Motorcycle Classics

Don't assume anything

Reader Contribution by Alison Green

Have you ever heard the analysis of the word “ASSUME”? As in “makes anASS out of U and ME”?  Silly? Maybe so — but you had better believeit if you ride on two wheels in today’s traffic. All traffic flow in this country is regulated and usually enforced and we would like to believe that everyone is playing (and driving) by the same rules.  Unfortunately there is no guarantee on compliance!

For example, consider this situation that I encounter frequently in suburban traffic in mid-summer. I am proceeding along a major city street and watching well ahead for traffic and street lights, my speed is just under the posted 60kph., traffic is light and moving well. There are no vehicles behind me. Three blocks ahead, a car approaches from the right on a quiet residential street and comes to a full stop at the intersection. I cannot see his signal light, but from his position he is either crossing through the intersection or turning left. I am the only vehicle approaching from his left. Obviously, I have the legal right of way! If the driver does indeed see me and if he does wait until I have passed through that intersection, then all is well. But his brain does not register my existence! At the moment when I should have entered the intersection, he pulls out to make his left turn! Fortunately, I had anticipated his maneuver and scrubbed speed so that when he did pull out into my path, avoiding a collision was simply a matter of squeezing the brakes a bit harder. Had I assumed that he would see me and proceeded at normal speed, there would have been a nasty crash. It would not have been my fault in the eyes of the law, but I would be the one in bandages.

  • Published on Aug 25, 2009
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