Be Extra Vigilant at Exit Ramps

This week on Tuesdays Tips: Be extra careful when approaching and passing an exit ramp on the highway.

This tip falls under the philosophies that “everyone is trying to kill you” and “ride like you are invisible”.

1) If a car is in the exit only lane or the beginning of an off ramp do not drop your guard. Assume he will change his mind and veer back into your lane. Do not ride parallel to a car that appears to be exiting. Either pass the car or leave room for him to get back in front of you. Better yet; move over one lane leaving a big cushion of space between you and the potential lane changer.

2) Assume the cars that appear to be passing the exit are going to change their mind at the last minute. Assume they are going to cut across to the exit ramp. They could be four lanes over in the hammer lane doing eighty and all of a sudden decide they want to catch this exit. Do not ride parallel to any cars if you are near an exit ramp. Leave room for them to cut across in front of you or pass them.

On the highway this is the closest thing to an intersection and we all know intersections are death traps for us bikers. Also, not all car owners have chosen to compare car insurance, thus leading to further complications in case of an accident.

5 Responses to “Be Extra Vigilant at Exit Ramps”

  1. Good advice. I’ve had the last-second shit heads raise the lump in the back of my throat a few times. Besides all the tips you gave, another thing I like to do is use the cages around me to my advantage as “blockers” whenever possible. I’m not exactly sure how to describe in words just how I do that, but I think you know what I mean. It’s just another way to keep the jackholes at a distance. No matter what, constant 360 monitoring of the traffic you share the road with is the key. You have to know where they are, because as you said, assume they don’t know you’re there.

  2. This is great advice. It’s so easy to get complacent. I like the way you reinforce that we are responsible to look after ourselves. Most multi-vehicle collisions happen at intersections. We don’t always think of everything that might comprise an intersection.

    If I may offer just a bit more. Most of the time there’s an overpass we go under just before the on ramp merges on our right. A great habit, even in a lane farther away, is to take a quick glance over our right shoulder as soon as we clear the overpass. Look for the vehicles at the top of the ramp. The earlier we get information, the better.

    Good to see you out here still keeping the faith!

  3. +1 to both Irondad and Joker. Just because it’s a highway doesn’t mean its okay to become complacent.

    Keep your head on a swivel at all time people.

  4. Yes Joker, I know what you mean about the blockers. I think “last second shit head” is a good name for the people we are taliking about.
    Thanks Dan, I was thinking of going into a separate tip regarding the people merging onto the freeway from the on ramp as opposed to the threat posed by the off ramp.
    Right on Rob, you swivel head you!

  5. I just remembered a horfying thing. We actually had a dude on a V-Rod come up the hammer lane passing our HOG chapter as we were passing an exit ramp off Rt 301 in Maryland. The jackhole decided to dart through our staggered formation to make the exit ramp! No warning, no signal, he just did it! That’s when I decided not all bikers are my brothers. Some are definitely jackholes.

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