With more and more cars hitting the roads each day, there is an increasing amount of slow traffic, particularly at rush hour, when a lot of bikers take to the roads on their daily commute, especially in the summer time. Discounting the obviously obstructive drivers, there are too many others that simply do not pay attention to what’s happening to their left/right/rear and sometimes even in front of their own eyes. The obvious result here being SMIDSY (“Sorry mate I didn’t see you”), or much worse. This doesn’t lessen the damage caused during a collision, and most certainly doesn’t repair bikes, or broken bones.
So how do we filter safely? Simple answer: Speed and Awareness. Blitzing down the road between two lanes of traffic weaving in and out is probably not a wise, safe, or legal!
There are other situations where filtering is NOT legal (No overtake sites, or crossing a solid white line in the middle of the road for instance), but there is also a case as to whether or not you are filtering with ‘Due care and attention’, and in the event of a collision you need to be able to prove that were filtering safely and legally.
Keeping your speed sensible and planning ahead assists with this, if in doubt, don’t filter. It’s also wise to not be pressured into a situation you are not comfortable with, simply because there is another biker filtering behind you, simply pull in and let them go.
A relevant article from BikeSafe: http://www.bikesafe.co.uk/advice-centre/filtering/
Whilst many of us may/may not agree with what is said in the article, the point is clear: Filtering is risky, we need to manage that risk!
Ride safe, and be sensible!
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