The recent changes to California’s state laws regarding lane-splitting have left many drivers worried that an increase in accidents is on its way. While the thoughts of a motorcycle zipping past you on a parked freeway might be terrifying, many experts have actually stated that the change will make the roads safer for motorcyclists and less-congested for all other drivers.
In order to make the decision, lawmakers analyzed the injury rates for motorcyclists who were in accidents while lane-splitting as well as those who were not. According to Berkeley News, riders on two-wheeled vehicles were less likely to suffer an injury to their torso or head if they were between lanes at the time of the crash. They were also less than half as likely to die from injuries sustained while lane-splitting than drivers who remained in their own lanes.
In addition to protecting motorcyclists, lawmakers also found that allowing smaller bikes to move between cars reduced congestion for all vehicles and prevented the likelihood that a less-protected rider would be rear-ended. While the risk of any collision has not been analyzed, researchers feel that the accidents that occur while lane-splitting result in injuries that are less severe.
Lawmakers want to ensure that this move is practiced safely and correctly and have instructed motorcyclists to be educated on how to properly perform it. Drivers need to travel less than 15 miles per hour more than surrounding traffic and should not be used if the overall rate of speed of the surrounding vehicles is greater than 50 miles per hour. This information is intended for your education and should not be taken as legal advice.