So, you’re driving along a city street and there’s a motorcycle behind you. But then you come to a stop and that guy pulls up on the right, almost next to your back right tire, and you’re thinking, “What is he doing?!” He may even be in your blind spot. Why didn’t he stop squarely behind you so that you can see him? This is an example of someone purposefully trying to avoid motorcycle in line stopping.
If you’re like me, you become hyper-aware of that motorcyclist, knowing that you need to be as predictable as possible, keep him in your rearview mirrors, and look twice every time you make a move. So, when you’re trying hard to be a polite driver and you see this, it can seem these bikers are making up their own rules of the road. But that isn’t necessarily the case.
In line stopping: Why do some motorcyclists stop to the side of your car?
I’m sure that it can seem like he’s just messing around, playing loose with road laws, and generally being difficult. But what if he’s being safe?
Can you believe it? If that motorcyclist had stopped in line with the car in front of him, he would likely be dead or, at the very least, severely injured.
Sometimes it can seem like motorcyclists “aren’t behaving.” And because we’ve all seen a rider pull stunt moves in crazy traffic, we tend to assume that any behavior that seems different is more of the same: unsafe road jockeys trying to play around with their bikes. (For the record: you also see a TON of bad auto driving behaviors and you don’t assume that all car drivers are road jockeys, right? So let’s stop stereotyping motorcyclists.)
In line stopping is just one biker specific scenario that may keep them safe. Another example: when a motorcyclist seems to be swerving left and right while in a line of cars moving forward. I know it can seem like he’s horsing around but he may simply be trying to assure that he isn’t in someone’s blind spot or even avoiding road debris that a auto driver doesn’t even need to notice. Check out a previous blog on this topic here.
If you’re confused by a motorcyclist’s behavior, do your best to remain predictable. Always signal your intentions, stay within the speed limit, don’t slam on your brakes, don’t tailgate (they can stop a LOT faster than you can!), and always, always look twice before turning or changing lanes.
If you have any questions about this article, don’t hesitate to call me: 303-388-5304.