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 New rider experience
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wmcooper
Male Junior Member
33 Posts


perry, ga
USA

Honda

shadow aero

Posted - 10/21/2015 :  5:49 PM                       Like
I live off a 2 lane road. I stopped to turn left into the neighborhood. There was a car coming towards me in the other lane and I probably had time to turn before it got too close but decided to stop and wait for it to pass. A car was approaching from the rear and I decided to stop near the center yellow line because as a new rider I'm still kind of nervous about cars approaching me from behind wondering if they will stop or rear end me. The car approaching from the rear slowed down and passed me on the right in my lane and as he did that he looked out his window and said "sorry". Should I have stopped in the center of my lane? Would he have slowed and stopped behind me? Or was I right to stop near the yellow line?

James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17282 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 10/21/2015 :  6:14 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
There are lots of could-a/should-a moments in riding for beginners. You lack experience with your bike and are not, yet, sure of what to do in many situations or how your bike will respond when you try things.

But there is NO DOUBT about one thing here - YOU SURVIVED WITHOUT BEING IN AN ACCIDENT. Ergo, you didn't do something stupid or crazy.

I've been in exactly the same situation, as have virtually all readers here. With many years of riding and experience, I know EXACTLY how my bike will respond to my efforts. A few years ago, with Cash on the pillion on my Goldwing, we were on a BUSY road when I had to make a left turn to get into a driveway but there was a great deal of oncoming traffic. So, I stopped at the far left edge of the road to wait for an opening. An 18-wheeler behind us apparently didn't see us and kept coming. I made a decision and GOOSED that bike like a rocket across that oncoming lane and made it safely into the driveway. Scared the cr*p out of my passenger, but then I explained the situation when we got off the bike.

A new rider could have stalled the bike with that attempt and ended up in oncoming traffic. (Very bad!!) An experienced rider KNOWS what he can or cannot do.

You done good!

Welcome to the forum.
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DataDan
Advanced Member
540 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 10/21/2015 :  6:57 PM
One entrance to my neighborhood is similar to yours, with the added problem of a slight rise behind me as I stop and wait to turn, so I'm not visible from a long distance.

When approaching the intersection with a car behind, I slow down early and show brake light and blinker early. The idea is to gain visibility before I disappear over the rise.

After stopping, I watch my mirrors closely and am ready either to make an aggressive turn in front of oncoming traffic as James described, or blow off the turn, continue straight, and take a longer route.
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wmcooper
Male Junior Member
33 Posts


perry, ga
USA

Honda

shadow aero

Posted - 10/22/2015 :  4:35 AM
Thanks for the welcome and the comments. My neighborhood also has two entrances. One is near a blind curve in the main road so I usually use the entrance that is farther away from that blind curve. That gives me some extra safety margin from cars coming around that curve with the bonus that entrance road has some gentle curves that are fun but not too severe for a new rider.
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1689 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 10/22/2015 :  6:37 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I've pondered the question of whether to move to the edge of the lane, or stay put in the middle, when I might have to wait to make a turn.

If I don't have a car following behind me, I get to the edge, with the thinking that I might give space for the car coming behind me that didn't see me, is distracted or whatever.

Sometimes with a car behind me, I might even use them with much advance notice to them of my slowing and turning, to cause them to stop behind and become my rear end crumple zone. That's mostly on more congested roads.

With more traffic on a road, I'd not want to move over to the edge, have the car behind slip by, but the car or cars behind him be surprised to find me sitting there.

At least one time, about 10pm on a 4 lane, light traffic road at that hour, I was over to the left edge to make a left turn, waiting for oncoming traffic to pass. A small car driven by a teen came flying up behind me in the left lane. She swerved around me, and I was glad I gave her space.

I often do the same for right turns. Where I show brake lights and turn signal, but still get to the right edge of my lane to make the turn. Often to the right of the fog line. I'm just letting the antsy driver go.
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commonground
Male Standard Member
155 Posts


Windsor, PA
USA

Yamaha

V Star 1300

Posted - 10/22/2015 :  6:42 PM
I don't think that there is a hard fast rule. It depends upon the situation. I try to make myself as visible as possible with hand signals in addition to pumping the brake lever to flash the tail light a good ways back and then watch the mirrors while I am stopped. Hopefully I can scoot if needed.

In Pennsylvania it is not illegal to pass a stopped vehicle waiting on a left turn. If you don't give them room, some tend to take it. I usually stay close to the centerline to give them room to pass but, I do not like these situations and avoid them if possible.
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SkootchNC
Male Advanced Member
1063 Posts
[Mentor]


raleigh, north carolina
USA

Harley-Davidson

road glide

Posted - 10/23/2015 :  6:43 PM
There isn't a lot you could have done differently.... MAYBE tap your brakes as the car approaches... in case they don't see you (and being stationary, there is a good chance they won't see you).

