Sacramento, CA – A California study has fueled the lane splitting debate. Lane splitting involves a motorcyclist driving between lanes to pass stalled traffic.
The University of California, Berkeley study found that the practice is no more dangerous than riding a motorcycle in general. However, that depends on the motorcycle’s speed. The risk rises if the bike is going more than 10 mph faster than traffic.
The study also shows that lane splitters are less likely to be rear-ended. Sonora area CHP Officer Nick Norton explains, “If a motorcycle is traveling between two lanes and traffic comes to a quick stop, the motorcycle is less likely to be sandwiched in between two cars or to be rear-ended.”
However, the study found that lane splitters were more likely to rear-end other vehicles in sudden-stop situations.
The practice has been criticized as being unsafe by some in the travel and trucking industry. As reported earlier, a pamphlet on lane splitting guidelines was taken down from the CHP’s website after concerns that the tips might be misconstrued as enforceable laws.
“This validates the use of the guidelines and what the CHP has found over the years through its statistics,” says Norton.
The California Highway Patrol and the state’s Office of Traffic Safety commissioned the study.