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I won't try to summarize the entire article, but one key theme was that statistics show that in California, where Lane Sharing/Splitting is permitted, as opposed to other states with otherwise similar motorcycling profiles, there are substantially fewer fatal rear-end motorcycle crashes (both with the motorcycle as the striking and as the struck vehicle).

The conclusion, as many on this board have previously argued, is that the practice is "Not A Hazard, But A Global Solution For Motorcycle Safety." (The subtitle of the article)

With a bike as wide as our Goldwings, I have generally not taken advantage of California's allowing this practice. I have tried, instead, to always leave my self enough room, at a stop, or while moving along in stop and go traffic, to make an escape if necessary, and, of course, to check my rear view mirrors frequently. This article is certainly food for thought. I always felt the argument of it reducing the risk of being rear-ended made sense, but this is the first time I've seen any meaningful data, as opposed to anecdotal evidence, to support the efficacy of lane splitting. I'm definitely reconsidering adding this to my safety practices.
 

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It makes sense that if you dont ride in behind any cars you wont be there to hit or get hit. Did it say anything about whether or not there was an increase in side swipe accident? I would think that there would be more side swipe accidents since you are constantly riding in and out of blind spots. It would be interestng to see a comparison of sideswipe accidents between California and states that dont allow lane splitting.
 

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They mentioned sideswipes, but made a good point that the force vectors would be going in the same general direction, and you'd stand some chance of evading the collision.

In Texas however, I shudder to think about lane splitting. Vehicles tend to dodge around from lane to lane without any kind of signal or forewarning. Plus, the few folks who seem to do this are squids on sport bikes - often blowing by between vehicles or on the shoulder at very high rates of speed while the main-lanes are stationary or nearly so. I have the feeling that any motorcycle not in the regular lane will be viewed with an exceptional amount of disdain by the 4-wheelers because of their precedent. The last thing I need is a bunch of multi-ton vehicles hating me when I'm inches from their front fender. Seems like asking for trouble.

On the other hand, I generally do ride to the extreme left side of my lane. Almost in a lane splitting position. I just don't pass other vehicles. That's kinda a good compromise. Don't incur the wrath of the cages but still out of the direct path of a squash type accident.
 

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In California we are able to use the HOV (Diamond) lanes on our bikes. I find that when traffic gets tight I just move over to the HOV lane which is usually moving faster. With such a large bike as the GW I am just not comfortable lane splitting to pass slower cars. Many many years ago I was lane splitting on a CB 750 with highway pegs. A Corvette moved over at the last second as I was just pulling up next to him hitting my highway peg pushing me into the car in the lane to my left. Tapping that car was the only reason I did not go down but I did feel like a pin ball in a pinball machine. Left a pretty deep gash in the Vet's fiberglass. Since then I have a pretty basic distrust of other driver's concern for my safety.
 

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If you don't like to split lanes while the traffic is moving the CHP recommends that you split lanes and moves to the front at a stop light, this reduces the chance of you getting hit from behind at a stop.
 

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If you don't like to split lanes while the traffic is moving the CHP recommends that you split lanes and moves to the front at a stop light, this reduces the chance of you getting hit from behind at a stop.
This is what I was thinking as well. It would be really great if we could scoot up to the front at red lights. Not trying to get out in front but just thinking it would be safer.
 

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In California we are able to use the HOV (Diamond) lanes on our bikes. I find that when traffic gets tight I just move over to the HOV lane which is usually moving faster. With such a large bike as the GW I am just not comfortable lane splitting to pass slower cars. Many many years ago I was lane splitting on a CB 750 with highway pegs. A Corvette moved over at the last second as I was just pulling up next to him hitting my highway peg pushing me into the car in the lane to my left. Tapping that car was the only reason I did not go down but I did feel like a pin ball in a pinball machine. Left a pretty deep gash in the Vet's fiberglass. Since then I have a pretty basic distrust of other driver's concern for my safety.
Ya a basic distrust of other drivers, cool it will keep you alive.
Rocky taught me how to lane split when I visited California. I have mixed feelings about it, sometimes it is ok, sometimes not. The real advantage I see is at stops, just go to the front and avoid those coming up from behind. A motorcycle accelerates so quick you are gone before they can move. So that part is good.
But there is a real danger to running beside other cars and vehicles, both from their inattention and maybe just a deliberate nudge. So when lane splitting ones radar is highly active, it is a in touch with the game type of thing.

In other states it would take years to teach people to accept it. Especially in a Red Neck state like South Carolina, they will deliberately take you out. It would be highly dangerous to even try it around here.

I do set up now, all the time to take an escape route, I will lane split if need be and grin at the middle finger signal. But it would take a lot of education for it to be safe around here.

Kit
 

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In California we are able to use the HOV (Diamond) lanes on our bikes. I find that when traffic gets tight I just move over to the HOV lane which is usually moving faster. With such a large bike as the GW I am just not comfortable lane splitting to pass slower cars. Many many years ago I was lane splitting on a CB 750 with highway pegs. A Corvette moved over at the last second as I was just pulling up next to him hitting my highway peg pushing me into the car in the lane to my left. Tapping that car was the only reason I did not go down but I did feel like a pin ball in a pinball machine. Left a pretty deep gash in the Vet's fiberglass. Since then I have a pretty basic distrust of other driver's concern for my safety.
I also don't feel uncomfortable splitting lanes. Here in Houston the HOV lanes have one of the worst design I have ever seen. It is only one lane that changes direction depending on the time of the commute, and it is walled (closed off) except for very few areas to enter. I am fortunate not to have to be in that mess every day.
 

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If you don't like to split lanes while the traffic is moving the CHP recommends that you split lanes and moves to the front at a stop light, this reduces the chance of you getting hit from behind at a stop.
Agreed. A CHP motorcycle cop spoke to riders in my unit last year and discussed lane splitting in detail. He said EXACTLY what you said about reducing the chance of being rear ended. I lane split all the time when traffic is stalled. Yeah, I've bought a few mirrors for my bike and other drivers over the years but it's an even trade by reducing the odds of being killed or maimed by a distracted, drunk, or inexperienced driver.
 

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We did a lot of lane splitting in Spain, France, Morroco, Italy, Greece and Portugal at all sorts of speeds, usually with a local GoldWing leading. They call it "filtering". I noticed that many of the 4-wheeled vehicles would actually move over and give you room even before you had reached their vehicle to pass (maybe they were worried about the size of the bike coming up in their mirror). Also it is the norm for 2-wheelers to go to the front of the line at red lights. The 4-wheelers accept it as a way of life. Northern European countries do not do this as much as southern ones do.

When I have mentioned this to US 4-wheeled drivers now that we are back home, the general opinion is that motorcycles should wait their turn like they have to do, that the motorcycles/scooters would be taking unfair advantage by moving between cars. It is generally resented, not tolerated as we found in Europe.

These are not absolutes but general trends that we noticed.
 
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