The AMA Endorses Lane Splitting

One of the most controversial motorcycling practices today involves the practice of lane splitting. While it is not legal in every state, it is still a legal and widely used practice in California. Proponents of lane splitting point to the fact that it helps reduce deadly rear-end motorcycle accidents, especially during high traffic times of the day. Now, it seems that the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) agrees.

This month, the AMA released an official endorsement of lane splitting.

“Given the ongoing success of lane splitting in California and the recent enthusiasm for lane splitting and/or filtering in other states, the AMA endorses these practices and will assist groups and individuals working to bring legal lane splitting and/or filtering to their states.”

The reason for this endorsement seems to be in protecting motorcyclists and their passengers from deadly accidents in heavy traffic. Congested traffic with constant stop and go vehicles and distracted drivers increase the risk of injury and accidents. In fact, according to the Hurt Report, moderate or heavy traffic accounted for 59.2% of all motorcycle accidents. Lane splitting effectively reduces a motorcyclists’ time in congested traffic and allows them to avoid front and rear end collisions.

Not only will lane splitting offer motorcyclists an escape route for riders who would otherwise be trapped behind larger vehicles, it also helps reduce the traffic congestion for all motorists on the road. Lane splitting is successfully used in a variety of countries around the world.

The AMA isn’t the only organization to endorse lane splitting. In 2011, the Motorcycle Industry Council issued a statement touting the benefits of lane splitting. In 2013, the California Highway Patrol even published lane-splitting guidelines for motorcyclists to follow.

It is important to note that permitting lane splitting in states, such as California, does not mean that motorcyclists are required to split lanes. Anyone who opposes lane splitting must remember that it is an issue of choice.

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