Is lane splitting worth the risk?

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Is lane splitting worth the risk?

Postby r90beemer » Sun May 13, 2012 9:17 pm

After last Saturday's great poker run and lunch I stopped at a store to pick up something wearing full gear and carrying my helmet. The clerk couldn't help but relate the following: Her brother-in-law, an experienced motorcyclist, approaching a red light with 6 to 8 cars stopped elected to split lanes to the front of the line. Unfortunately a passenger took that moment to swing open the car door to spit causing the rider to crash. Fortunately, she said, he was fully geared so he only broke his arm and knee. A broken arm may heal quite well, but a knee? Maybe, not so fortunate. The small amount of time he may have saved may lead to a lifetime of pain and disability. I didn't ask and she didn't say if the passenger was injured. If so would the rider have been liable? Or was the passenger liable? I don't know, the insurers may still be arguing about that. Something to think about.
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Re: Is lane splitting worth the risk?

Postby Firefight911 » Sun May 13, 2012 11:12 pm

The motorcyclist would not have been at fault. It is the responsibility and duty of the operator/passenger of a car to ensure it is safe to do so prior to opening a car door.

I split lanes, all the time. There are guidelines to follow,

Never faster than 5 to 10 over the flow of traffic,

Never faster than 45 mph (my speed)

Only between two lanes. Never on the left or right of a single or multiple lane (left shoulder/right shoulder)

I respect your decision to not do it but it's just as possible to get hit walking across the road or die sitting in your recliner from a heart attack. Life is not about absence of risk. It is about mitigating risk based on knowledgeable application of principles that allow one to identify a risk and then apply strategies to minimize risk.

There are a million what if scenarios to compare this one to. This is good to have this scenario brought out so that we can all be reminded that this is a risk and to take the prudent steps to minimize the risk.
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Re: Is lane splitting worth the risk?

Postby Greg Smith » Mon May 14, 2012 6:17 am

Life is not about absence of risk. It is about mitigating risk based on knowledgeable application of principles that allow one to identify a risk and then apply strategies to minimize risk.

I also know about mitigating risk. When I was a young buck, I had a girlfriend that didn’t work out. I then developed a five point formula that the next flower I picked from the Garden of Love had to fit to a T before I would take her down the road of heavenly bliss. It worked, as I married Pumpkin thirty-nine years ago and it has been the happiest six years of my life. :D
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Re: Is lane splitting worth the risk?

Postby rico » Mon May 14, 2012 7:03 am

Good one Greg......
I'm calling Pumpkin to verify.
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Re: Is lane splitting worth the risk?

Postby woodp » Mon May 14, 2012 7:57 am

I'm with Phil (Firefight911) that the decision to lane-split is a personal risk assessment, and as a personal decision, my guidelines are different. I have no problem splitting lanes in stopped IH80 and IH680 afternoon traffic (low probability of sudden lane changes when cars are stopped), but immediately fall into line when the traffic starts moving.

We all need to remember that being right (or having the right-of-way) doesn't make us immune to injury. There are other unsafe activities happening around us that we have no control over. Just as a car going through a green light intersection *can* get t-boned, the lane-splitter in this case, while he was right, still got hurt.
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Re: Is lane splitting worth the risk?

Postby amarider » Mon May 14, 2012 11:23 am

You assume a risk when you ride, you can assume a risk when you sit behind a car that you may be hit from behind when stopped.....
Splitting lanes to the front is not always about saving time, it could be a safer place to be. :mrgreen:
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Re: Is lane splitting worth the risk?

Postby LTfan » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:55 pm

I split lanes everyday. Just do it safely, and assume the worst possible move of cars and be ready to compensate if you sense danger.

i am amazed how many cars go out of their lane onto the shoulder to give us way :) They are just sweet, but I wish didnt go as far.
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