THROTTLE THERAPY: Lane position, not a rule but an active strategy

Actively choosing your lane position is an important conscious thought for any motorcyclist.

This image illustrates how choosing the wrong lane position invites other vehicles to share your lane.

Recently, I had the distinct displeasure of travelling behind a slow-rider who was also somewhat confused on the meaning of “dominant” when it comes to lane positioning.

Although on a screamin’ muscle machine, this rider hovered below the speed limit and generally clung to the right side of the lane.

He was an accident waiting to happen.

Which brings me to reminding riders what dominant lane position means.

Dominant means always left

Wrong.

There is a prevailing belief held by some that dominant means riding on the left-portion of any lane. That is wrong. It is as wrong as this right-clinging rider.

Dominant means riding near the line

Wrong.

There’s a very aggressive belief held by others that dominant means riding as close to — and even on top of — the yellow lines that separate you from on-coming traffic. That is also wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.

Riders who have moved too far left and are sitting more-or-less on the yellow lines are in a greater danger for a head-on collision AND run the risk of a vehicle behind attempting to pass them on the right, via the shoulder of the road.

Dominant means forcing  other vehicles to respect your ownership of the lane

Ding ding ding. Right.

The proper definition of dominant lane position is the lane position that best deters another vehicles from attempting to share your lane.

In a single lane, the dominant position would be slightly to the left of the centre of the lane (1). A typical vehicle would not be able to pass you on the right. And in order for it to pass you on the left, they would have to move completely into the other lane.

In multi-lane traffic, when riding in the far left lane, the dominant position is on the right side of that lane (2).

In three-lane traffic when you are in the middle lane, the dominant position is in the middle of that lane (3). Or slightly to the right. Or slightly to the left. It all depends what is happening around you.

In choosing your lane position, the lane is not divided into equal thirds. Slightly to the left (1) and slightly to the right (3) are enough to assert your right to the entire lane without putting you into the path of danger.

Dominant riding means constantly thinking about where you are and who is around you. And staying safe. And leaving stupid at home.

Just Posted

Ferry passenger on Sidney boat rescue: ‘It was like the Titanic’

Lone boater rescued by BC Ferries, who called the incident a ‘close call’

One year later, life is much different in Saanich for the Bui family

‘We still hear cars screeching at the intersection,’ says mom of Leila Bui

Strike averted at Greater Victoria Public Library

CUPE and labour relations association representing the GVPL reach tentative agreement

District of Central Saanich pays a living wage

The living wage in Greater Victoria is $20.50 an hour

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Sidney

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Victoria Canadian Tire replaces toys stolen from Salvation Army

Children won’t have to go without toys this Christmas

READER POLL: Do you have turkey or ham for Christmas dinner?

What are you having for Christmas dinner? Canadians gobbled up 3.3 million… Continue reading

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a U.S. Space Command.

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 18, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Groups preparing new pipeline legal challenge, argue government’s mind made up

A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if the federal government reapproves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notorious Toronto triple killer gets third consecutive life sentence

Dellen Millard gets third consecutive life sentence for father’s death.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

$2.2M in cash for Christmas for 106 Greater Victoria charities

Victoria Foundation issues community grants ahead of the holidays

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

Most Read