Berkeley studies lane-splitting


Lane-splitting: It’s common around the world, but illegal in Canada and the US – except for California, where UCLA Berkeley has just wrapped up a study on it, with interesting results.

According to the study, lane-splitting is a safe, community-conscious concept, as long as you practice it legally (California has laws that restrict where riders can lane-split, and at what speeds). Their study says the public is gaining awareness of the practice, more riders are taking advantage of it, and that fewer drivers are trying to block riders from filtering.

They also discovered riders involved in accidents when lane-splitting legally are less likely to be injured than riders who aren’t lane-splitting. Interesting! Seems there’s credence to the idea that lane-splitting minimizes the danger of rear-end collisions?

Interested? You can read the study for yourself here. Maybe it’s time to lobby your local MLA for changes to your province’s traffic laws? You can show them this study, too, while you’re at it – lane-splitting is good for everyone.


  1. Being an avid motorcyclist I feel I can comment on this objectively, with experience. I recently spent nearly a year on a project in Long Beach California. Now I was there with my “cage” but I found the concept of legal lane splitting a bit of a death wish that I would want no part of. I personally witnessed about a dozen “minor” lane splitting collisions in that time period, fender rubs and mirror smacks mostly. These were all at intersections and I would say evenly split between driver and rider at fault. The riders who partake of this practice at 80mph on the bumper to bumper freeway remind me of a “Mad Max” or “Death Race 2000” movie. Legal or not, I would not choose to lane split based on what I experienced there.

    Mr. Mike.

  2. The only thing that the Berkley study tells me is that if I’m lane splitting in California and I’m going to get into a collision anyway then I might as well get where I’m going faster, because I’m not likely to be injured any worse if I was lane splitting ‘properly.’ The information I read only really dealt with comparative injuries between riding with traffic, lane splitting ‘properly’, and lane splitting ‘improperly.’

  3. WOW,the number one reason car drivers don’t like lane splitting is “its unfair for a motorcyclist to get ahead of me”
    Cagers are a selfist lot. Let them stew in gridlock.

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