Should Lane Splitting Be Legal in Tennessee for Motorcyclists?

Photo of a motorcycle under a carEvery once in a while, lawmakers in Tennessee consider a bill that would legalize lane splitting in Tennessee. Lane splitting refers to the practice of motorcyclists being legally allowed to ride their bikes in between cars in traffic. Proponents cite a study by the University of California, Berkeley, which showed that lane splitting was only a little more dangerous than riding a motorcycle in general, unless the motorcyclist is riding 10mph or more faster than surrounding traffic. Lane splitters are additionally less likely to be rear-ended by drivers, although they are more likely to rear end other vehicles.

There are other benefits that lane splitting affords. For example, it makes the motorcyclist much easier to see. Motorcyclists benefit from less fatigue from shifting and braking in stop-and-go traffic. The risk of engine damage for air-cooled engines is reduced, and the motorcyclist can get where he or she needs to go faster, reducing exposure to ambient summer heat and car exhaust.

The Downsides of Lane Splitting

However, despite the data, when lane splitting goes wrong, it goes REALLY wrong. Motorcycle accidents are often devastating, especially for the motorcyclist. All it takes is one wrong move by the motorcyclist or any nearby vehicle to cause serious harm. Even slight, sudden movements from nearby cars can be enough to startle the motorcyclist into causing an accident. As such, go with the law – don’t split lanes on your motorcycle. If you do, you might be limiting your potential for recovery due to your breaking the law.

Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”



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