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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to link two articles since they tie in pretty close to each other.

California Law Article:
http://lanesplitter.jalopnik.com/california-could-finally-put-a-lane-splitting-law-on-th-1708302763

UC-Berkley Study Article:
http://lanesplitter.jalopnik.com/uc-berkeley-study-finds-lane-splitting-reduces-motorcyc-1708755125


I like this, I think both the Study and the Proposed California Law that seems to reflect some of the studies findings could pave the way for more States to adopt similar legislation.
 

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a new study shows that trapeze artists who juggle chainsaws can be safe. "if you're smart," and "not a tool".

i will never tell anyone to not lane-split if they do so safely and lawfully, but this study is bogus. first of all, 1,000 out of 6,000 motorcycle collisions occurred while lane-splitting. how does this single stat not wreck their whole safety angle? what am i missing there?

then the study attempts to describe lane-splitting bikers as generally safer than those who do not lane-split. complete BS for the following reasons, but not limited to:

1)they state lane-splitters are traveling at slower speeds=safer. that's because there's way less need to lane-split when traffic is moving at higher speeds
2)they state lane-splitters typically do not involve alcohol. that's because it mostly occurs during rush hour when alcohol is less likely to be involved in any vehicular accident. the highest percentage of wrecks studied occurred between 3PM-6PM during the weekday. not a lot of people getting sloshed during their lunch breaks.
3)they state lane-splitters wear more/better safety gear. they only classified helmets and no other safety gear. could very well be because daily commuters are more likely to be sportbike riders who generally are more likely to wear a full face helmet than cruisers; there are not a lot of non-full face helmets marketed toward sportbike riders.
4)they state lane-splitters are less likely to carry a passenger. since when did carrying a passenger make riding less safe? and people who are lane-splitting during rush hour are likely getting off work and thereby not likely carrying a passenger.
5)they don't classify % of sportbikes/cruisers involved in the collisions, only the makes of the bikes in the study. you can easily argue that a particular model/type of bike is safer for lane-splitting than others
6)study only contains data from LA traffic where lane-splitting has been legal forever, and is currently voted the #1 city with the worst rush hour traffic in America by Forbes for the zillionth time

my point is, they are skewing their findings to make the lane-splitter sound more safety conscience than those who don't when they are more than likely just a product of the circumstances of the time in which they ride. this study is superficial.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
first of all, 1,000 out of 6,000 motorcycle collisions occurred while lane-splitting. how does this single stat not wreck their whole safety angle? what am i missing there?
What you are missing is 5 times out of 6 a motorcycle accident happens to someone who is not lane splitting.


Have you ever lane shared before?

I have been doing so for the past 4 years, mostly on my FZ-1, but also on my V-Star 1300 Touring. I have had one close call while splitting, and that was because I was going too fast, back when I first started doing it. Now that I slow down I have found it to be quite safe, much safer than getting crushed to death in the lane because someone is looking at their phone instead of traffic and they plow into the car in front of them.

I actually took some video from my morning commute today and it is processing on Youtube right now, i will put up a link when it is complete.

Your comparison to juggling Chainsaws is bit dramatic.
 

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Comparing the 1000 lane splitting accidents to the other 5,000 collisions is flawed. Speeds are likely higher in the 5,000 for a large number of those collisions, subsequently the injuries are likely more serious. The researchers should compare lane splitting collisions that occur at a specific speed to other accidents that occur at the same speed (if they haven't). Also there should be some specificity as to what types of collisions are compared. Comparing slow speed lane splitting to head-on collisions on rural roads would be flawed.

I'm no fan of lane splitting but if individuals want to do it, then I'm not one to oppose it if it is legal. And if California passes a law to make it legal, then that's fine by me. I just hope the research is well founded if the goal is to permit lane splitting in other states based on that research. However, most legislators are conffused by the facts anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The video finished uploading:

https://youtu.be/n3iXp0JdiNI

WARNING! This is very boring footage, and that is on purpose, it is to show just how safe lane sharing can be done.

