You can call it whatever you want — lane sharing, lane splitting or white-lining — but when motorcyclists ride between lanes of cars, danger is always a possibility.

California is one of a handful of states with motorcycle laws that allow lane sharing on its roads, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that lane splitting is very popular in the Golden State.

The majority surveyed San Diego residents disagree on lane sharing

The vast majority of people surveyed do not agree with the practice of lane sharing, and our San Diego motorcycle accident attorneys are inclined to agree with them.

Lane sharing — like most tricky motorcycle maneuvers — should only be attempted at slow speeds.  According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), lane splitting is only considered safe in heavy traffic at speeds lower than 12 mph.  Unfortunately, a percentage motorcycle riders are predisposed to thrill-seeking, which often manifests itself with high rates of speed.

“You have a small percentage of thrill-seekers that are riding fast and have been popularized by YouTube and do stunts — all that requires skill,” a CHP officer said.  “None of that belongs on public streets and highways when you’re sharing the road with other drivers who, quite frankly, aren’t looking for (motorcyclists).”

When speeding and unsafe lane changes mix, white-lining leads to flat-lining after a motorcycle crash.  Check out these motorcycle accident statistics for California compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and CHP:

  • In 2007, 490 people died in motorcycle accidents.
  • California, Florida and Texas have the most fatal crashes.
  • Speeding was a factor in 36 percent of crashes.

The most daunting statistic is that as the California’s motorcycle deaths continue to rise as the rest of the country’s death totals are dropping.  Last year in San Diego, 55 motorcyclists died in crashes compared to 43 in 2004.

If you or someone you know what injured in a motorcycle crash, contact our bilingual offices at 1-858-551-2090 for a FREE Consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in San Diego.  You may also click here to submit your case for a FREE Online Review.

YOUR TAKE: Should lane sharing be outlawed in California?  Why or not?