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What is lane splitting, and why are some pushing for it?

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2022 | Motorcycle Accidents

Many Ohio residents enjoy riding motorcycles for the sense of freedom they achieve. Lane splitting is a habit that many riders engage in, but it’s said to be dangerous. However, there’s now a push to allow riders to do it whenever necessary.

What is lane splitting?

Lane splitting is a practice that occurs when a motorcycle moves between vehicles. It puts the motorcycle between two lanes, usually where the lines in the road are located. Lane splitting is common among people who ride, but it’s illegal in most states.

Motorcycle riders use lane splitting when traffic is heavy so that they can move through it. Many view the practice to be dangerous, but a study has determined that it might be safer than originally thought as long as riders take precautions and travel at slower speeds during heavy traffic.

Why are motorcycle riders pushing for legalizing lane splitting?

Motorcycle riders point out that when they are required to stay in a lane between two larger vehicles, they are at a higher risk of being rear-ended. If the vehicle ahead of them suddenly stops, the one behind them can easily hit them. Riders claim that if they are permitted to split lanes, it is safer because as they can avoid potentially being struck from behind.

Riders pushing for lane splitting state that it could improve road traffic. They say that it can free space for other drivers if motorcycles are given their own dedicated lane. However, opponents of lane splitting say it puts riders and people in other vehicles in danger of a side-swiping accident.

Motorcycle riders still argue that being side-swiped is far less dangerous than being rear-ended, which is what they fear the most. These accidents are often deadly, but those who survive may suffer permanent, catastrophic injuries.