Is motorcycle lane splitting safe? Motorcycle riding can be exhilarating especially when motorcyclists can navigate the road quicker than most automobiles. Motorcyclists can garner attention from vehicle drivers because of their motorcycle’s loud noise and eye-catching designs. However, despite the attractiveness of motorcycles and their swift performance, some motorcyclists ignore safety rules when they decide to ride in lanes between two vehicles. While most drivers may be trying to assess the amount of space they have to drive between other vehicles, a motorcyclist can change and split lanes before vehicle drivers can complete their road assessment. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of motorcyclist deaths have occurred over the past four years. Most of the factors that have led to motorcycle deaths include speeding, alcohol abuse, and racing. These factors may also be linked to lane-splitting.
Lane-Splitting Injury Statistics
A recent study revealed that the frequency of lane-splitting is a growing trend particularly citing over 900 collision incidents which occurred over a 15 month period during 2012 through 2013. The injuries incurred from lane-splitting included brain, neck, torso, and extremities injuries. Although the number of motorcycle collisions peaked close to 6,000, the lane-splitting collision statistic is alarming due to the catastrophic impact this type of riding has on drivers who are not comfortable with motorcyclists riding too close to their vehicles. One of the pros cited among interviewed motorcyclists indicated claims of safety specifically during parallel vehicle riding. Additional reasoning included increased motorcyclist visibility, ease of lane changing, and reduction of lane crowding. Although some motorcyclists claim these benefits, these claims are based on their perception and not the perception of vehicle drivers who may or may not see them coming. Many motorcyclists have shown their ability to assume that vehicle drivers anticipate their arrival and will wait for them to pass. These assumptions have proven to be wrong particularly with the evidence of motorcyclists’ deaths.