Tag Archive: accidents


Lane Splitting

My time spent in California gave me an opportunity to witness lane splitting done by motorcycles. If you don’t know the traffic in California at any given time is horrendous to say the least. I know we have a lot of drivers, but I can’t understand how if all the cars are going the same speed (speed limit), then why are we sitting at a stop on the highway. The only explanation I can come up with is that those few incapable drivers that plague the east coast also exist on the west coast. The urge to tap or even slam on the brakes because either a turn in the road is approaching, or better yet because they see the brake lights of a car about a mile in front of them.

It is for that reason I believe that lane splitting is legal in California. The times that I witness the technique was while sitting in heavy congestion on the highway. This is where I find it make sense. Most motorcycles are air cooled and aren’t in favor of sitting behind some four wheeled vehicle sucking up the exhaust. It is at these times, and without hesitation, that a motorcyclist can “part the metal seas” by riding the lane dividers up until the traffic moves freely again. Personally, I would rather jump on the shoulder and ride that up past the point of the stoppage. Using this technique at this time is completely feasible and should be allowed in all states.

Now the other times that I’ve seen it in on an average road. There isn’t any congestion except while waiting for the traffic signal, and even in these cases, you will first hear then see a motorcycle moving up to the front of the line, just to sit and wait like the rest of us. I don’t understand this one, and I am hoping someone can explain it to me. If you will have to sit and wait, why don’t you sit and wait exactly where you entered the signal? What is the point of moving to the front of the line (we would all like to move to the front) and have to wait anyway? I don’t know, maybe I am uncomfortable with weaving my bike through the layers of car that will never be sitting in a nice clean straight line. My bike isn’t huge, but I don’t want to take it through some of the narrowing paths that separate two vehicles.

If you have a few minutes, watch this 14 minute video regarding lane splitting, and let me know what your take on it is.

http://www.chromaplay.com/?ytid=JNGD9AAIfFU

Even after watching this video and viewing the technique in practice, I still can’t say I completely agree with what the guys are saying, but there are many good points in it and it should really be studied. Maybe because lane splitting has always been illegal since I began to ride, I don’t know what I am missing. Maybe one day, Maryland will jump on the band wagon with California and legalize lane splitting. That will probably happen just after we all legalize pot.

Nature

Nature is a beautiful thing, and this is one reason many of us ride motorcycles.  Being able to feel the wind in our hair, the sun on our face, the bugs in our teeth, and the rain on our cheeks is pure bliss; and it is only through motorcycling that one can experience this bliss.  Of course, nature isn’t always blissful, and I am talking specifically about deer.  To a car or truck, a deer can be fatal, especially if it crashes through the window, striking the driver.  There is about a 1.3 to 2 percent chance that a collision with a deer will result in a fatality for the driver.  Usually, a collision with a deer will cause considerable damage to the vehicle, and leave the driver cursing at the now-dead animal on the side of the road.

When you remove two wheels and a protective bubble, however, deer can become extremely hazardous.  In fact, the statistic jumps to 75 percent of collisions resulting in fatalities. It is unfortunate that these animals, after dealing with a car, can’t go back and warn their friends of the dangers of crossing the road when the shiny objects come speeding towards them.  How do we combat an animal who doesn’t understand that running in front of a vehicle can be hazardous?  The only way I can think to avert a collision with a deer is through vigilance.   When riding, especially in the early morning or early evening, keep a sharp look out for deer attempting to cross the road.  I like to think that the noise coming from a Harley muffler may deter deer to run the other way, but this may be wishful thinking.  Spend the money to purchase HID for your bike to extend the range of the nighttime visibility.  Heck, add a deer whistle to your bike and maybe that will help.  Basically, it is up to you to look for deer to cross the road at any time, and since they can’t read, don’t think they will cross only at the deer crossing signs.

The rider in this video was extremely lucky.  BTW, there is some language in the video, but it is only expected.

As always, be safe and keep riding.