Calif. Lane Splitting Survey

What motorists think about sharing lanes with motorcyclists

By Rebecca Baron
|  Friday, May 4, 2012  |  Updated 10:21 AM PDT
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Calif. Lane Splitting Survey

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It can be the most frightening sight on Bay Area freeways.

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) released results of the first-ever survey of California motorists and motorcycle riders on the subject of “lane splitting.”
Lane splitting occurs when motorcycles travel between two lanes with other vehicles traveling the same direction. 

Lane splitting has been a subject for controversy and confusion for years. 

The OTS survey showed that only 53 percent of vehicle drivers knew that lane splitting is legal in California, which is the only state to allow it.

Eighty-seven percent of motorcycle riders say they lane split, while seven percent of vehicle drivers admit to having attempted to prevent it.

OTS released their findings in corroboration with the designation of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. 

According to National Highway Safety Administration research, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 39 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in traffic crashes.
In 2009, motorcycle deaths began to decline after 10 years of increasing.

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