Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
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III. Keeping a cushion of space around you
Distance to the side

On a motorcycle or moped, you have the ability to change your position within the lane to increase your distance from other vehicles. You should do this as traffic conditions change.

Try to keep a space on both sides of your vehicle. Do not drive beside other vehicles if you can avoid it. A vehicle in the next lane could move into your lane without warning. Vehicles in the next lane also block your escape if you run into danger in your lane. Drop back or speed up until you find a place that is clear on both sides. Avoid driving in other drivers’ blind spots.

Diagram showing the distance to keep one each side of the rider

The following are some of the conditions that require changes in lane position:

  • Passing vehicles
    When you are being passed by an oncoming vehicle or from behind, move toward the centre of the lane. Avoid being closer to a passing vehicle than you have to be; a slight mistake by either driver could cause a sideswipe.
  • Parked vehicles
    By staying to the left side of the lane, you can avoid the dangers of opening doors, drivers getting out of vehicles or people stepping from between vehicles.
  • Vehicles pulling out
    When pulling out into traffic, other drivers often take a quick look behind them and fail to see a motorcycle or moped. Vehicles making U-turns are a particular danger. If you see a vehicle pulling out, approach with caution.
Illustration with rider safely away from parked cars and those pulling out