Congested urban areas of Southern California like Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego are difficult to traverse. One of the benefits of being on a smaller motor vehicle like a motorcycle is the ability to skirt through some of this traffic during peak periods. While it is legal for a biker to travel between lanes on either surface streets or freeways, it must be done with caution so as to avoid collisions with passenger vehicles like cars, trucks and SUVs. This California Highway Patrol (CHP) guideline on lane splitting offers some great tips on how to safely travel between the lines. Here are a few:
- Don’t travel at a speed greater than 10 m.p.h. of the other traffic.
- Don’t split lanes when adjacent traffic is traveling at 30 m.p.h. or greater
- Splitting between lanes 1 and 2 (i.e. the far left hand lanes) is usually safer.
- Consider the whole environment and all roadway conditions including the width of the lanes, the size of the surrounding vehicles, weather, roadway and lighting conditions.
- Stay alert and try to observe indicators that will allow you to anticipate when a vehicle may change lanes or cause a hazard.
While these guidelines don’t insure that a lane splitting motorcycle accident may not occur, they do provide some good tips to prevent that from happening.
See on www.chp.ca.gov