I also live in a neighborhood, where I have to turn left from a busy secondary road. I wear yellowish Deer Skin gloves, and often use me hand signals, and well as the bike's signals.
Slow down... Turn Left... I BELIEVE the motion, will help attract the driver's attention. Trick to being SEEN... is to stand out from the pavement... Hi-Vis is a start.

Getting too close to the center line, opens you up to increased danger of a head-on.

There is positive and negative to any position in the lane.... sometimes the best course is to circumnavigate, and approach the hood, as a right turn...
it just depends
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wmcooper
Male Junior Member
33 Posts


perry, ga
USA

Honda

shadow aero

Posted - 10/26/2015 :  2:46 PM
Just a brief follow up. Turning left into the neighborhood again but this time in my truck and I was stopped waiting for a car in the other lane to turn right into the hood. A car behind that one decided it didn't want to slow down and swerved a couple wheels into my lane. Had I been on the bike near the center line like before then it would not have been a good situation. Maybe I should move to a safer neighborhood? oh my! :)
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commonground
Male Standard Member
155 Posts


Windsor, PA
USA

Yamaha

V Star 1300

Posted - 10/26/2015 :  3:51 PM
Is there another entrance into the hood that you could use? Is there a place on down the road where you can do a U-turn and come back and make right hand turn? If both answers are "NO" then it is a high risk area in which you will have to use extreme caution. Visibility, Visibility, Visibility
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2263 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 10/27/2015 :  12:06 AM
quote:
Originally posted by wmcooper

Just a brief follow up. Turning left into the neighborhood again but this time in my truck and I was stopped waiting for a car in the other lane to turn right into the hood. A car behind that one decided it didn't want to slow down and swerved a couple wheels into my lane. Had I been on the bike near the center line like before then it would not have been a good situation. Maybe I should move to a safer neighborhood? oh my! :)



I think you had the good sense to think up that move of getting over to the side in the first place to lessen your vulnerability and then follow it up with a very good question that many newer riders might not have come forward with.
I'm sure you will gain some smoother control and confidence with time but there is no hurry. All riders have been in that stage of getting accustomed to traffic whizzing by and concern about being noticed. IMO, it really should never completely subside. It can be a tool to keep us fresh if it's part of the edginess that helps keep us sharp and attentive.

The goofball that makes an error doesn't know if you are new to riding or if you have decades of experience so the point is, we all need to stay on top of our skills, keep learning and keep our head in the game. It may very well be a simple matter of some riders who get so complacent and over confident that their attitude plays a role in what could do them in eventually.
As long as you are not frozen with fear, let the healthy respect of traffic and situations keep you mindful of the "what if's" so you can plan and practice (even if just in you head sometimes) the options you have at any given moment. Take the roads and routes that you are more comfortable with when possible, do look at other ways or safer ways of getting in or out of places and your own neighborhood.

Lots of great responses and tactics followed up on your original post and many of us live in similar situations, so it appears.

I would consider wearing my hi-vis safety vest more often as in your case of feeling hidden. Welcome to the forums !
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1689 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 10/27/2015 :  6:45 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Just throwing this out, even if fairly obvious. If traffic on a road is light, and I see an oncoming car intersecting with where I want to turn left, I'll often just slow down prior to the turn. I'm giving the oncoming car time to pass by.

Naturally there has to be a good view of down the road beyond the one car. With my turn signal on, and flashes of brake light, the car behind me ought to at least be aware that I'll soon be out of his way.

This way I'm not a sitting duck for that moment.
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OB
Male Advanced Member
528 Posts


Houston, TX
USA

Buell

1125CR and others

Posted - 11/01/2015 :  2:51 PM
There were some good comments over what amounts to a very common road situation.

Should you stop in a non-left hand lane to make a left hand turn? Is there any potential danger in doing so?

You need to evaluate the circumstances of the situation. As Jim mentioned, he had to make a decision on how to avoid a potential collision. Others mentioned potential blind spots due to elevations changes, etc. etc...

If you know a particular location has a higher than acceptable risk to do something, like turning, then it would be wise to find another way to get to your location that avoids that location or action. This too was pointed out in the discussion. Good discussion guys, thanks.
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Safe N Smiling
Male Junior Member
33 Posts


On a Bike Somewhere, Here and There
USA

(Unknown - Other)

Several Bikes

Posted - 11/11/2015 :  7:18 PM
The most important thing in this type of situation is avoiding it.
Whenever you can go to a safer spot and turn around so that you can approach the driveway you need to go into from the safer direction.

There is one intersection on my drive home where I would have to get into a left hand turn lane, but it's a nasty one... your a sitting duck on a wonky intersection. Instead I turn right into a small parking lot... turn around and wait for a clear green light and a get a good view of traffic from both ways. Well waiting at the light in the parking lot exit I saw a car rear end a car waiting in the very lane I avoid.

A wee bit of planning goes a long way.
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