Note, on this Commute I passed two accidents one at the 10 min mark and again 30 seconds later at 10:30. Both accidents were rear-enders, another reason why lane sharing is safer than riding in the lane with the cars. rear-end accidents happen almost daily and are the most common form of accident. Being crushed between two 3500lb + vehicles on a motorcycle is extremely dangerous.

One last note: This is filmed on a GoPro with wide Angle lens, hence the vehicles look like they speed up as they get to the edge of frame and it is difficult to see every far down the road. With ones own eyes the vision is much better.
 

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in other states, non-lane splitting collisions outnumber lane splitting collisions 99 to 1. so you could say that since less than 1% of motorcycle accidents occurred during lane splitting then it must be inherently safe. so you can't use that argument in states where lane splitting just isn't done. but when 16% of accidents in a study involved lane splitting, it sounds like a lot to me. but is 16% more, or less, than the percentage of time motorcyclists spend lane splitting there? that might be more telling.

lane splitting may be safer in some places than in others, and is probably definitely needed in places like LA and Bangkok:




but this particular study doesn't prove anything to me one way or another, other than it was biased from the beginning.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
From my own non-scientific Study:

In the last 4 years I have split lanes on the Freeway and some surface streets for about 50% of my total commute of 36 Miles (each way) each day.

Percentage of accidents I have been involved in while splitting 0%
Percentage of accidents I have been involved in while not splitting 100%

I know the freeways are not all setup the same in each state, but in California the lanes must be 12 feet wide. Plenty of room for bikes.

The study is not perfect, but it is the very first one ever done, we def need more done on the subject to look at it from more angles.
 

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there was recently a bill up for consideration here in TX to allow lane splitting, but it was restricted only to areas where the posted speed limit was something low like 35mph. i think most bikers would argue that it's needed most here on the interstates and highways that run through the middle of Dallas/Austin/Houston. both Houston and Austin were on the same current Forbes top 10 list of cities with the worst traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It is a life saver in heavy traffic, reduces my nerves so much compared to sitting in traffic in the car. As you can see from the video I posted, I am able to move through commuter traffic everyday for a considerable way down the road. I only save about 15 min in the morning and maybe 20 in the evenings heading home, but it feels like so much more. I find my stress levels are much less when I can ride the bike.
 

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people change lanes all the time. i wonder how to avoid a collision if someone happens to do so as you're coming up on them, and how that's not a frequent occurrence anyway
It's called paying attention. Ride offensively not defensively. You have to be able to read traffic and always be scanning the cars on either side of your path, just like you should be doing under normal riding circumstances. All of us that ride in California are used to the conditions and know the risks involved. Stay ready to actuate the clutch and or the brakes if a situation develops in your path. It's easy to look at things and make statements based on an article, but until you have ridden the roads here and seen the traffic conditions you can't really say how something is.

I get that you seem to have an issue with lane splitting. Everyone has to decide what they are and are not comfortable with on the road. I don't lane split to save time, I do it to avoid coming to a complete stop on the highway and to avoid being rear ended. As with anything when done cautiously, the risks can be greatly minimized.
 

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It really doesn't matter how defensively you try to ride you cannot always avoid someone doing something stupid. And when you are squeezing between two vehicles you have no room to avoid the accident.
I don't commute in heavy traffic but I have been there several times on the interstate. If I'm stopped with no one behind me I watch my mirrors constantly until I have several cars as a cushion back there. And I never stop in the center lane. That way I always have the shoulder as an escape route.
I realize it's a personal decision and we are free to choose. That's one of the great things about where we live. Klurejr, you said splitting makes your trip easier and less stressful. For me, watching you in that video gave me much more stress than actually sitting in traffic has even done. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It really doesn't matter how defensively you try to ride you cannot always avoid someone doing something stupid. And when you are squeezing between two vehicles you have no room to avoid the accident.
I don't commute in heavy traffic but I have been there several times on the interstate. If I'm stopped with no one behind me I watch my mirrors constantly until I have several cars as a cushion back there. And I never stop in the center lane. That way I always have the shoulder as an escape route.
I realize it's a personal decision and we are free to choose. That's one of the great things about where we live. Klurejr, you said splitting makes your trip easier and less stressful. For me, watching you in that video gave me much more stress than actually sitting in traffic has even done. :)
Sitting behind a car and worrying about someone rear ending me gives me way more cause for worry than a sudden lane change.

