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Both scenarios were similar. Both were learning lessons for me. Apparently, they did not see me in the lanes next to them even though I thought I was visible in their mirror. I am very aware of blind spots.

One guy's merged over his lane slowly but never stopped. The other guy punched swerving into my lane. In both cases, I had to hit the brakes and felt the abs kick in.

I know I need to stay away from anywhere near that blind spot but sometimes that is difficult. For example, when merging in heavy traffic and you haven't had time to get away from the cars.

My take away is to do almost anything to stay out of that spot, even if it means going slower than traffic. The one guy who punched it really pissed me off though. I couldn't see his face because of his tinted windows.... Doesn't matter though... Both cases are my fault because I am the one that can end up dead. Gotta do better.

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Happens to me all the time. I have developed a habit now to stay out of peoples blind spots and expect that the car next to me does not see me. When I can, I stay out on either the leftmost or the rightmost lane and try not to ride in the middle lane, as that gets me boxed in. I am always ready to speed up, slow down, or swerve onto the shoulder, if possible, when someone pulls into my lane, as this happens quite often.

The only way to mitigate this is, as you say, go slower than traffic or slightly faster than traffic to get out out of the pocket of cars. I feel like cops are aware that motorcyclists sometimes have to do some defensive riding, and that may mean a little bit of speeding for a short burst. At least around here I haven't had issues with being messed with for "getting away from traffic" but who knows. Knock on wood that i don't suddenly get pulled over.

Basically, to survive you must ride defensively under the assumption that you're invisible to nearly every car on the road, lol. Seems like you've figured this out already. :wink2:
 

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my basic presumption is everyone is oblivious to my presence and i will do what it takes to avoid their blind spots .however that isn't always possible. i am always planning my escape and thank god until now it has served me well. the freeways here in so cal are somewhat insane even in a car. i generally ride about 5 mph faster than traffic unless the road is clear in which case i just cruise along comfortably.
 

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Both scenarios were similar. Both were learning lessons for me. Apparently, they did not see me in the lanes next to them even though I thought I was visible in their mirror. I am very aware of blind spots.

One guy's merged over his lane slowly but never stopped. The other guy punched swerving into my lane. In both cases, I had to hit the brakes and felt the abs kick in.
Those sucky situations are pretty ordinary, expectable even. I have to wonder: If the first guy was going slowly into your lane, what happened that made hard braking (where the ABS engaged) necessary? This question may make more sense after reading my recommendations below.

I know I need to stay away from anywhere near that blind spot but sometimes that is difficult. For example, when merging in heavy traffic and you haven't had time to get away from the cars.

My take away is to do almost anything to stay out of that spot, even if it means going slower than traffic. The one guy who punched it really pissed me off though. I couldn't see his face because of his tinted windows.... Doesn't matter though... Both cases are my fault because I am the one that can end up dead. Gotta do better.
I can sympathize with your difficulty. However, I recommend a different approach to the problem, one which I have carefully thought out in order to enhance my survival prospects as a frequent urban rider/commuter. I'll state the approach as a set of rules, (but you may consider them suggestions rather than me trying to be bossy.)

1. In general, avoid passing somebody in an adjacent (same direction) lane except where an already identified escape route exists. This often means timing such a pass so that you are adjacent to a gap in vehicles in the opposite adjacent lane. It sometimes means deferring a pass where the escape route is the shoulder but a bridge abutment or other obstruction is coming up. It usually precludes such a pass while two vehicles are travelling side-by-side, separated by an empty lane you think looks attractive. It should preclude such a pass where a jersey barrier or other impassible barrier means there is no escape route.

2. When passing somebody in an adjacent lane, keep your speed differential with them down, commensurate with your known (and practised) ability to rapidly swerve at the speed you are traveling. This relation between passing speed differential and swerve capability depends on lane position; the further you are from the beginning of a lane incursion, the less dramatic the swerve will need to be.

3. For each vehicle you are passing without a viable swerve escape, be aware of where your relative position transition will occur between "can slow fast enough to avoid sudden lane incursion" to "can accelerate fast enough to get ahead of sudden lane incursion". If those zones do not overlap, slow down, shift to a lower gear, cover your brakes, all as necessary to ensure those zones do overlap. Understand where the transition is as part of preplanning evasion execution. (You do not want to have to figure this out at the moment of need; waiting until them will use precious time better used for the evasion itself.)

4. Pay little attention to blind spots, except to avoid lingering in one adjacent to the other vehicle. Pretend none of the cagers will see you when it counts.

