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Lane splitting, a two-wheeled vehicle moving between lanes of vehicles that are proceeding in the same direction. Some people will tell you that Lane splitting is guaranteed by the 1st and 14th Amendments of the Constitution of the United States. Some may say that you save on gas and reduce green house gasses; others will say that lane splitting reduces traffic. Find the one reason that works for you and keep it close to your heart, nurture it, care for it, take real good care of it. Better yet make a sign, walk up and down the street with this sign to let the world know how YOU feel about lane splitting.

Let a postulate a sequence of possible events that could happen. The sun is out, bright sunny day and you merge onto the freeway. You get about 300 yards and you hit the wall of cars, all you see for the next few miles is bumper to bumper traffic. You pull out and hit the white line, you are lane splitting. Now look above and find the reason that works for you, if your reason is not there get some white out and cover up one of the above reasons and write your own on the computer screen. Anyway back to our scenario, you are lane splitting and getting to where you need to go. You are making good time passing by all these happy drivers who are stuck in traffic and cannot lane split, they have to wait in line with everyone else. Now one of these happy drivers decides that this is not fair and creeps over far enough to block your way. You are on your toes and slow down switch lanes to get around this obstacle in your way. Unfortunately for you the car that you cut in front of did not see you coming and clips your rear tire. Hopefully you were not going to fast as you do a face plant, hopefully you have real good insurance, and hopefully you wore a helmet unless you felt the need to express your 1st and 14th amendment rights. No matter how careful you are there is one thing you cannot control, the driver in the other car.

Think long and hard before you choose to lane split, was it (look above for your reason) really worth what could happen to you.

Written by John Campbell, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

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1 Comments on this post

  1. As far as I know, lane splitting in the United States is legal only in California. In my 30-years of riding out here I can’t recall one time when I was deliberately cut-off by a car driver. I’ve been spit at a couple of times, but I’m not sure if that was intended or just fate. Most drivers will move aside to let you by. I believe Harry Hurt addressed this issue in his report and said that it was safer than being stopped in traffic. I personally don’t know of anyone who’s been involved in an accident by being deliberately cut-off by a car driver, though I believe it happens on occasion…there are instances when I’ve been “pinched” off, in other words, the driver hugged the space I was riding in not permitting forward progress. As Keith Code once said on the subject, “it’s unlikely that a car will turn into another car’s lane while stopped or moving slowly.” I also believe that the US is one of the few industrialized countries that does not permit some sort of filtering process to speed motorcycles through traffic, Japan as an example has two stop lines, one for cars and one for bikes.

    I lived in GA for a short time and coming back from Asheville got stuck in Atlanta traffic. It’s extermely hot, humid and traffic is at an absolute standstill, the alley between cars is at least 6′, and nobody’s moving. It took me an hour to go 5-miles…what’s the point? It doesn’t make sense to sit there in the heat, breathing exhaust fumes when you can clear the traffic pattern in a few minutes.

    Mikr Vaughan / Reply

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