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i'm curious as to how many people think it's safer (on a motorcycle or even in general) to ride slightly faster than traffic. when i was taught to drive a car i was told to stay around the same speed as everyone else but i've read/heard that it's safer on a bike to slowly, carefully pass through (usually). so what do you think?
 

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I find 10-15% Faster than the traffic is the key, not quick enough to blast past them without them knowing I was there, but not slow enough that i'm constantly being merged upon by adjacent cars.
 

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Riding faster than traffic in the left lane minimizes your time in someones blind spot.

That is why I do it anyhow.
 

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I feel safer on a bike in traffic than in my truck, because even on the little supermoto, I can accelerate and slow down much faster at any speed. In reality, the feeling of safety is probably just an illusion, because in a 4,000 lb truck, you have a steel cage wrapped around you. But, I do feel much more comfortable going faster than the flow of traffic when on 2 wheels.
 

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A guy on a scruffy bike
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Yes, the safest speed in a car is the same as everyone else is going, and the safest speed on a bike is just a little bit (maybe 5mph) faster than that. The reason for that is that safety on a bike is a very active thing; you must be aware of everything, react to everything, take everything into account. A slightly faster speed than ambient reduces the risk of being intruded upon from a direction you can't see (or just aren't looking at at the moment) without signfiicantly increasing the risk forward. A car moving a little faster than traffic does have an increased risk, because it is large compared to the spaces around it; a bike has an edge in maneuverability, responsiveness, and size that makes the small speed differential less of a problem -- provided you do the active work of planning your path and maintaining escape routes.

PhilB
 

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I like go from escape route to escape route... Just a wee bit faster than traffic.
 

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Not always on two
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I agree with everything said so far in this thread. I always ride a bit faster than traffic. I dont want to blend in, I want people to know I'm there. It is safer in experiences.
 

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Everyone is right here. I always go faster then the rest of the traffic. I never get passed (not sure if that is good or not, haha.) Some situations are different though.
 

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Silent pipes take lives
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The safest speed is whatever speed it takes to maintain a bubble, stay out of blind spots, keep away from the worst drivers, and not surprise other drivers with a sudden change in position.

Sometimes that's faster, sometimes that's the same speed, and sometimes (though unpopularly) that's slower.
 

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The safest speed is whatever speed it takes to maintain a bubble, stay out of blind spots, keep away from the worst drivers, and not surprise other drivers with a sudden change in position.

Sometimes that's faster, sometimes that's the same speed, and sometimes (though unpopularly) that's slower.
Exactly. There have been many times on the highway where I've been going about 5mph faster than the traffic to my right (I ride in the left lane), and I see someone behind me that is coming up quickly. It's much safer to pull over to a slower lane and let him pass then to try to outrun him or make him stay on your tail.
 

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For me, in general, yes. However, it depends upon conditions. On freeway and everyone is stable, no interchanges coming up, and my mood is lower key, I'll split rather slowly. If cager attitudes are anxious, I'll increase my speed if all other conditions look good.

The above is kinda hard to write about, it's a seat of the pants deal for me. If things look mega crappy, I'll camp on the No 1 lane.
 

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Ill cruise around and if I need to pass someone or do something ill do it a little faster than the surrounding faster.
 

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A guy on a scruffy bike
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The safest speed is whatever speed it takes to maintain a bubble, stay out of blind spots, keep away from the worst drivers, and not surprise other drivers with a sudden change in position.

Sometimes that's faster, sometimes that's the same speed, and sometimes (though unpopularly) that's slower.
I think slower will very rarely be the right answer. If you are moving slower than the flow of traffic, then every person who comes up on you has to make a decision on how to deal with you. Every decision point is an opportunity for someone to screw up, and on a bike that screw-up stands a better than even chance of being mostly at your expense. I'm not saying that slower will *never* be the answer, but it's not going to happen very often.

Exactly. There have been many times on the highway where I've been going about 5mph faster than the traffic to my right (I ride in the left lane), and I see someone behind me that is coming up quickly. It's much safer to pull over to a slower lane and let him pass then to try to outrun him or make him stay on your tail.
We're talking about compared to the general flow of traffic here. Yes, obviously, the safest answer is NOT to make sure you're always going faster than *every single* car around and never to let yourself get passed. If someone comes up going faster then the safest speed, then the safest answer is to get out of the way and let him by, and take his increased risk of accident away from you.

PhilB
 

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I'll have to go with Scissors. I've found that it can vary, but quite often in heavy traffic on the highway it's best to stay slightly slower with a larger gap to the next car. I've noticed far fewer people trying to pull into my lane on top of me while doing that, keeps me out of the pack of cars that's always tailgating and rear ending each other. Then I can just hang back and chill. If you are going to hang out slow, just stay in the right lane, then everyone does not have to make a decision about how to get around you.

(Also, it helps keep more air coming into the RC radiators... so the benefit is two fold)
 

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A guy on a scruffy bike
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I'll have to go with Scissors. I've found that it can vary, but quite often in heavy traffic on the highway it's best to stay slightly slower with a larger gap to the next car. I've noticed far fewer people trying to pull into my lane on top of me while doing that, keeps me out of the pack of cars that's always tailgating and rear ending each other. Then I can just hang back and chill. If you are going to hang out slow, just stay in the right lane, then everyone does not have to make a decision about how to get around you.

(Also, it helps keep more air coming into the RC radiators... so the benefit is two fold)
I've seen people get run over that way. In heavy traffic especially, you want to be going at least the speed of the flow and managing your escape routes. If traffic is going less than about 35mph, you want to be going a bit faster and splitting lanes (safety-wise -- only in CA is this legal, but it's actually the safer path).

PhilB
 

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I've seen people get run over that way. In heavy traffic especially, you want to be going at least the speed of the flow and managing your escape routes. If traffic is going less than about 35mph, you want to be going a bit faster and splitting lanes (safety-wise -- only in CA is this legal, but it's actually the safer path).

PhilB
I'm thinking around 60 - 70 mph when the traffic is heavy. Man, it's a clusterf*&^ to be in that big mob of traffic with all those cars moving like a school of fish!
 

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Part 3 begins
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Everyone is right here. I always go faster then the rest of the traffic. I never get passed (not sure if that is good or not, haha.) Some situations are different though.
I dont consciously do it, but I cant remember the last time I waas passed on the highway

(except for that Yellow Lamborghini I revved @.....:):):))
 
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