5. When you find yourself having to evade a lane incursion, check your reaction. If it took you by surprise, without a preplanned evasion, vow to do better going forward. When you are riding safely, evasions amount to no more than executing your preplanned contingency action; it should not produce a surge of adrenaline. (That surge indicates your preplanning was insufficient.)

Some riders see this sort of thinking and preplanning as detracting from the joy of riding. I advise them to avoid urban traffic. For me, it's all part of the fun -- a high stakes game where intelligence and skill make all the difference.
 

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"Doesn't matter though... Both cases are my fault because I am the one that can end up dead. Gotta do better. Just being out of the blind spot is not enough."

That attitude is exactly the correct one to keep you alive.....never ever relinquish it!

Every time I ride I say to myself....."gotta do better".....it is a constant vigilance. We all make mistakes when riding. The aware rider acknowledges this, analyze's those mistakes and try's to learn something. The cumulative effect of this over years of riding can be extremely beneficial.

Give enough distance so if someone changes lanes(into yours) it will not have an immediate effect. As others have already said...expect them to do just that, so when it happens, you think..."meh....ok".

You are on the right path to self preservation.....keep it up!
 

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Sometimes no matter what you do you can't win, I passed a minivan yesterday in traffic and the 'lady' driving it had her Ipad on the steering wheel playing a game.

I always try and stay in in the tyre track closest to the car next to me, sounds contradictory but my headlight is usually filling their mirror. If your too far across in the lane they simply can't see you.
 

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I always try and stay in in the tyre track closest to the car next to me, sounds contradictory but my headlight is usually filling their mirror. If your too far across in the lane they simply can't see you.
Ditto, and you still have 3/4'ths of a lane to escape into if needed.

We were headed home from Manitoba after Canadian Thanksgiving. We were in our a 23' Class A motor-home somewhere in Iowa. I had moved left just passed a slower moving truck & I noticed a 18wheeler coming up behind me. I accelerated a bit, then moved back into the right hand lane as soon as I could so he could get around me. The 18wheeler started to pass me, but just as his tractor cleared the front of the motor-home, he started merging into my lane. My first thought was that it was just a momentary drift, but he kept coming over and all I could see was about 40' of a 53' box trailer inches away from my drivers mirror. I had to slam on the brakes and dive onto the shoulder....glad there was a shoulder. I hit the horn, but I doubt he ever heard it since he completed his merge and just kept on trucking.

On a bike, this would not have been a big issue....much more room for escape. That just reminded me that if a driver forgets the motor-home that just moved out of his way, then a motor would be a fly speck on his mirror.
 

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Responding to Ozrider's comment, "I always try and stay in in the tyre track closest to the car next to me, sounds contradictory but my headlight is usually filling their mirror. If your too far across in the lane they simply can't see you.", Motor7 wrote:
Ditto, and you still have 3/4'ths of a lane to escape into if needed.
Sorry to have to be blunt here but: That's illogical. Whether there is an escape route which can be swerved into when a cager makes a lane change does not vary with your starting position. All that varies when you are closer to the cager's original lane is how far you have to swerve (more) and how much time you have between detecting the incursion and the potential collision (less). That reaction and maneuvering time can be used to slow, accelerate, or swerve. Having less time necessitates harder (or perhaps impossible) braking, more (or perhaps unavailable) acceleration, or a more (or perhaps impossibly) abrupt swerve.

There is something to be said for being where you are more likely to be seen, but I never choose that when it reduces my margin of safety and options should a cager not see me. I choose to take responsibility for my own safety over relying on drivers paying genuine attention, whenever there is a choice to be made.
 

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Responding to Ozrider's comment, "I always try and stay in in the tyre track closest to the car next to me, sounds contradictory but my headlight is usually filling their mirror. If your too far across in the lane they simply can't see you.", Motor7 wrote:Sorry to have to be blunt here but: That's illogical. Whether there is an escape route which can be swerved into when a cager makes a lane change does not vary with your starting position. All that varies when you are closer to the cager's original lane is how far you have to swerve (more) and how much time you have between detecting the incursion and the potential collision (less). That reaction and maneuvering time can be used to slow, accelerate, or swerve. Having less time necessitates harder (or perhaps impossible) braking, more (or perhaps unavailable) acceleration, or a more (or perhaps impossibly) abrupt swerve.

