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Trying to Pass...Wake Up Call


BigTup

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I'm a very engaged rider, have a plan B, C, and D always. This one got past me until 3 close calls this year. I am 3rd or 4th behind a slow car, an opportunity to pass comes up. I signal, rear view mirror check, head check, and pull out to pass. One of the cars in front of me, impatient, pulls out either right next to me, or right in front, always without signaling. It's hard to protect against this except to pull out far left, or just wait and watch for others to make their move first. I'm surprised this hasn't come across my radar screen before.

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Guest Kakugo

You should try riding here.

Some drivers and riders actively try to run you off the road while being overtaken. It's not as bad as it used to be (police cracked down on them using unmarked bikes) but it's becoming a problem again.

 

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My approach to this is to give the vehicles in front a few opportunities to make their pass, but you must keep in mind the amount of time and the distance a car, truck, or slower bike would need to feel comfortable. Don't assume that just because there was enough time and space for you (even coming from three or four car-lengths back) that the other drivers/riders would feel safe trying a pass in the same distance. Also keep in mind that the nearer drivers/riders consider themselves to be ahead of trailing vehicles when it comes to passing order.

 

Another point to consider is that if you are passing multiple vehicles you are most likely really on the throttle on a bike that can accelerate at a speed that few other vehicles can match.

 

You're starting out several vehicles back...vehicles nearer to the one holding things up are likely to be completely unaware of your presence...the closer/closest driver/rider will assume they are first in line to initiate a pass...a quick check ahead shows the road is clear...a glance in the rear view mirror shows their trailing vehicle still behind them...they start their pass unaware that you have decided to jump everyone and are now closing at a very rapid and increasing speed...a situation that isn't good even if they signal their intent to pass.

 

A better approach might be to do as szurszewski suggests and leapfrog a vehicle or two at a time.

 

In the situation you set forth in your post I put the responsibility on the rider making the multiple passes to ensure the passes can be completed safely. Think of each vehicle as a separate pass and be ready to react accordingly.

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szurszewski

eddd has a good closing point, as I can't say that I've never overtaken more than one vehicle in a go and certainly understand the desire to do so. Perhaps that good compromise to do just that - think of each vehicle as separate and watch accordingly.

 

Current best practices in driver training (in the US at least) is to teach students, of course, to check for vehicles overtaking them before initiating a pass themselves, but of course that doesn't mean every driver, or even most drivers, will do so. Also, unless - and even if, really - they are carefully checking both mirrors and their blindspot, a motorcycle closing in fast from the rear is going to be hard to spot.

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Ohio law requires audibly signaling to the vehicle being overtaken. That is, blow your horn before passing so they know you are coming around. In practice, with the exception of driving school, I've never heard this happen.

 

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szurszewski
Ohio law requires audibly signaling to the vehicle being overtaken. That is, blow your horn before passing so they know you are coming around. In practice, with the exception of driving school, I've never heard this happen.

 

I was not aware of any state requiring that. On the surface it seems like a pretty good idea.

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Ohio law requires audibly signaling to the vehicle being overtaken. That is, blow your horn before passing so they know you are coming around. In practice, with the exception of driving school, I've never heard this happen.

 

I was not aware of any state requiring that. On the surface it seems like a pretty good idea.

 

NC Driver's handbook also mentions using your horn to signal intent to pass: I've never done it or seen/heard it done.

Passing

1. Look ahead and behind to determine when it is safe to pass.

2. If it is safe to pass, signal to alert the drivers ahead and behind you of your intention ....

3. Give a left turn signal so the driver behind you will know ...

4. Blow the horn to signal the driver ahead. The horn signal places the driver of the car you are passing under a legal obligation to help you to pass.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
I was not aware of any state requiring that. On the surface it seems like a pretty good idea.

 

If everyone were well-informed about it, it would be a good idea. However, under the status quo most drivers who hear another vehicle's horn feel like they're being given the finger, and I fear that some may respond with overt hostility.

