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

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

Centre For Aerospace Research works with partners including Department of National Defence

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

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

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read