Let’s talk about a situation that every motorcyclist will experience at some point. This is when you are riding in your lane and another vehicle encroaches upon your lane. That is to say, they gradually impose on your lane either accidentally or on purpose, forcing you to change your position by changing lanes. Let’s look at what we expect, as civil people, and what the law says.
How Do Motorcycle Operators View The Lane They Are Traveling In?
A person operating a motorcycle must be acutely aware of everything and everyone around him. He must watch for the motorist that does not see him, drivers who slam on brakes, and debris that is on the road. Every inch of the lane is important to him. When he is in the lane he sees it as three lanes. He has the far right side of the lane, the center of the lane and the far left of the lane. This is all in the single land he is using. His motorcycle can use any one of these paths to remain safe in an unsafe situation.
Perhaps there is an accident, funeral line, or a major sporting event that has cars backed up for miles along the right lane. Obviously, the right lane is not a good choice. You may consider the center lane, but will that put you far enough away to keep you or your body from the injury if a car door is opened from the right lane and into the center lanes?
What Does The Law Say?
The law in Indiana is clear. It says that a motorcycle needs the entire lane to operate safely. It stipulates that there is to be no lane sharing. The motorcyclist is to operate down the center lane. Deliberately disobeying the law can result in a traffic ticket.
What Can You Do If A Driver Is Encroaching On Your Space?
We all want to be heard and we all want to be seen. It is best to assume they made an honest mistake. Start by sounding your horn. If you can do so without losing control, try looking at him and making eye contact. If it was an accident he will back off. If it wasn’t, he will see quickly that you are not playing with him.
It is like this. Motorists are going to encroach you on your motorcycle travels. They are going to make mistakes. Sometimes, they are going to be jerks and do it for kicks. Your job is to be proactive. Obey the law, but let common sense rule. Be smart, be alert, and be safe. You will live to ride another day.