--Motorcycle Consumer News
by Ken Codon
It has been over a decade since you last owned a motorcycle, and you are anxious to ride a two-wheeler once again. You were tempted to forego rider training since you already know how to ride a motorcycle, but you suspect there are things you may not know, so you sign up.
The class was worth taking, because you were able to relearn basic control skills and practice emergency braking. Brushing up on these skills was great, but the course was also very beneficial in making you aware of things that are of particular concern to motorcyclist, such as conspicuity.
You began commuting to work the Monday after passing the course. Over the next few weeks you keep the lessons about visibility in mind as you negotiated the workday traffic. So far, the lane positioning techniques you learned appear to be working, as other drivers seem to recognize your presence. Today, you will learn one more lesson about the complexities of riding in traffic.
You are riding in the left lane of a divided, four-lane roadway. You slow as you approach an intersection controlled by a traffic light that turned red only a moment ago. A line of cars is forming in the right lane as you roll forward to stop behind the car ahead. You notice that a car to your right is stopping quicker than seems necessary. You continue forward when you suddenly see the front bumper of a car emerging from between the line of cars in the right lane and is about to cross in front of you! You squeeze the brakes the way you were taught in the safety course and are able to stop before contacting the driver side door.
The driver you nearly collided with was exiting a gas station to your right with the intention of crossing into your lane so he could make a left-hand turn at the intersection. He took advantage of a gap in the line of traffic provided to him by a courteous driver, but failed to see you among the other vehicles.
Had you noticed that car was waiting to enter the roadway from the gas station and recognized the significance of the driver in the right-hand lane slowing more abruptly, you may have been able to predict the hazard. This information should have triggered an alert and prompted you to begin slowing much earlier. Instead, you were faced with making an emergency stop. Thankfully, your recent training kicked in and you avoided a crash.