One of the benefits of riding a motorcycle in California is the ability to zip in between lanes of cars to get to your destination faster. In San Diego and across the state, motorcyclists can split lanes with other drivers when traffic is moving slowly.
Of course, some motorists do not appreciate such practices, believing that lane splitting is dangerous and could result in serious collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles on the road.
According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, lane splitting is not as dangerous as many people think. In fact, the study concluded that lane splitting may actually be safer for motorcyclists than not sharing a lane.
The researchers examined information from 6,000 motorcycle accidents in California during an approximately one-year period, from June 2012 to August 2013. Of those 6,000 crashes, nearly 1,000 involved motorcyclists who were lane splitting at the time of the collision.
The study revealed that motorcyclists who were involved in an accident while lane splitting were actually less likely to suffer serious injuries in the crash than the motorcyclists who were in a crash when not lane splitting.
This finding could be because motorcyclists tend to share lanes with other drivers when traffic is moving slowly. Therefore, those involved in crashes when lane splitting are typically traveling at a lower rate of speed than other motorcyclists.
In our next post, we will discuss a recent collision that raises questions about whether lane splitting is a safe practice.