CHP-Commisioned Study On Lane-Splitting Safety

Report finds that "filtering" is no more dangerous than riding in marked lanes.

A study released this week by the University of California at Berkeley reports that motorcycle lane-splitting, the practice of riding in between marked lanes to filter through slow-moving or stopped traffic, is just as safe for riders as traveling in normal lanes. The study indicated that the danger level does increase for riders who are splitting at speeds of 10mph or faster than the surrounding traffic.

The UC study, commissioned by the California Highway Patrol, also revealed that riders who split lanes are less prone to getting rear-ended; however, the likelihood of a rider rear-ending a car is greater.

The number of California’s lane-splitters are increasing, says the state Office of Traffic Safety. Motorcyclists who say they split lanes on both freeways and city streets have increased by more than 7 percent from 2013.

The year-long study, which focused on more than 8,000 bike-related crash reports from 80 law enforcement agencies across California, is being used by the CHP to create a new set of guidelines that will replace those that were published last year and recently removed from the state government websites.

The message here? IF you choose to split lanes through traffic, pay attention and keep your filtering speed within a reasonable 10mph or less than the flow of traffic. Always remember that many automobile drivers don't know or don't care that lane-splitting is permitted in California.