A man was killed about 6 years ago here in San Diego because he did not lane split, but rather pulled up in line behind the stopped traffic and a woman smashed him to death from behind because she was not paying attention.....

people change lanes all the time. i wonder how to avoid a collision if someone happens to do so as you're coming up on them, and how that's not a frequent occurrence anyway
Lane changes happen less than you would think. If you have the time to watch the video I posted there were only a handful of lane changes seen, and none of them were close to me.

HOWEVER, I have had people change lanes close to me on occasion and this is what happens:

https://youtu.be/w0iieRjQX4M?list=PLTtaH-nTxQ3tY9zu5cduozrUxx7EGGeBu


They key is proper differential speed and always paying attention.

I grew up in the 80's/90's and played a lot of racing style video games where you have to pay close attention to avoid objects, etc... I think that helped my brain develop to be more alert when Lane Splitting, not that I feel it is a game of any sort, just that you cannot ever stop paying attention when on a motorcycle, doubly so when Lane Splitting.

Because of the large amount of people I see reading phones while driving, and the equally large number of rear-end collisions VS side swipe collisions, i personally feel it is safer to be between the cars side to side than between the cars front to back.
 

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Why is it that when this topic comes up the threads always seem to go the same way? The people that lane split think its great and those that don't are wrong. Every time someone has posted with an opinion different from yours you have proceeded to explain how your thinking and actions make it ok and better to do. It's an opinion thing and a personal choice. Just because someone feels differently than you about it doesn't make you or the other person any better.

A man was killed about 6 years ago here in San Diego because he did not lane split, but rather pulled up in line behind the stopped traffic and a woman smashed him to death from behind because she was not paying attention.....
What point does this prove? I'm sure somewhere today someone was killed because they were cut off by someone changing lanes.

And I seriously doubt the countless hours you spent playing video games made you a better, safer rider.

If you feel lanesplitting is the best for you then go for it and I hope you have many years of doing it safely. Just please stop disagreeing when people express a different opinion on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Why is it that when this topic comes up the threads always seem to go the same way? The people that lane split think its great and those that don't are wrong. Every time someone has posted with an opinion different from yours you have proceeded to explain how your thinking and actions make it ok and better to do. It's an opinion thing and a personal choice. Just because someone feels differently than you about it doesn't make you or the other person any better.
I am not sure if you are directing this at me or someone else. But I will reply to it. I have no problem if you do not want to lane split, that is totally your choice. You are not wrong to have that Choice. The only thing I would ask of someone from outside California(your avatar says you are from Virginia, but I do not know if that means you have never ridden a motorcycle on California freeways before) who has never done it is to come here and try it before you decide it is not for you and that it is inherently more dangerous than not lane splitting. You might be surprised. That said there are plenty of Riders in California who do not lane split, that is their choice. I have nothing against that. I certainly do not view myself as superior to them nor would I view them as lesser in some way because they exercise that choice.


What point does this prove? I'm sure somewhere today someone was killed because they were cut off by someone changing lanes.
Do you have some stats to back that up? Do you personally witness a lot of very fast aggressive lane changers on the freeways where you commute? I just don't see it here. I ride 5 days a week to and from work and spend 30+ miles each way on the freeway and for the most part Drivers do not want to hit other cars, so they look before changing lanes, they do not always signal, but they mostly look, and I have yet to see someone change lanes so fast and violently that they would crush a motorcyclist to death between two cars the way it can very easily happen when a rear end collision occurs. Please note this video:
https://youtu.be/7ytQe--NiXA

That happens nearly every day on the freeway, everyday. Side Swipe accidents just do not happen as often. If I was between that VW and Mercedes I would be dead or severely injured. Rear end collisions are very violent.