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Years ago when I started driving in the 1960's in Mighigan it was taught in Drivers Ed. I think Mitch is right, with current attitudes, it might be provacative.

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pedro cerveza

If you are paying attention the drivers in the cars often telegraph their intentions. If a vehicle waiting to overtake a a car ahead of him and is tailgating it's a sure sign he (or she) is going to pull out. If they are laying back and not crowding the car in front of them it's a safer bet that they are checking their mirrors, rather than the 6 inches of space in front of their car.

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I really think I need two horn buttons.

One for the two stock horns to move a semi out of my lane.

The second for a horn with a friendlier, Roadrunner-style beep. Like this...

Well, just the meep-meep, the part after is already provided by the RT.

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Hi. What about flashing the high beams (passing lights) just before passing a vehicle? (It's the same idea as sounding the horn, but perhaps less provocative.)

 

---John.

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Ohio law requires audibly signaling to the vehicle being overtaken. That is, blow your horn before passing so they know you are coming around. In practice, with the exception of driving school, I've never heard this happen.

 

So.......Those HD guys with the open pipes are actually obeying one law, after all.

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Hi. What about flashing the high beams (passing lights) just before passing a vehicle? (It's the same idea as sounding the horn, but perhaps less provocative.)

 

---John.

I often flash my lights before passing. with my strobes from the led's thay see me coming! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
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Ohio law requires audibly signaling to the vehicle being overtaken. That is, blow your horn before passing so they know you are coming around. In practice, with the exception of driving school, I've never heard this happen.

 

So.......Those HD guys with the open pipes are actually obeying one law, after all.

 

Except they never pass...they are at the front going 5 under the limit.

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About 5 years ago in our area a young sport bike rider was last in a line of 5 cars that were driving much too slow for him. He swung out and accelerated hard. Unfortunately the reason the line was running slow is driver #1 was planning on making a left turn into a driveway. He made his turn and the sport bike rider hit him. End of sport bike rider.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Charles Elms

In the late 1950's in Texas, in Drivers Education, we were taught to both lightly beep the horn and flash your lights when passing.

 

Now that is considered aggressive driving!

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It's always a hassle.

I just play it by what I see there.

A lot of them see me coming up, and know I'm going to pass all of them. So they lay back and let me do it.

Some, slow ones, pull out in front of me to make a slow pass while I wait behind them. I don't. That's what lane splitting is for.

Sometimes I have to lane split passed 3 slow cars executing a slow pass.

You have to watch for some idiot in a "muscle car" (muscle head). They always think their road hog/gas hog can outrun a bike. Lane splitting always scares them, as they are worried about their paint job.

In Mexico, they have a system.

A slow truck or car, seeing you come up, looks for an opportunity for you to pass (they know the road).

Then they left turn signal.

That means pass now.

And they expect you to pass.

It's not a perfect system (is any system?)

Sometimes they are actually signaling to make a left turn.

dc

 

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Another issue I passed two vehicles then two Harleys holding up the line when I swung passed the lead Harley looked at my speedo going 110 mph good thing a Montana state cop wasn't coming my way.

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I don't know if there's a one size fits all solution. I tend to treat each car in passing as an individual pass, even if I'm already in the left (passing) lane. One principle I always keep in mind is keeping your exposure to others' bad driving to a minimum, so I tend to try to get around a slower car as quickly as possible.

 

A little less helpful perhaps, but I always endeavor to listen to my spidey sense when dealing with a cager. You often pick up subtle hints from their head position, speed variances, and positioning. When in doubt, sit back and enjoy the scenery.

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... One principle I always keep in mind is keeping your exposure to others' bad driving to a minimum, so I tend to try to get around a slower car as quickly as possible....

 

That's what my driving instructor taught (many moons ago). If we didn't floor the gas pedal when passing, he'd reach his leg over and mash our foot to the floor - lesson learned. Problem is that on the RT, passing a car going 50 mph, I'm up to nearly 90 by the time I'm along side the driver. Moderation is a hard thing to practice when immoderation is so easy. I doubt a cop will be understanding..

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