Longtime motorcycle instructor Bret Tkacs is no stranger to many types of motorcycle riding. While he’s probably best known for his off-road and adventure motorcycle technique videos on YouTube, he also does plenty of road riding as well. In this video, he lays out some good tips for lane splitting when and where it’s legal, and some advice for doing it safely.
Now, we and just about every other motorcycle-oriented website on the Internet have discussed lane splitting, its benefits, and its challenges at length in the past. Currently, lane splitting, lane filtering, and lane sharing are only legal in some places in the U.S.
It’s legal in plenty of other places outside the U.S. French riders staged protests in multiple cities in 2021 when the possibility of a lane-splitting ban in that country was raised. To put it mildly, most riders have some strong feelings about the subject whenever it comes up.
Back to Tkacs and his video. As a longtime motorcycle safety instructor, he’s all for the practice. He cites studies and statistics regarding rider safety, and states that lane splitting at lower speeds and with only a small speed differential between the rider and surrounding traffic, it’s generally better for everyone on the road. After all, everyone wants to get where they’re going more quickly, don’t we?
Are there people who might lane split dangerously? Sure, there are, just like there are people who drive dangerously. That doesn’t mean that no one should drive, though. Tkacs advocates for lane splitting where it’s legal and where it’s prudent—and also, for riders to do it carefully and respectfully. That way, he says, you make a good impression on drivers who may be assuming the worst about riders who lane split.
Obviously, your mileage may vary with that, since plenty of road users aren’t paying very good attention while they’re out on the road. Still, since many of the people who shout the loudest against lane splitting have either never personally experienced it and fear the worst, or else have only seen it done recklessly, Tkacs has a point. Normalizing reasonable lane splitting practices where it’s legal can help make the practice more acceptable to more people, even if they live (and drive or ride) outside those areas.