According to a recent survey by the Automobile Association, most South African motorists think that compliance with the rules of the road has worsened over the past two years. The AA said that all road users must play their part by fulfilling their duty to be responsible motorists. In part one of our series on common traffic violations that affect fleets we looked at how to approach a traffic circle. In the second part, we look at lane splitting tips for motorcyclists. Although this activity is legal when performed correctly, many motorcyclists are injured when they are lane splitting.
Lane splitting tips for motorcyclists
Motorbikes can be a cheaper option for businesses in terms of fuel, and save time because of their ability to weave through traffic. But, while there are benefits to using motorcycles, there is also one major drawback: motorbike drivers are more vulnerable in accidents because they are more exposed than drivers of other vehicles. With this in mind, we have compiled some tips on lane splitting based on the advice of a driving expert on the Arrive Alive website.
Lane splitting (also known as lane sharing or filtering) is when a motorcyclist drives in the space between lanes of traffic that has slowed or stopped. This requires a high level of competency and experience and a knowledge of the rules of the road. Motorcyclists can further ensure their safety by following some tips.
- Don’t drive more than 20km/h faster than other traffic to ensure sufficient reaction time.
- Don’t lane split when traffic is moving at 50km/h or faster.
- Avoid lane splitting when there is another motorcycle lane splitting.
- Avoid lane splitting at freeway on-ramps and exits.
- Monitor your environment including the spaces between vehicles, road, and weather conditions.
- Monitor other vehicles and be prepared to take evasive action.
It’s clear that following the rules of the road is key to having safer roads and this is the responsibility of all road users. The AA concluded: “This survey again highlights that too many drivers believe road traffic laws don’t apply to them, which, when combined with what is perceived to be lower police visibility, is perhaps part of the reason for our country’s high road fatality statistics. Unless driver attitudes improve, in addition to more effective policing, the carnage on South African roads will continue unabated.”
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