Lane sharing, also known as lane splitting or filtering, is the practice of riding a motorcycle between lanes of slow or stopped traffic. While line sharing is legal in some jurisdictions, it is illegal in others or may fall into a legal gray area. Luckily, here in California, it’s legal and recommended for the reasons below.
Proponents of line sharing argue that it can be helpful for motorcycles in certain situations. Here are some potential benefits:
1. Reduced travel time: Motorcycles are typically more maneuverable than cars, and can weave through stopped or slow-moving traffic more quickly. This can result in reduced travel time, especially during rush hour or in heavy traffic.
2. Increased safety: In some cases, line sharing may be safer for motorcyclists than sitting in stopped or slow-moving traffic. When a motorcycle is moving, it is easier for other drivers to see and avoid it. Additionally, sitting in stop-and-go traffic increases the risk of a rear-end collision.
3. Improved fuel efficiency: When motorcycles are stuck in traffic, they are often idling, which wastes fuel. Line sharing can help motorcycles maintain their momentum and avoid unnecessary idling, resulting in improved fuel efficiency.
However, there are also potential risks associated with line sharing. These include the risk of accidents if other drivers are not paying attention or do not expect a motorcycle to be weaving through traffic. Additionally, line sharing can be risky at high speeds, and should only be done by experienced riders who are comfortable with the maneuver.
Ultimately, whether line sharing is helpful for motorcycles depends on the individual rider and the specific traffic conditions they are facing. Riders should always prioritize safety and obey traffic laws and regulations in their jurisdiction.