Lane-splitting by motorcyclists may be dangerous

Lane-splitting by motorcyclists may be dangerous

Sightings of motorcyclists zipping through traffic and splitting lanes are not rare in heavily populated cities like Los Angeles. This lane-splitting, which is also called lane-sharing, filtering, or stripe-riding, allows motorcyclists to cut through slow-moving traffic but it is also dangerous.

However, Chris Cochran, a spokesperson for the California Office of Traffic Safety said a new study has suggested that lane-splitting, when done in a safe and prudent manner, is no more dangerous than regular motorcycle-riding.

Speaking on the topic, Cochran said, “There are many opinions about it and very little data. Out of that study, came the data that lane-splitting in and of itself — when done in what we refer to as in a safe and prudent manner — is no more dangerous than regular motorcycle-riding.”

Supporters of lane-splitting claim that the controversial practice is safer than remaining in the same lane in stop-&-go traffic because it decreases the risk of being rear-ended and lets them to get an open road. In addition, it saves time.

But, opponents say lane-splitting involves riding much closer to other vehicles, which could be dangerous.

The issue of lane-splitting is particularly important for California, because of its large size and population. The number of registered motorcycles in the Golden State has jumped from nearly 700,000 in 2005 to roughly 900,000 in 2015. In 2013, the most recent year of available data, there were at least 463 motorcycle fatalities and 11,946 serious injuries.