Commuter Story: Two days, two close calls

On a good portion of my ride home there’s a large turn lane that runs the entire expanse of the road… even when there aren’t places to turn into. I stay in this lane whenever possible so I’m completely out of traffic and out of the way.

Yesterday on my way home, I turned right out of a parking lot into this extra lane while other people were turning left from across the intersection so we would both be going the same direction. As I made my turn into the empty lane, I made sure to give the oncoming truck plenty of room as he turned into his lane. I glanced back at the truck several times during the turn to make sure I was keeping plenty of space between him and me. It was at this point that the driver saw me and then swerved way over into my lane, at least half the width of his truck, in order to scare me. He did an obvious swerve out of his previous path to come within a couple feet of me.

I’ve had plenty of people honk and rev their engines as they pass, however this is the first time I’ve had somebody actually come after me. It was pretty unnerving.

Then this morning on the ride in it was about 6am so I was about the only vehicle on the road. As I was approaching an intersection I saw a car coming up to the light from the right and as I got closer I started thinking he was going to run his red light and take the right turn into my path since he didn’t see any cars coming. I started slowing down and, sure enough, he barely slowed down as he started into the intersection and then he saw me and slammed on his brakes in time to stop the car so the entire front end of his car was in my path. If I hadn’t seen him coming and slowed down he would have smacked right into me.

A reminder for me, and hopefully you, to ride defensively and be ever vigilant while you’re on your commute.

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