Freeway driving (excludes LSMs and mopeds)
Note: The following sections deal with the freeway driving portion of the Level Two road test. If you take the road test on a limited-speed motorcycle or a moped, you will not do the freeway portion, since these vehicles are not allowed on freeways in Ontario. However, you should be familiar with the information contained in the following sections, as it may appear on the Level One knowledge test.
As a motorcyclist, you have to be careful not to drive too fast on a freeway. Although it is easy for motorcycles to cut through traffic and speed on a freeway, driving faster than traffic is dangerous because you will not be able to react quickly enough in an emergency.
Drive at a steady speed on a freeway. Keep checking traffic all around you and look in your mirrors every five to 10 seconds. As in city driving, you should be constantly scanning the road ahead and to each side, and checking your rearview mirrors. Look ahead to where you are going to be in the next 15 to 20 seconds, or as far ahead as you can see.
Always keep at least a two- to three-second distance behind the vehicle in front of you. If another vehicle follows too closely, give yourself even more room in front or change lanes. Keep a cushion of space all around you and avoid driving in the blind spots of other vehicles. Stay clear of large vehicles. They block your view more than other vehicles and create a strong air disturbance behind them. If you get behind one of these vehicles, the wall of wind can whip around your motor- cycle, making it difficult to control.
Entering a freeway
Entrance ramps can be especially difficult for motorcycles. In addition to tight turns, entrance ramps often have slippery surfaces, causing you to drive more slowly than you would in a larger vehicle. And because other drivers are usually unaware of the risks faced by motorcyclists, you may have to deal with other vehicles tailgating or trying to pass you.
As you move along the ramp, check traffic in the lane you will move into and find a safe space to enter. Remember to look ahead and check your mirrors and your blind spots. Turn on your signal as soon as traffic on the freeway can see your motorcycle on the ramp. Increase your speed to match that of freeway traffic. Continue to divide your attention between watching in front, checking your mirrors and looking over your shoulder until you can merge safely with traffic. Merge in a smooth, gradual movement to the left tire track of the nearest freeway lane.
Changing lanes on a freeway
Be extra cautious when changing lanes on a freeway. On multi-lane roads you need to check that the lane is clear before you enter it, and you also need to make sure someone from another lane is not moving into that spot.
Because traffic moves so quickly on a freeway, it is especially important that you let vehicles behind you know that you intend to change lanes. Once you have made certain that a lane is clear, signal early and increase your speed slightly as you move into the lane. Watch to make sure that any vehicle behind you does not speed up.
When approaching an entrance ramp where other vehicles are merging onto the freeway, adjust your speed to allow the vehicle to merge safely ahead of you or behind you. This will help you avoid being hit by drivers who do not see you. If necessary, move over one lane and resume the curb lane when it is safe to do so.
Do the same thing when approaching exit ramps. If you are driving in the lane closest to the exit ramp, you may be cut off by a driver who does not see you and cuts across the lane in front of you to get to the exit ramp.
Leaving a freeway
When leaving a freeway, get into the right lane well before the exit and signal that you want to move into the exit lane, but do not slow down. Look left and right and check your mirrors. Turn on your signal. Enter the exit lane with a smooth, gradual motion. Once you are in the exit lane, reduce your speed gradually to the speed shown for the exit ramp. Check your speedometer to make sure you are going slowly enough. You may not realize how fast you are going because you are used to the high speed of the freeway.
If you miss an exit, keep going and take the next exit.