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Discussion Starter #1
Not to re-energize an old debate or re-open old wounds (yeah, right!:green_lol:) but the current issue of Motorcycle Consumer News carries an article that uses Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data on rear-end motorcycle accidents to compare states with similar riding conditions: CA, AZ,FL and TX; as well as US as a whole.

Of these, of course, only CA allows lane-splitting (also called lane sharing). The author of the study seems pretty convinced that the practice reduces rear-end crash fatalities, both from the motorcycle being struck from behind and when the bike strikes a car in the rear. I won't try to present all the numbers, but corrected for the number of riders (per 100,000 registration-years) CA deaths are a little over 1, AZ almost 4, FL 3, and TX almost 3. For the US as a whole it's 2.5.

A lot of the objections to lane-splitting seem to center around the idea that a biker might get sideswiped by a car changing lanes. But this isn't really the greatest danger for two reasons: 1) a glancing blow is not nearly as likely to be fatal, in part because 2) lane-splitting takes place under conditions of slow or stopped traffic --i.e., low speed.

Compare this to getting rear-ended by a soccer mom in an Escalade texting the pool boy to arrange the next romantic tryst and you will see why fatalities involving a bike getting rear-ended are fewer in CA. Likewise the numbers of fatalities are lower for incidents involving a bike rear-ending a car -- not so much lower, but also statistically significant. And again this is logically due to the fact that the biker is alongside a car which stops or slows suddenly in traffic instead of directly behind it.

I know this will not convince doubters. But then, nothing will.
 

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Lane splitting can be a safe tool when used correctly. There are so many times when I'm stuck in traffic on I-5 in Seattle and I just want to use all the open space between the vehicles. Alas, it would likely be safer for me, but the judge wouldn't see it that way.
 

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Lane splitting can be a safe tool when used correctly. (I)t would likely be safer for me, but the judge wouldn't see it that way.
My safety in all traffic conditions is paramount. Certainly, I wouldn't prefer to find myself in need of arguing this point with a judge. However, when making on-road decisions about how to manage a particular risk, the "law" is never an impediment.
 

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Maybe CA riders are just a little safer because of the climate. It's one of the sunniest states in America...

I used to lane split on my cruiser. I had a peg on my highway bars nick a flaring piece of quarter panel on a mustang. It pulled me into his car and caused 1500 in damages. It was my fault.

I occasionally get on the Bay Area Riders Forum (BARF) and people post their accidents while lane splitting. Usually they don't go down but get some bumps, bruises, and expenses.

I don't split lanes now, but if the rider wants to do it and they aren't a threat to others, then go for it. It should be legal in all states with possible localized controls in high threat areas (per statistics).
 

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All things in moderation. I split lanes 50 miles each way and it saves me soooo much time. Gotta watch the loonies on thier cell phones...:headbang: Actually I couldn't work where I do if I couldn't split lanes. I couldn't afford the time or gas. It's an hour, best case, as it is.
 

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Neener-neener-neener! We get to do it and save time and piss people off and you don't!:thumbup:
I don't live in traffic-choked California. So I don't have to try to steal back time that wasn't taken from me in the first place.

So Neener x 3 [email protected]'cha.

Plus, I've found other ways to piss off people:

Ever seen how a church bus' occupants react to a anatomically hirsute middle-aged man on a bike in a rhinestone-studded leather thong?

Throw in lane splitting and they're likely to dump all their North Carolina moonshine out onto me.

That stuff stings when it gets down your butt crack!
 

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They'll try to kill your ass (and the rest of you) if you lane split just about anywhere in the northeast. West coast denizen travelers be aware!
 

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Ever seen how a church bus' occupants react to a anatomically hirsute middle-aged man on a bike in a rhinestone-studded leather thong?

Throw in lane splitting and they're likely to dump all their North Carolina moonshine out onto me.

That stuff stings when it gets down your butt crack!

You must be overdressed when you shop at Wal Mart!
 

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[...]

I know this will not convince doubters. But then, nothing will.
What are you talking about? Your evidence is compelling.

I'm a believer in lane-splitting, but I'm never convinced by correlational studies.
Unfortunately, it's going to be really hard to sneak an experimental lane-splitting study past an ethics board, so they're the second best thing.
 

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I live in a state where lane splitting / sharing isn't legal yet it happens all the time, just in reverse!

My daily commute takes me right into the heart of one of the worst traffic areas in the nation (#1 in 2010 and tied at the top again in 2011, according to some sources) and ironically I'm sometimes FORCED to split lanes because some insufferable dipstick-twiddling maroon changes lanes INTO me and I have nowhere else to go but hit the brakes and straddle the line on the other side of the lane!

