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Controlling Your Lane
Two wheels are enough to own a lane

By: James R. Davis

Lane position should be chosen based, among other things, on establishing escape routes, making yourself visible to others, staying out of the blind spots of other vehicles, and road conditions. What is often overlooked, in my opinion, is the concept of 'controlling your lane'.

For example, assume you are riding on surface streets in a city and are stopped at a traffic light preparing to make a right turn. Logic suggests that you should be in the right track of your lane, but it is safer, I suggest, to be closer to the left track.

Why? Because while nearer the left track of your lane you CONTROL the lane. There are people that upon seeing you in the right track with your right turn signal flashing will slide their vehicles into the lane beside you and try to share the lane - to get a jump off the line when the light changes.

That you only have two wheels is of no consequence - you OWN the whole lane that they would try to share with you. If you were to change your mind and elect to not make that right turn, you would be in trouble. Worse, should that sharing vehicle actually decide to make a right turn too, you could easily be forgotten (in his blind spot) and he could drive right over you while making that turn.

Controlling your lane is as important as any other consideration when you choose your lane position.

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(James R. Davis is a recognized expert witness in the fields of Motorcycle Safety/Dynamics.)

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