A new study has been published that claims lane splitting is safer for motorcyclists and makes the commute faster for everyone. Lane splitting is when motorcyclists ride between two lanes on the highway in traffic. Riders always knew that splitting lanes was faster for them, but the study found it makes the commute faster for everyone. Lane splitting makes it safer for riders because being rear-ended is the most likely accident to happen in traffic and if the riders get rear-ended, serious harm or even death can occur.
The study was conducted at Berkeley and performed with California Highway Patrol assistance. The study looked at 7836 motorcycle crashes with 1163 of these crashes having occurred while riders were lane splitting.
The study found that the riders injured while lane splitting were far less likely to be injured in every category than those who weren’t lane splitting. Of the riders injured during lane splitting, there were 45% fewer head injuries, 21% fewer neck injuries, 32% fewer torso injuries, 12% fewer arm/leg injuries, and 55% fewer fatalities.
According to the study, the safest way to lane split is at speeds less than 30 mph and less than 10 mph above the speed of surrounding traffic. Injuries rates were significantly higher when both of those speeds were exceeded. The survey also says that the only time a motorcycle holds up a car sitting in traffic is when it sits in traffic itself. A Belgian study conducted in 2012 determined that if 10% of drivers switched to motorcycles and took up lane splitting all drivers would spend about 8 minutes less commuting per day.