Why lane split and how to do so safely

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2020 | Firm News |

When a motorcycle drives between vehicles and shares the lane, this is lane splitting. If you are a motorcyclist, odds are you lane split now and then. If other drivers tell you that you cannot legally lane share or lane filter, it is untrue. 

KQED explains that lanes splitting is legal. 

Reasons for lane splitting

Many passenger vehicle drivers believe that lane splitting is unsafe. Some do not even realize it is legal in California. Some motorcycles may risk road rage from other drivers due to lane sharing. Road rage against motorcycles can lead to severe injuries and damage. 

Lane sharing helps to decrease gridlock traffic. Motorcycles can overheat when stationary for too long. 

Safety tips for lane splitting

Since motorcyclists are free to enjoy lane splitting, you must understand how to keep yourself and other drivers safe if you choose to travel between lanes. While it may seem beneficial to lane split in slow traffic, you should always exercise caution. 

The California Highway Patrol suggests the following safety tips for lane splitting: 

  • Do not lane split next to big rigs, motorhomes or other large vehicles 
  • Remain visible and avoid a driver’s blind spots while lane splitting 
  • Consider the width of the lane, the weather, the lighting and other factors before you lane split 

If you are not visible to other drivers and there is an accident, drivers can pose the argument that they could not see you. Motorists have a responsibility to you and other vehicles on the road. No matter where you are on the road, it is another driver’s responsibility to check mirrors and blind spots often.