A new report addresses the strategy known as lane splitting. The article was prompted by a public service announcement from the California Highway Patrol that stresses to motorcyclists and drivers alike the importance of always taking the proper precautions and looking twice before making a dangerous road maneuver.
In California, the act of lane splitting is legal, but minds are split as to the advisability of such a move. Basically, in the midst of a traffic snarl, a motorcyclist is allowed to slowly make his or her way through traffic by going in between two lanes of vehicles. Unfortunately, this can leave motorcyclists open to harm if an automobile operator, fed up with being stuck in a non-moving lane, attempts to get over without first looking twice in their mirrors.
If you decide to split lanes, then you must keep your speed in check while doing so. Ten miles per hour is probably going to be the absolute maximum at which you’re going to want to go when vehicles are stopped, and even that could be pushing it in certain conditions. Make sure you have ample space when passing between vehicles and be wary of other drivers suddenly jutting out.
For their part, drivers should have patience in the midst of traffic. If you go in with the mindset that a motorcycle could be coming up next to you, you’ll find yourself looking in the mirrors as needed and driving cautiously.