You ease out the clutch expecting to follow the sedan onto the road. You decide to glance over your shoulder one more time to make sure the gap is still large enough for you to proceed. Your head check confirms that there is still adequate space to merge. As you return your eyes ahead, you are startled to see that the sedan driver is not accelerating as expected. Instead, he is slowing and applying the brakes!
You quickly roll off the throttle and brake hard, but the distance is too short to avoid hitting the left edge of the car’s bumper with your right crash guard. The impact violently knocks you off balance and onto the pavement. Thankfully, you are in full protective gear, so injuries are limited to a sore elbow and knee.
It was smart to look over your shoulder to check for traffic before proceeding, but it is critical that you do so only after you’re sure that the path in front is clear. Next time, wait until you see the car ahead actually enter the roadway before diverting your eyes away from what’s in front of you. Once it’s clear that there is a sufficient gap in traffic and that the path ahead is clear, then proceed.
copyright Ken Condon