It is a simple experiment. On foot, approach a pedestrian crossing twice. First time, go slowly, somewhat insecurely and stop or slow down a few feet before the ped xing. Quite a few motorists will take this is "You don't really want to cross so I am going because I am more in a hurry than you are." Second time, approach it quickly, trying not too look at the motoris and ready to cross (always able to stop though, in case you encounter the one motoris who really doesn't pay attention to anything!).
Similar behavior happens when you ride a bicycle. When you have the right of way but slow down, stop pedaling, look insecure then the motorists think you want to stop or turn, and the likelihood that you get taken your right of way increases - exactly the behavior you didn't want!
Videoclip to assertive Riding
Riding assertively will help you avoid uncomfortable or outright dangerous situations. You can ride assertively in many settings:
- More centered to avoid a close pass from behind when there is not enough room, either due to oncoming trsffic, ort the road just being too narrow
- Visible and showing the motorist that you have the right of way ahead of intersections to make sure they don't think you are slowing down (but always be ready to stop, in case they really didn't see you - in many cases, though, it is just poor judgement and giving them the visible appearance that yoiu are NOT going to stop will lead them into yielding to you.
- Prevent passes when situation is unclear, such as ahead of a sharp turn, when you don't see if there is oncoming traffic.