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Discussion Starter #1
Today while on my way to work a Police officer on a BMW bike pulled in front of me while I was splitting and I followed him for about 20 miles.

I have been splitting for 5 years now every day and while I have had a few close calls, I have found that splitting on the freeway is very safe and all my close calls were from me going to fast. I probably still go a little too fast, but this video just shows exactly how safe lane splitting should be done.

This video is very boring because no danger or high speed is involved.

https://youtu.be/68icRI4JFdk
 

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Drivers out west are familiar with lane splitting since its legal for Police and civilian bikers. With the volume of traffic I see where it's helpful. Back here, drivers don't know what turn signals are used for, too busy smacking their misbehaving kids in their SUVs, and talking/texting to make it safe to lane split. Anytime I go home to SoCal, I cringe when I see a fellow biker lane splitting since I know what would happen locally.


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Discussion Starter #3
Drivers out west are familiar with lane splitting since its legal for Police and civilian bikers. With the volume of traffic I see where it's helpful. Back here, drivers don't know what turn signals are used for, too busy smacking their misbehaving kids in their SUVs, and talking/texting to make it safe to lane split. Anytime I go home to SoCal, I cringe when I see a fellow biker lane splitting since I know what would happen locally.


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Honestly no matter where you go in this country the majority of drivers are good drivers, there are really only a few bad drivers on the road. I honestly think if lane splitting was made legal in the other 49 drivers would adapt in time. It works in the rest of the world.
 

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I totally agree, however locally we have the second highest fatality rate in the state. Our county is 1472 square miles and has 5 incorporated cities and four major highways through it. Five years ago over Labor Day weekend there were 9 traffic fatalities. 7 of the 9 were in our county. If lane splitting was legal in all states and taught through drivers ed, etc, I think it would be helpful. However currently, it wouldn't be safe. On my way home from the office, it's nothing to hear 8-10 wrecks over the radio with most of them having injured parties.


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Discussion Starter #5
I totally agree, however locally we have the second highest fatality rate in the state. Our county is 1472 square miles and has 5 incorporated cities and four major highways through it. Five years ago over Labor Day weekend there were 9 traffic fatalities. 7 of the 9 were in our county. If lane splitting was legal in all states and taught through drivers ed, etc, I think it would be helpful. However currently, it wouldn't be safe. On my way home from the office, it's nothing to hear 8-10 wrecks over the radio with most of them having injured parties.


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Holy crap man, where do you live that drivers are so careless?

Also, do you happen to know on average how many of those accidents are rear-enders?
 

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The Memphis Tn metro area. I'd venture to say at least 50% are rear enders. Two years ago it was estimated that over 300k drivers locally were operating on a suspended/revoked drivers license and no insurance.
Our DUI task force in our county alone makes nearly 500 arrests annually. The majority of those DUI drivers have no insurance and are driving without a valid license.


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Today while on my way to work a Police officer on a BMW bike pulled in front of me while I was splitting and I followed him for about 20 miles.

I have been splitting for 5 years now every day and while I have had a few close calls, I have found that splitting on the freeway is very safe and all my close calls were from me going to fast. I probably still go a little too fast, but this video just shows exactly how safe lane splitting should be done.

This video is very boring because no danger or high speed is involved.

https://youtu.be/68icRI4JFdk
As a new rider I am asking this question out of curiosity not bashing in any sort of way, so pls do not take it as that. Once you were up to highway speed why keep lane splitting? Traffic was moving at that point. My layman understanding of why to split lanes was during stopped or very slow traffic so the bike can get in front of whatever the slowdown is because the bike in most cases will get out of the way of the rest of traffic.
 

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I think the real issue has been hit on multiple times: Familiarity.

If drivers are used to lane splitting AND if riders are taught/conditioned to do it properly, it's a benefit.

I lived in SoCal for many years. It makes perfect sense there: There is a WORLD of difference lane splitting in stopped traffic on the Ventura Freeway vs. zipping through lanes at 85 because you don't like the 55mph flow of traffic.

In other areas... I think it would still be good so long as everyone "gets" that it's a way to improve the flow of clogged up traffic, not a way for "DUDE!" on his GX'r or Ninja to go 95 even if the soccer moms of the world in their minivans are "only" going 60...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As a new rider I am asking this question out of curiosity not bashing in any sort of way, so pls do not take it as that. Once you were up to highway speed why keep lane splitting? Traffic was moving at that point. My layman understanding of why to split lanes was during stopped or very slow traffic so the bike can get in front of whatever the slowdown is because the bike in most cases will get out of the way of the rest of traffic.
In my personal experience I have found it is always better to be moving faster than the flow of traffic on a multi-lane freeway like we have in SoCal, otherwise it is too easy to disappear into drivers blind spots.

