One of the most controversial topics when it comes to motorcyclists is lane-splitting. The practice may be on its way to legalization in many states. While there are some areas that merely do not have a law allowing or preventing this move, there are others that strictly prohibit it. The LA Times details why this attitude is changing and how it could happen in more states.
In 2016, the California state government declared lane-splitting a legal practice for motorcyclists. In fact, the Highway Patrol members encourage the move and student drivers are taught how to safely execute it. Lawmakers were encouraged to make the switch after examining the benefits all drivers experience in lightened congestion, the lessened effect on the environment and the increased safety for motorcycle riders.
Many other parts of the world, including Asia, Australia and Europe, currently allow lane-splitting and have found that drivers and passengers on motorcycles are actually safer when traveling between cars than when remaining in lanes. The main reasons for this are that rear-end collisions can cause much more deadly injuries for motorcycle riders than side-swipes. With the increase in distracted drivers, there is also a much higher chance that a motorcyclist will be hit from behind by an inattentive driver than there may have been previously.
While certain rules need to be followed, like low speed differentials, studies have found lane-splitting to be of benefit to motorcyclists in California. Change.org reports that residents in Illinois are now attempting to gather support for this change across the state. This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.