Motorcycle Filtering

What is filtering on a motorcycle?

Contrary to popular belief, motorcycle filtering is completely legal in the UK. This is under the condition, as with everything on the road, that it is done safely. However, there are a couple of scenarios when it is not allowed, i.e. in no overtaking zones and when approaching crossings with zigzags. Another time when filtering may not be advisable is when traffic speeds reach a point that may no longer-overtaking queuing, as this can be considered dangerous overtaking. If you are unsure on the speed, do not filter through the traffic! In the case of motorcycle filtering, it is always better to be safe than sorry!

No one wants to have a motorcycle accident, especially through filtering. So here is our advice on avoiding a collision on the most common fltering filtering

Scenario one: When the car continues to change lanes and doesn’t see you

One of the most common motorcycle filtering occurs when a car moves from one lane to another without seeing a bike that might be filtering through the middle. In these cases it is important that you maintain a low speed and never filter at more than a few miles per hour faster than the queuing traffic. By keeping a low speed you are increasing both the chances of the driver seeing you, and of you seeing their signal/movement before a collision. The slower you travel when filtering, the less likely you are to be held accountable for a collision, and this can be supported by witnesses.
The second most common type of filtering accident is caused by cars emerging from side roads moving into the far lanes. This is common because a lot of drivers do not look for motorbikes in this instance, and due to the obstructions of the queuing traffic, it can be difficult for bikers to see the emerging cars too. Once again your best defence against this type of accident is to move slowly, acknowledging side roads or any significant gap between two cars where something could emerge and slowing down accordingly for these potential hazards.
The third most common type of accident is when a car moving in the opposite direction needs to drive through the queuing traffic and into a side road. This is similar to the second kind, but can often be more difficult to spot as a biker, so be aware of gaps and side roads on both lanes either side of you.
In addition there are a few things you can do, as a biker, to stay safe and, in the event of an accident, avoid liability:
  1. As mentioned above, do not travel more than a few miles per hour faster than the queuing traffic.
  2. If you cannot see the car that is in front of the one you are passing, do not pass it. Remember that if you can’t see their mirror, they probably can’t see you.
  3. If you are unsure about speed, distance, visibility or whether you will have enough space, stay where you are until you can be sure!
  4. Always ensure you have a way to get out of the traffic if you need to. Never ride into a space if there isn’t enough space to turn around or continue.
  5. Less room, less speed. Stop if you have to – your safety is more important than cutting an extra 30 seconds from your journey.
It is important to remember these points when filtering, however we can never guarantee that there aren’t idiots on the road, so if you’ve been knocked off your bike, even if there was no collision, call on 0800 6 300 301 and keep 100% of your compensation.