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Clear and Present Danger Seven Percent of Drivers Admit to Attempting to Impede Motorcyclists on the Road

A survey of California motorists about the practice of “lane splitting” found that a rather startling percentage of drivers admit to having tried to impede motorcyclists. According to a survey by the California Office of Traffic Safety, nearly one in ten automobile drivers attempt to block the path of riders when motorcyclist travel between the lanes in traffic .

It appears that some car drivers have a rather dangerous way of objecting to lane-splitting, which they consider in somewhat ironic fashion to be dangerous itself, and feel it’s “unfair” for motorcyclists to pass through backed-up automobile traffic on California roadways.

The survey of car and truck drivers and motorcyclists found that:

  • 53 percent of  drivers know that lane splitting in California is legal.
  • 87 percent of California motorcyclist say they split lanes to avoid traffic backups.
  • Seven percent of vehicle drivers says they have made an active effort to prevent motorcyclists from lane splitting.

The California OTS went on to reveal than the practice of lane splitting should  be done “in a prudent manner,”  and that riders need to be aware of traffic speeds, speed differences, spacing and lane changing patterns of surrounding motorists and add that riding too fast is one a common reasons for unsafe lane splitting.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and it’s a critical safety push from the government as, after more than 10 years of increases, motorcycle fatalities began to drop in California beginning back in 2009.

While the statistics can seem a tad dry, they do point up one sobering issue: there are drivers on the road willing to risk a collision with a motorcyclists to have their sense of “fair play” satisfied. It’s a truly horrible state of mind, but if you ride, it’s one you need to acknowledge as a fact of life.

The bottom line is simple; if you ride, you need to be constantly vigilant and aware that the other motorists on the road can have an agenda which could endanger both your health, and your life.