There is something to be said for being where you are more likely to be seen, but I never choose that when it reduces my margin of safety and options should a cager not see me. I choose to take responsibility for my own safety over relying on drivers paying genuine attention, whenever there is a choice to be made.
I see both view points. Just depends on the situation. I do notice the double takes in the mirrors, which I like. Probably due to the led lights. Just gotta be Jonny on the spot if they swerve into your space.

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Responding to Ozrider's comment, "I always try and stay in in the tyre track closest to the car next to me, sounds contradictory but my headlight is usually filling their mirror. If your too far across in the lane they simply can't see you.", Motor7 wrote:Sorry to have to be blunt here but: That's illogical. Whether there is an escape route which can be swerved into when a cager makes a lane change does not vary with your starting position. All that varies when you are closer to the cager's original lane is how far you have to swerve (more) and how much time you have between detecting the incursion and the potential collision (less). That reaction and maneuvering time can be used to slow, accelerate, or swerve. Having less time necessitates harder (or perhaps impossible) braking, more (or perhaps unavailable) acceleration, or a more (or perhaps impossibly) abrupt swerve.

There is something to be said for being where you are more likely to be seen, but I never choose that when it reduces my margin of safety and options should a cager not see me. I choose to take responsibility for my own safety over relying on drivers paying genuine attention, whenever there is a choice to be made.

It's not illogical if the rider is paying attention and anticipates a lane change(as we all should). The odds of a lane change occurring when you are in the outside tract(of a driver) goes up quite a bit since you enter the blind spot for a longer period of time, therefore you are reducing your margin of safety by overtaking vehicles in that tract.

There is a good argument for outside tract position when overtaking 18wheelers do the tire blow out risk. That being said, I rarely ever ride in the outside tract since I just plain don't feel safe there. I understand your point, and if you are comfortable & confident riding there then that's ok. No matter what tract we choose, it is always a risk.
 

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It's not illogical if the rider is paying attention and anticipates a lane change(as we all should). The odds of a lane change occurring when you are in the outside tract(of a driver) goes up quite a bit since you enter the blind spot for a longer period of time, therefore you are reducing your margin of safety by overtaking vehicles in that tract.
What I deemed illogical is the idea that when you ride closer to a lane from which cars may come then you have more of an escape path. You had stated, "Ditto, and you still have 3/4'ths of a lane to escape into if needed.", as if position in the open lane somehow changed how wide the escape path is. The escape path is not affected by your lateral position. I was not saying it is illogical to choose a path closer to other traffic. As for "margin of safety", I would avoid confounding margin when evasion becomes necessary with likelihood that evasion will become necessary. The "stay closer to lane with cars" approach may very well reduce likelihood of an incursion. But, as I stated, it reduces your margins when an incursion occurs (assuming other variables are held the same.)

There is a good argument for outside tract position when overtaking 18wheelers do the tire blow out risk. That being said, I rarely ever ride in the outside tract since I just plain don't feel safe there. I understand your point, and if you are comfortable & confident riding there then that's ok. No matter what tract we choose, it is always a risk.
The choice is not binary between the two approaches. If you like the better chance of being seen in the closer track, you can get back to the margin for evasion maneuvers that the further track provides by slowing down. This will buy back some or all of the detection and reaction time loss, as well as make braking a more viable option.
 

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Happens to me all the time. I have developed a habit now to stay out of peoples blind spots and expect that the car next to me does not see me. When I can, I stay out on either the leftmost or the rightmost lane and try not to ride in the middle lane, as that gets me boxed in. I am always ready to speed up, slow down, or swerve onto the shoulder, if possible, when someone pulls into my lane, as this happens quite often.

The only way to mitigate this is, as you say, go slower than traffic or slightly faster than traffic to get out out of the pocket of cars. ............

Basically, to survive you must ride defensively under the assumption that you're invisible to nearly every car on the road, lol. Seems like you've figured this out already. :wink2:
+1. I do the same thing just assume they don't see me and keep to outside of the lane for bigger safety margin. I also cover horn button, and while it never stops them the blast out of Stebel airhorns usually slows them down for several seconds, just enough to get out of the harm's way.
 

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Trep, slowing down is also a double edged sword, yes more reaction time, but now we are loitering in the danger zone.

As far as escape, I want that 8' of lateral availability since a lot can happen in 8'. The driver will still have an opportunity to see or hear me(horn) as I move with them even though I'm not counting on it. Lateral space gives me room to countersteer, and if I'm riding the outside tract I may or may not be able to perform that maneuver at all since something else might be occupying that space. You are correct, when it's all said and done, I might just end up where the outside tract rider would have been, but at least I had 8' of space and time to get there and choose my next move.

