Motorcycle Safety Update: Zakk Talks With Budman on Biking in a Pandemic

May is also National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Watch these motorcycle safety videos on Lane Splitting, the SMIDSY technique, and more general riding tips.

Zakk, who is heard weekday afternoons on The BONE, along with Denny “Budman” Kobza Jr, who owns/operates the Bay Area Riders Forum and is also a member of the CA Motorcycle Safety Committee, the CMSP Advisory Committee, and more, recorded this video chat to discuss riding during and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic with also the latest news from the CMSP.

Here are some tips for Lane Splitting – Filtering – Sharing, presented by the Bay Area Riders Forum:

Your safety depends on your good judgment:

  • Don’t expect to be seen. Lane-splitters are hard to see and some drivers are distracted.
  • Keep speed down so you have time and space to react to hazards.
  • Avoid splitting next to large trucks and other wide vehicles. They reduce the space available and can be deadly in a crash.
  • Leave a margin for error, so when someone makes a mistake in the tight confines of the splitting corridor, it may not end in a crash.
  • Respect other motorists. Commuting is a cheerless grind for everyone. Don’t make it harder for them even if a few make it harder for you.
  • Watch for lane changes, they are a frequent cause of crashes.

Less risk:

  • Lower traffic speed and speed differential.
  • Wider lanes.
  • Dense bumper-to-bumper traffic limits the ability of vehicles to change lanes.
  • Left-most lanes farther from merging and exiting traffic.

More risk:

  • Higher traffic speed or speed differential.
  • Narrow lanes, wide vehicles.
  • The gap in traffic permits a quick lane change across the splitting corridor.
  • Right side lanes near merging and exiting traffic.
  • Intersections and crosswalks in the city.
  • Following or being followed closely by another motorcycle.
  • Nighttime or wet pavement.

Minimize your risk:

  • Ride with your head and eyes up, looking well ahead.
  • Anticipate the flow of traffic and predict hazards.
  • Limit your speed to 10-15 miles per hour above surrounding traffic. This helps others to see you and gives you more time and space to react to hazards.
  • Adjust your speed for road and weather conditions.
  • Cover your brakes to reduce reaction time.
  • Keep your hands and feet on the controls.
  • Don’t split when traffic is moving at higher speeds. It raises risk but saves little time.
  • Be skilled at maximum braking and swerving.

Here is a list of good people representing riders as members of the California Motorcycle Safety program:
Chair, Assistant Cheif Chris Costigan, California Highway Patrol
Member James Lombardo, American Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education
Member Representation Mitch Zehnder for Member Barbara Rooney, Office of Traffic Safety
Member John Paliwoda, California Motorcycle Dealers Association, and Nick Harris, American Motorcyclist Association

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