One of the privileges of living in the Golden State-- apart from the fact that life in California is already pretty swell-- is the fact that lane sharing on a motorcycle isn't legally prohibited, unlike the other 49 states in the U.S.
I frequently split lanes when I'm riding Southern California roads, and though the practice hasn't been without its close calls and occasional consequences, my experience of cutting through traffic has mostly been efficient and relatively stress-free.
Because the California Highway Patrol has historically been vague about lane sharing and tons of misconceptions abound about the legality and prudence of squeezing between cars, the CHP has released these five guidelines for successful lane-splitting:
- Travel at a speed that is no more than 10 MPH faster than other traffic - danger increases at higher speed differentials.
- It is not advisable to lane split when traffic flow is at 30 mph or faster --- danger increases as overall speed increases.
- Typically, it is safer to split between the #1 and #2 lanes than between other lanes.
- Consider the total environment in which you are splitting, including the width of the lanes, size of surrounding vehicles, as well as roadway, weather, and lighting conditions.
- Be alert and anticipate possible movements by other road users.
What do you think-- does this make you want to move to California, or what?
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