Motorcycle Lane Splitting – Safer For Motorcyclists

California takes first step to establishing lane-splitting guidelines for motorcyclists
LA Times
September 1, 2016

While motorcyclists and car drivers still don’t agree.

Several motorcyclists’ groups objected to that language, finding the speed limit too low. Other groups and individuals, who believe that lane splitting is dangerous regardless of the speed, objected to the proposal on principle.

AMA: Study Finds
Lane-Splitting Increases Rider Safety

“Perhaps one of the most dangerous situations for any motorcyclist is being caught in congested traffic, where stop-and-go vehicles, distracted and inattentive vehicle operators, and environmental conditions increase the risk of physical contact with another vehicle or hazard,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “Reducing a motorcyclist’s exposure to vehicles that are frequently accelerating and decelerating on congested roadways can be one way to reduce rear-end collisions for those most vulnerable in traffic.”

Differing Perspectives

The survey also found that a large majority of motorcyclists exceeded the speed of the surrounding traffic by 15 MPH or less while lane-splitting. When asked “How much faster than the rest of traffic do you go when lane-splitting?,” 30%, 47%, and 14% responded traveling 5MPH, 10 MPH, and 15 MPH faster than traffic, respectively.

Motorcyclists and their advocates need to educate auto drivers.

Their position is that lane-splitting is a safe and beneficial strategy for motorcyclists if done in areasonable manner, and that the success of legalized lane-splitting in any US state will bedependent upon high levels of knowledge among non-motorcycling road users.

Bikes May Have To Talk To Self-Driving Cars For Safety’s Sake

Anthony Rowe, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, wants bikes to feed information to nearby cars to avoid collisions. His bike is fitted with an array of precise instruments and a battery hidden in the water bottle.
NPR
All Things Considered
July 24, 2017

Proponents of self-driving cars say they’ll make the world safer, but autonomous vehicles need to predict what bicyclists are going to do. Now researchers say part of the answer is to have bikes feed information to cars.

Drivers: Share the Road

People on bicycles have the same rights as people behind the wheel of a car.  And the same responsibilities.

  • Yield to bicyclists as you would motorists and do not underestimate their speed. This will help avoid turning in front of a bicyclist traveling on the road or sidewalk, often at an intersection or driveway.
  • In parking lots, at stop signs, when packing up, or when parking, search your surroundings for other vehicles, including bicycles.
  • Drivers turning right on red should look to the right and behind to avoid hitting a bicyclist approaching from the right rear. Stop completely and look left-right-left and behind before turning right on red.
  • Obey the speed limit, reduce speed for road conditions and drive defensively to avoid a crash with a cyclist.
  • Give cyclists room. Do not pass too closely. Pass bicyclists as you would any other vehicle—when it’s safe to move over into an adjacent lane.

Cars and Bikes Share the Road

Good article from Ohio about Ohio bicycle laws for cars and bicyclists to better understand how to better share the road and be aware of each other. One important point that is emphasized is reminding drivers that bicycle riders are vulnerable road users, this includes the new law about leaving a passing buffer space around a cyclist and your vehicle.

Although these are Ohio bicycle laws, many of them are very similar to California, and many of them are just good common sense reminders about how we all can share the road safely, and get to where we are going without incident, stress, and hopefully with some fun along the way.

Breaking down Ohio’s bicycle laws

But, even though drivers and bicyclists follow many of the same rules on the road, both need to remain aware of the vulnerability of those on bikes, he said.
“If you pass me too close in your car or if you’re errant in that way, you can do serious human bodily damage,” Kuhn said. “We’re not driving a 4,000-pound cage with 10 airbags.”

Don’t Say ‘Cyclists,’ Say ‘People on Bikes’

A group of Seattle-based safer streets advocates say they’ve been able to foster a much more civil debate by changing up the language they use.
City Lab 2/11/2017

“Now the city talks about safety. When you feel like what you are gaining is the ability to walk freely and safely around your neighborhood, rather than bike lanes for somebody else, that sounds a lot better.”

Cars with potentially deadly Takata air bags are still being made and sold

Cars with potentially deadly Takata air bags are still being made and sold
LA Times
6/1/16

[…] The carmakers – Toyota, Vokswagen, Fiat Chrysler and Mitsubishi – are selling some vehicles from the 2016 and 2017 model years that include inflators that have already been linked to at least 11 deaths around the world, according to the report released Wednesday.

“Consumers are buying new cars and not realizing they’re going to be recalled,” the report’s author, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida), said in a statement. […]

GM says its Takata air bag inflators are safe; government disagrees

GM says its Takata air bag inflators are safe; government disagrees
LA Times
6/2/16

[…] GM said it would begin the recall process in cooperation with the NHTSA even though it doesn’t believe inflators in its trucks are unsafe. […] Recalls related to Takata in this round now total 16.4 million vehicles. […]

Regulators say 85 million U.S. Takata air bags may still face recall

Regulators say 85 million U.S. Takata air bags may still face recall
Reuters
4/13/16

U.S. auto safety regulators said on Wednesday there were about 85 million unrecalled Takata Corp (7312.T) air bag inflators in U.S. vehicles that would eventually need to be recalled unless the company can prove they are safe.

This is the first public accounting by the U.S. government of the total number of unrecalled Takata air bag inflators.