Most avid motorcyclists are familiar with the term “lane splitting.” It’s the act of driving a motorcycle between two lanes of stopped traffic.
While this maneuver is legal and safe when performed correctly, it can also pose dangers for motorcyclists. Especially if other motorists aren’t aware of the law, or don’t know what lane splitting entails.
There is plenty of debate about the value of lane splitting. Proponents often argue that it can help relieve congestion, as bikers can move in between traffic, rather than adding to a line of cars already in place.
This also requires that all motorists be aware of the rules. Moving forward and filtering into traffic can be beneficial to everyone. However, other motorists may not know what you are doing.
As a motorcyclist, there are certain things you should do to be aware and avoid an accident.
- Be aware of speed: Lane splitting is not meant for you to go zipping in and out of traffic. If traffic is moving at a steady pace, stay in a lane. Don’t abuse lane splitting as a way to weave in and out of traffic or speed.
- Respect other drivers: Some motorists might not be familiar with lane splitting. Respect their space on the road, and avoid any potential road rage incidents.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Notice the lane-width and how much space you have. Also be wary of how much traffic is in front of you and behind you, and any sudden moves they make.
Lane splitting is legal in California, but doing it safely is up to you as a rider. Make sure you are doing this maneuver in a safe manner.