Riding at least 1 metre from the edge is considered by many to be essential for safety, and it is the recommended practice of DfT through Bikeability and Cyclecraft. IMO, riding at least 1 metre from the edge (with a few exceptions) is more essential for safety than not wearing earphones. However, neither wearing earphones nor gutter riding should get a cyclist killed or blamed for an accident.
I would argue with the assertion that riding a metre out is the position adopted by many
, that implies a majority, try doing a survey of all the cyclists you see in traffic and make an honest appraisal.
I ride appropriately
, very occasionally that means moving out and stopping the car behind from passing, under these circumstances I'm going at the speed of the traffic and there is no chance that a half concentrating driver will mistake me for a faster moving powered cycle and pile into my back wheel. I do find the '1 metre out' dogma both dangerous and illogical, I'd rather use my experience and ride according to the conditions, frankly DfT guidelines seem to be for people with no common sense and no imagination of the real world and real drivers.
Did you see the Panorama programme earlier this week, a worrying watch if you believe that riding in the dominant position will keep you safe from inattentive drivers. If the DfT admitted that most drivers are on autopilot and one day one will get it wrong and mistake you for a motorcycle, piling into you and killing you instantly, well it wouldn't do much for cycling figures would it? Sadly though it's fact of life, I used to commute in my car early on a Monday morning and would arrive at work a hour later and not remember a thing about the journey, I was making all my decisions based on a model of traffic that my mind has built up over 43 years of driving. Our lives are all patterns, if you don't conform to the pattern life will be hard, it's the same with roads, the slowest should keep to the nearside [not
the gutter of course] where drivers expect them to be. Ride too far out and drivers will need to register that you don't conform the pattern and make adjustments, I'd rather not be the person who re-educates everyone who comes up behind me.
Sorry to go on and on off-topic but it's so typical of the nanny-state giving misleading advice.