Push to Make Lane-Splitting Legal Could Reduce Personal Injuries

Motorcycle advocates and enthusiasts are encouraging the provincial government to legalize “lane-splitting” on B.C. roads for bikers, as reported by a story in CTV News.

Many bikers already claim to drive in between lanes of slow-moving vehicles in an effort to avoid traffic bottlenecks, but they’re still weary about getting caught because it’s against the law. They argue that lane-splitting will reduce traffic congestion for all vehicles on the road.

Studies show that lane-splitting is relatively safe for motorcyclists as long as the nearby pace of traffic is moving at a speed of 80 km/h or less. For faster traffic, bikers might not have enough time to react to a car changing lanes without the driver checking their blind spot.

Significantly, academic studies also suggest that lane-splitting reduces the risk of a biker being struck by a car, thus decreasing the odds of an accident and bikers suffering personal injuries. Simply put, when you’re driving between traffic, it’s less likely a distracted driver or someone following too closely will hit you from behind.

Lane-splitting is already legal in several countries and at least one U.S. state, but not anywhere in Canada.

But some experts, including a local driving instructor, feel the risk of serious injuries and accidents from lane changes is still too high, and that driving on the shoulder is a safer option.

On average, approximately 2,200 crashes a year involving motorcyclists are reported to ICBC; over two-thirds of those result in an injury and 32 motorcyclists a year on average in B.C. die from motor vehicle injuries.

If you are a motorcyclist with a personal injury because a car hit you, don’t settle for a low offer from ICBC. Contact BLW Lawyers today for a free consultation. We collectively have over 50 years of experience in the Lower Mainland fighting for victims to be fairly compensated for their injuries.

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