What drivers DO do, is change lanes into an "open" space the next lane over, so when there are gaps I take extra care to watch the traffic behaviors and prepare to slow or stop if needed.

Perhaps it is different in California as well because splitting has been allowed for so long drivers are used to sharing the road so they make space and look before swerving violently into the next lane over. Perhaps it is way different in Virginia? I cannot say, I have never been there.

Also, the CHP on motorcycles lane share, they ride all day long for work and I cannot recall the last time one died because of it.

And I seriously doubt the countless hours you spent playing video games made you a better, safer rider.
I never said safer, just better reaction time, more focused on what is going on around me, and we can agree to disagree on that.

Speaking of which, have you ever played a racing simulator of any sort? Just curious.

If you feel lanesplitting is the best for you then go for it and I hope you have many years of doing it safely. Just please stop disagreeing when people express a different opinion on it.
Expressing a different opinion IS disagreeing. There is no rule on this forum that says we all must have the same opinion on matters and not discuss our different point of view. We are simply having a conversation about it. I do my part by providing personal experiences and videos of my experiences. I am only trying to have a discussion with other users and perhaps convince someone who is on the fence about it that it is worth trying in a safe manner. I also hope that one day Lane Splitting is allowed in all 50 states.
 

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I don't feel that having a different opinion on a subject is disagreeing. However, continuously attempting to justify your reasoning and actions against every statement contrary to yours, I feel is disagreeing.
Maybe that's not your intent but reading over this thread, to me, you are coming across that you know best and because you have success with it then it's the best way to ride and everyone else should try it.

If I am wrong then just forget I ever posted in this thread. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I do believe that if you ever come visit California you should try it. Obviously I would not suggest trying it in Virginia where it is against the law and drivers most likely would not respect your decision to break the law.

Have you ridden a motorcycle in California Before?
 

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HOWEVER, I have had people change lanes close to me on occasion and this is what happens:

https://youtu.be/w0iieRjQX4M?list=PLTtaH-nTxQ3tY9zu5cduozrUxx7EGGeBu


They key is proper differential speed and always paying attention.
thanks for the video. i did notice a few things that i don't think exemplify the lane changing situation i'm thinking of:
1)the cars were spaced pretty far apart in front of each other, so it didn't look like real heavy traffic, at least what i'm used to every day. this is a critical point because when cars are stacked a lot closer, you cannot see a car changing lanes until you are a lot closer to them, and therefore have less reaction time

2)the beetle seemed to take a long time to actually change lanes. on average, at least here in TX, people change lanes quicker than that

3)you were technically in the beetle's initial lane, so i wouldn't say she cut you off, or changed lanes in front of you. but maybe that's just pulling hairs




What drivers DO do, is change lanes into an "open" space the next lane over, so when there are gaps I take extra care to watch the traffic behaviors and prepare to slow or stop if needed.
this is a good point and one i hadn't thought of. so you do have to adapt to what you're looking for on the road when lane splitting, right? ordinarily, i'm not really looking for gaps in lanes for the purpose of another car swiping in front of me. so it would seem this skill is helpful in lane splitting, because if you see a gap in a lane, you may want to slow down or be extra mindful of the car opposite that gap. if there are other tips like this that you follow, what are they?
 

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I don't feel that having a different opinion on a subject is disagreeing. However, continuously attempting to justify your reasoning and actions against every statement contrary to yours, I feel is disagreeing.
Maybe that's not your intent but reading over this thread, to me, you are coming across that you know best and because you have success with it then it's the best way to ride and everyone else should try it.

If I am wrong then just forget I ever posted in this thread. :cool:
Like religion, politics, NASCAR, the best oil and now lane splitting, it is hard to coverse about some topics when strong beliefs are in different corners.
 

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(Slayer you left out using car tires on motorcycles.) I think that it's best left up to the person riding, because situations that they are riding in, sometimes dictates that we do some unconventional things. What may seem appropriate for some, may not be for others. Just stay safe out there guys. Just my $.02.
 
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