When I first started commuting I also wondered why other riders kept passing cars once traffic was moving, and then I started seeing more rear-end collisions and just thinking about a car crushing me into another car because I was sitting in the middle of the lane when traffic suddenly stopped scares the crap out of me. I ride close to the white lines when traffic is "heavier" even if it is moving along at a good clip because when it suddenly stops... I want to be between the cars side to side instead of front to back. Also, it is only "splitting" if you have a car directly on both sides of you, if you are changing lanes back and forth it is weaving(illegal in CA), unless you use your blinkers, then it is changing lanes(legal in ca).... (according to what a CHP Officer told a rider friend of mine during an interview on the subject).
 

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you would hate it here in Austin. but it's interesting. i'm 10 minutes from both the 85mph toll road and the 4th ranked worst traffic in the U.S.
Yep, Austin traffic sucks, 35 going through Waco isn't much better. The problem in Austin besides normal congestion is SLOW drivers camping out in the left lane. People can adapt to almost anything. I know adapting to driving on the Autobahn didn't take much time. Lawmakers assume that the public can't handle high speed limits or lane splitting.
 

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The Memphis Tn metro area. I'd venture to say at least 50% are rear enders. Two years ago it was estimated that over 300k drivers locally were operating on a suspended/revoked drivers license and no insurance.
Our DUI task force in our county alone makes nearly 500 arrests annually. The majority of those DUI drivers have no insurance and are driving without a valid license.


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I was in Nashville a few years ago. I was like dang, people just pull out between cars on cross streets. Also half of the cars I saw are wrecks driving down the road. Bumpers hanging off, fenders smashed you name it. I was talking to the shuttle driver. Said he loved to ride, but when he moved there he sold his bike. Too dangerous to ride there was his reasoning.
 

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Yep, Austin traffic sucks, 35 going through Waco isn't much better. The problem in Austin besides normal congestion is SLOW drivers camping out in the left lane.
actually Austin's problem is that the population has increased more than 40% since 2000 and our road system was totally not prepared for that. we've barely done anything to compensate for the extra vehicles on the roads.
 

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I am neither pro nor con on lane splitting. I have never done it because I have never had the need to do it. My personal observation is that, it defies my concept of having a "Safety Bubble", that space around me which gives me time to take evasive action if necessary.

One aspect that would concern me would be the smooth painted white lines evident in most of the videos that I have watched on this subject. With splitting you tend to favor them if the cars are spaced evenly. If Mother Nature or another source decided to lubricate them with moisture and a quick brake application was necessary for survival, that could tighten your pucker string. Just an observation.

Good thread, good comments, good read. Augie
 

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Discussion Starter #16
One aspect that would concern me would be the smooth painted white lines evident in most of the videos that I have watched on this subject. With splitting you tend to favor them if the cars are spaced evenly. If Mother Nature or another source decided to lubricate them with moisture and a quick brake application was necessary for survival, that could tighten your pucker string. Just an observation.
I have only split lanes in the rain once or twice. I tend to not ride my motorcycle if it is raining, on the few days a year we get rain in San Diego I take my car. Not only does the paint get slippery, the white lines on the freeways here have those white bumps on them... I imagine those would be pretty slippery as well when wet.
 

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I have only split lanes in the rain once or twice. I tend to not ride my motorcycle if it is raining, on the few days a year we get rain in San Diego I take my car. Not only does the paint get slippery, the white lines on the freeways here have those white bumps on them... I imagine those would be pretty slippery as well when wet.
3 foot wide expansion joints when wet are my fear, especially on curved ramps, you slip then catch if your going too fast that catch can throw you pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
are lanes in Cali the same size as in other states? anyone know? if lanes were wider here, i'd be more of a proponent for splitting them. i also don't like to have my safety bubble infringed upon.
"The Interstate Highway standards for the U.S. Interstate Highway System uses a 12-foot (3.7 m) standard for lane width, while narrower lanes are used on lower classification roads."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lane


The freeways I Commute on are all about 12 feet wide, there is one section of the 5 where it gets narrower for a few hundred yards, so I tend to be extra careful or just stop splitting in that section depending on traffic conditions.

The 101 in Los Angeles where it branches off the 5 going north into downtown LA is very narrow and difficult to split. I only rode up there once for work.
 
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