Cavenger, I will say this, on the few times I have had a car merge into my lane, I made a mistake, I was caught off guard, daydreaming, looking at a different threat, other distraction(s), going too slow or too fast. When we are vigilant, we have a better chance to perceive the threat before it happens and start maneuvering to a safe zone.
 

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Trepidation "Sorry to have to be blunt here but: That's illogical. Whether there is an escape route which can be swerved into when a cager makes a lane change does not vary with your starting position. All that varies when you are closer to the cager's original lane is how far you have to swerve (more) and how much time you have between detecting the incursion and the potential collision (less). That reaction and maneuvering time can be used to slow, accelerate, or swerve. Having less time necessitates harder (or perhaps impossible) braking, more (or perhaps unavailable) acceleration, or a more (or perhaps impossibly) abrupt swerve.

There is something to be said for being where you are more likely to be seen, but I never choose that when it reduces my margin of safety and options should a cager not see me. I choose to take responsibility for my own safety over relying on drivers paying genuine attention, whenever there is a choice to be made."

In the MSF course they call that technique "presentation" and "proper use of lane position". The idea is counter-intuitive, but the point is to make yourself seen, like having your high beams on during the day and making sure they are in the mirror of the vehicle you are following.
 

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The choice is not binary between the two approaches. If you like the better chance of being seen in the closer track, you can get back to the margin for evasion maneuvers that the further track provides by slowing down. This will buy back some or all of the detection and reaction time loss, as well as make braking a more viable option.
Riding is a very personal art, with some measure of science to it. (measurable observation of past facts to produce repeatable outcomes) As others have already alluded, we're invisible, so we have to think for everyone else on the road. I can only think for so many drivers, so I consider heavy traffic an inconvenient risk in a cage, but a serious threat on a bike. When I first started riding a friend told me, "98% of the drivers out there can't see you; the other 2% are actually trying to kill you." While humorous, there is a small percentage of people that actually think bicyclists and motorcyclists have no "right to be on the road". I've had people tell me that to my face when they didn't know that I cycle. I've also had friends that have been threatened and taunted by cagers.

As an art, take the following with a grain of salt because some or all of it may not be possible in your circumstances.

Personal road riding principle #1 for me is keep at least two seconds of space between my vehicle and others as much as possible. (Cage or cycle). In a cage it is less critical, but I find or make space whenever possible by speeding up, slowing down, taking an alternate route or travelling at an alternate time. Ditto on my bike.

As long as there is no ice on the road, I use my Strom for my daily commute. My job has some measure of flexibility regarding work hours. As such, I either come in before rush hour and leave before the afternoon rush hour, or I come to work after the morning rush and leave after the evening rush. I understand you may not have flexibility of work hours, so this may not be an option. While commuting, or while on a weekend ride on the freeway, I find cars tend to be in packs. I ride in the multi-second hole between packs of cars. It doesn't matter if they are driving 10 mph under or over the speed limit. I match their speed and keep my large safe space for as long as I can. Obviously, I can't spend 100% of my time during every ride in one of these spaces, but I can camp there for quite awhile and minimize the level and duration of risk on that particular ride.

I avoid multi lane, high traffic roads with a lot of stoplights. We have some main thoroughfares through the primary shopping areas. They are heavily congested most of the time and vehicles constantly have to cross over all of the lanes from the time they enter the thoroughfare to the time they exit. It is a constant risk to my safety. As an alternative, I'll drive a few miles or few minutes out of my way to enter that thoroughfare on a side road as close to my destination as possible. I have the same risk, but for a shorter duration.

On long trips, I plan a less congested route using secondary highways. They are usually much more scenic, and I get to enjoy the view because I am not surrounded by people that are negligently or egregiously trying to kill me.

If I lived in a major metropolitan area, I would cage more often. I love riding. I hate hospitalization, and haven't tried the cemetery yet.

"Proficient Motorcycling" by Hough is useful. It is full of a lifetime of riding experience as well as countless studies and statistics. One statistic that I ride with is that (in the US) 77% of motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle turning left in front of the cyclist. Someone may be in the oncoming lane, misjudge my speed and turn across in front of me without signaling. Someone may be entering the road from my right, may not see me and turn left in front of me to travel the opposite direction I am travelling. Someone may be entering the road from my left and turn into my lane travelling the same direction I am travelling.
 
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