I rarely rarely comment on random news sites, but I came across this one and made an exception:
Lane-Splitting To Blame For Spike In Motorcycle Deaths?
California Is The Only State Where Lane-Splitting Is Legal
Now, I’ve heard this argument before and I was doing my usual eye-rolling as I read the arguments - predictably, all drivers saying some variation on “they shouldn’t do that”.
But once they got to the supposed meat of the article, that lane splitting is the cause of a spike in motorcycle deaths, all they said was “The number of fatal accidents in California is slightly below the national average.”
Aside from the fact that lane sharing has been standard practice here for a long time, and therefore unrelated to any “spike”, doesn’t that mean lanesplitting ISN’T a cause here at all? If anything, maybe it helps?
Narggggghh. Damn media sensationalism. That’s when I decided to comment, especially after noticing there were only 6 other comments, all actually pretty reasonable, too.
This also helps prove my theory that any headline in the form of a question is complete bullshit and can be answered with “Um, no.” Because if the answer was yes, it wouldn’t be a question.
And, my comment at the site:
“As others have said, the safest place a bike can travel is between the lanes of cars. On my bike in regular traffic (not lane sharing), I have nearly been merged into COUNTLESS times. I have NEVER been merged into while lane sharing because cars are MUCH more likely to see a car beside them than a bike. Of course the danger is when the bike comes across a gap in traffic that a car tries to take advantage of as the bike approaches. But the smart biker learns these tricks.
There are safe ways to lane share and there are dangerous ways, as with anything.
And you'll notice the arguments against it are variations on "they shouldn't do that". Um, why? Because you're jealous you have to sit in traffic and we don't? Get over it. But really, I've seen more drivers move OUT of my way than anything. Which, to those of you who do so, I greatly appreciate it!”
I’ve been toying with the idea that lane sharing makes bikes more visible to cars in a general sense - drivers are more aware that motorcycles exist when they’re filtering right past them. I have no proof of this, but I will say I’m EXTRA cautious around cars during tourist season, especially cars with out-of-state plates.
And to those who say “but they scare the shit out of me when they go past!” - that’s because you’re not expecting it. Learn to expect it. Watch your mirrors (which you should be doing anyway), move out of the way when you can, and you won’t be so surprised next time.