So it'd be nice if they let the friggin' cagers know that lane sharing is illegal, or give 'em the same ticket that a motorcyclist would get for doing it, 'cause too many of these dribbleheaded spoon-slurping bung monkeys seem to think it's perfectly fine to c'mon right over and share my space with me! That's all I'm sayin'.

Am I disappointed that I can't split lanes in my state? Hardly. I get close enough to these buffoons as it is.
 

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I thing we should all go to California and go out one night and build little tiny walls all the way down the lane lines so they can't split lanes until the rest of us can.

Seriously, I wouldn't try it in the Toronto area because of the number of people who can't stay in one lane,let alone drive a straight line.
 

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Normally I don't lane split, but in July while approaching the golden gate bridge in rush hour, I moved forward several car lengths,, to get away from a 1 ton 4X4 whose driver was texting ,,, directly behind me, he just about got me before I had time to move,,, yes I think it should be legal everywhere . And I didn't care if it was legal or not in that case.
 

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Maybe CA riders are just a little safer because of the climate. It's one of the sunniest states in America...

I used to lane split on my cruiser. I had a peg on my highway bars nick a flaring piece of quarter panel on a mustang. It pulled me into his car and caused 1500 in damages. It was my fault.

I occasionally get on the Bay Area Riders Forum (BARF) and people post their accidents while lane splitting. Usually they don't go down but get some bumps, bruises, and expenses.

I don't split lanes now, but if the rider wants to do it and they aren't a threat to others, then go for it. It should be legal in all states with possible localized controls in high threat areas (per statistics).
For sure CA gets lots of nice weather, but Norcal gets a fair amount of rain in the winter, and there are lots of folks around here that commute year-round.

I hang out on BARF quite a bit. As with anything else, you'll see the full spectrum of behavior with regard to lane splitting. One the one end, you have riders that will only split, err... share, between the 1 and 2 lane, when traffic is moving less than 20 mph and there's clear sight lines. On the other end of the spectrum, you've got folks that will split when traffic is moving at 50+, between semi's, on bridges, across multiple lanes and whatnot. It goes without saying that the more risks you take, the more likelihood of an accident, and the more severe the consequences.
 

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I LOVE lane-splitting and practise it whenever I can, legal or not. I don't want to cause trouble but there are times when it is just too perfect an opportunity so I have been known to do it in WA state.
I wish it were legal in every state, --think how many social problems would be minimized with increased motorcycle use: Traffic jams would decrease, parking congestion would decrease, less fuel would be consumed, road wear would be reduced, and incidence of road rage would also be reduced I'm guessing. People who ride motorcycles are more alert and tuned in to the job than cager-drivers. Its a win-win deal for all.
 

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I actually found that it is safer to split/share lanes when traffic is moving. People can actually drive in a straight line then~!!

When it's stop and go, people want to stagger themselves to see what's going on, or are too busy texting or yakking on their cell phones. There are those few that just don't want you to get passed them. You have to write it off to the "Me attitude", or the "Well if I can't move then why should you". I have been tempted to break off some side view mirrors. I've actually noticed that Super Shuttle Vans, really don't like you next to them, it might be a coincidence, but every time I try to get by them...they pull into you.

Of course you have the people that will split lanes at 60 mph in stopped traffic, but I just move over and let them by. As long as you stay observant, it's safe, and if you do get hit, maybe you shouldn't have been there.
 

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Had an urgent stop a few weeks ago on 635. Ended up between barrier and passed 2 cars. Not a usual practice but a nessesary use with urban traffic curveballs.
 

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They'll try to kill your ass (and the rest of you) if you lane split just about anywhere in the northeast. West coast denizen travelers be aware!
This.

Commuting in Massachusetts, I'll stay in my lane, head on a swivel. I do not believe that drivers around here are used to motorcycles splitting, and therefore won't look for it. Worse, some are very aggressive and will try to 'enforce' their idea of 'right'.. using the bumper of their 4,000 lbs SUV!

I routinely get 'enforcers' trying to enforce my speed or prevent a (legal) pass.

Not worth it, for me. Even if it were legalized today at noon, wouldn't catch me doing it.

I see squids doing spurts of lane splitting here every now and then. I think they are nucking futz. Seen some awfully close calls too.

Had an urgent stop a few weeks ago on 635. Ended up between barrier and passed 2 cars. Not a usual practice but a nessesary use with urban traffic curveballs.
I wouldn't call that splitting. I've done that in my car as well.
On the bike I usually dive for the median in a panic stop while keeping an eye on my mirror. Is that guy behind me stopping too? No?! Well, I'm outta here!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Another thing that aids lane-sharers in CA is that the CHP does it all the time. Therefore a motorist usually doesn't know whether that headlight suddenly approaching in his side mirror belongs to a cop bike or just a civilian machine.

This tends to discourage anyone contemplating an territorial nudge, because Officer Poncharello's famous grin will turn upside down in a hurry.
 
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