Florida Motorcycle Handbook: Lane Positions
5. Ride within your Abilities
- 5.1. Basic Vehicle Control
- 5.6. Keeping your Distance
- 5.7. Lane Positions
- 5.8. Following Another Vehicle
- 5.9. Being Followed
- 5.10. Passing and Being Passed
- 5.11. Lane Sharing
- 5.12. Merging Cars
- 5.13. Cars Alongside
- 5.14. S.E.E.
- 5.15. Increasing Rider Visibility
- 5.16. Crash Avoidance
- 5.17. Handling Dangerous Surfaces
- 5.18. Mechanical Problems
- 5.19. Unavoidable Hazards
- 5.20. Getting Off the Road
- 5.21. Carrying Passengers and Cargo
- 5.22. Group Riding
- 5.23. Riding While Impaired
In some ways the size of the motorcycle can work to your advantage. Each traffic lane gives a motorcycle three paths of travel, as indicated in the illustration.
Your lane position should:
- Increase your ability to see and be seen.
- Avoid others' blind spots.
- Avoid surface hazards.
- Protect your lane from other drivers.
- Communicate your intentions.
- Avoid wind blast from other vehicles.
- Provide an escape route.
Select the appropriate path to maximize your space cushion and make yourself more easily seen by others on the road.
In general, there is no single best position for riders to be seen and to maintain a space cushion around the motorcycle. No portion of the lane need be avoided - including the center.
Position yourself in the portion of the lane where you are most likely to be seen and you can maintain a space cushion around you. Change position as traffic situations change. Ride in path 2 or 3 if vehicles and other potential problems are on your left only. Remain in path 1 or 2 if hazards are on your right only. If vehicles are being operated on both sides of you, the center of the lane, path 2, is usually your best option.
The oily strip in the center portion that collects drippings from cars is usually no more than two feet wide. Unless the road is wet, the average center strip permits adequate traction to ride on safely. You can operate to the left or right of the grease strip and still be within the center portion of the traffic lane. Avoid riding on big buildups of oil and grease usually found at busy intersections or toll booths.