Jun 3, 2015

More Evidence to be Ignored

UC Berkeley Study Shows Lane-Splitting Motorcyclists are Safer in Traffic

Among the U.C. Berkeley findings:
* Lane-splitting is safe if done in traffic moving at 50 mph or less, and if motorcyclists do not exceed the speed of other vehicles by more than 15 mph;
* 69 percent of lane-splitting motorcyclists were exceeding the traffic speed by 15 mph or less; speed differentials up to 15 mph were not associated with changes in the frequency of injury;
* Compared to riders who were not splitting lanes, lane-splitting motorcyclists were markedly less likely to suffer head injury (9 percent vs. 17 percent), torso injury (19 percent vs. 29 percent) or fatal injury (1.2 percent vs. 3 percent);
* Lane-splitting riders were significantly less likely to be rear-ended than non-lane-splitting riders (2.6 percent vs. 4.6 percent);
* Lane-splitting motorcyclists were more likely to be wearing a full-face helmet than other motorcyclists (81 percent vs. 67 percent);
* Compared to other motorcyclists, lane-splitting riders were more often riding on weekdays and during commuting hours, were using better helmets and were traveling at slower speeds;
* Lane-splitting riders were less likely to have been using alcohol.

The first one is probably the most important one of the list. The full-face helmet bit is probably important, too.

3 comments:

Andy Mckenzie said...

"* Lane-splitting riders were significantly less likely to be rear-ended than non-lane-splitting riders (2.6 percent vs. 4.6 percent);
* Lane-splitting motorcyclists were more likely to be wearing a full-face helmet than other motorcyclists (81 percent vs. 67 percent);
* Compared to other motorcyclists, lane-splitting riders were more often riding on weekdays and during commuting hours, were using better helmets and were traveling at slower speeds;
* Lane-splitting riders were less likely to have been using alcohol."

So what they're saying is that responsible riders get hurt less often, and wedging yourself between two cars protects you from being rear-ended.

I get the point, and it does make sense, but... a lot of that seems to basically be saying that responsible riders (low speeds, better helmets and likely armored gear, and not riding drunk) get injured less often. That really doesn't surprise me at all.

Thomas Day said...

It is kinda obvious, isn't it? Another thing that might be a flashing red light for most bikers is that loud pipes and lane splitting do NOT go together. Personally, I think illegal pipes ought to come with a $1,000 fine and confiscation of the bike, but splitting lanes with loud pipes is grounds for a "stand your ground" defense. As my father used to say, "put a couple of rounds in the head to get their attention."

Andy Mckenzie said...

Yup!

Personally, I'd like to see DOT accepted pipes come with a brightly colored enameled seal on them, with lack of that seal on a street bike being grounds for loss of license.