries. (France just legalized lane splitting in 2016 even though motorcyclists have been doing it for 30 years or more!).
A lack of attention and awareness to the environment surrounding your car or motorcycle is the root cause of most accidents, including rear end collisions. Since the percentage of accidents due to these factors is so high why have lawmakers not addressed this yet find lane filtering at slow speeds "unsafe". If we fixed the problem of people using cell phones will driving and yes, riding, or zoning out thinking about everything else but the task at hand (something that is lethal while on a motorcycle) we can lower the injuries and fatalities and make lane filtering/sharing a safe practice.
So my argument with lawmakers who come up with the added small safety risk of lane sharing/filtering for a reason not to support a conservative approach to lane sharing/filtering is why are you sitting on your hands while avoidable unsafe road practices, primarily by motorists, cause the level of carnage on our roadways. What measures can be initiated to make roads safer for motorcyclists? How do you change behaviour? What works elsewhere? Lack of attention and awareness not only creates significant safety risks for motorcyclists but also pedestrians and cyclists. Cyclists have been better organized in reducing risks to them by getting bike lanes separated from traffic through barriers, several measures are put in place to protect pedestrians and both these measures have reduced, but not eliminated, injuries and fatalities and now its motorcyclists turn.
In a recent journey to California, in a rental car, I had forgotten that lane 'splitting' was now legal however I was surprised, more like frightened, when at 60 mph a motorcyclist passed me between lanes! It's that behaviour that makes lawmakers and motorists anti-lane sharing/filtering.
Wife and I went to Greece about 6 years ago, and we rented a Honda Trans Alp instead of a car so it would be easier to get around. That was the first time I had ever witnessed lane splitting. a large percent - probably 40% or so - of the vehicles in Athens were either mopeds, scooters, or motorcycles. (Of the two-wheeled variety, the numbers were higher with scooters, then mopeds, and last was motorcycles as I recall.) I was skittish at first to try lane splitting, but after a day of watching others do it, I built up the nerve to try it, and I grew comfortable with doing it over the course of a few days. Over there, it's normal and drivers expect it and even make room for the bikes. I don't know if the law says they have to or not, but I can say it's a different experience than I was used to.
I would have mixed feelings if lane splitting were legal in Texas. On one hand, I do not see as many bikes on the road in Houston as I do in other parts of the country, and I don't trust awareness that cagers would have of us on two wheels. On the other hand, I do think it would be nice to roll up to the front of the line at a stop light unimpeded.