Southern California is a hub for motorcycle riders and enthusiasts. From the warm year-round temperatures and oceanic scenery to the legalization of lane splitting, California is dreamland for motorcyclists. SoCal is known for its heavy traffic and highway congestion. Motorcycle laws allow bikers the option of cutting down their commute time by surpassing other drivers on the road with what is known as lane splitting.
What is lane splitting?
Lane splitting is a law designed for motorcyclists; it gives bikers the right to pass slow-moving or stopped vehicles on the highway by riding the barrier between two lanes. This rule receives controversial feedback; some people believe this puts bikers in more danger. However, according to a study from USC it was proven that lane splitting is actually helpful in making the highway safer for bikers. They are able to avoid breathing in massive amounts of vehicle exhaust fumes; it also prevents bikers from being sandwiched between two vehicles in the event of an accident.
When to avoid lane splitting?
While lane splitting offers various benefits to motorcyclists, there are certain situations in which it should be avoided for everyone’s safety. Some of those situations include:
- Bad weather conditions
- Dangerous road conditions (construction zones, uneven pavement, etc.)
- Oversized vehicles or not enough space to pass
- Traffic is moving too fast
- Near a toll booth
- One lane roads that don’t allow passing
Safety for lane splitters
If you are a motorcyclist who engages in lane splitting, it is very important that you do so with extreme caution. The state of California requires that all motorcyclists wear helmets. Wearing a helmet is the best form of protection for bikers and reduces the chance of major head injuries should an accident occur.