A few days ago I was riding VC when all of a sudden a SUV driving parallel to me started to merge into my path along the right side of the street. Without enough space to brake, I was squeezed against the passenger side door and the curb up until the moment I decided to jump off my bike as to avoid being pulled under the rear wheels of the SUV. While jumping off, my rear rack pannier (on the left side of my bike) hooked onto the rear bumper of the SUV, which swung me and my bike around.
Luckily, I was able to jump off my bike safely (without any injury to myself or damage to my bike.) But I'm wondering what side it is "smarter" to have a pannier? I've always thought that having it on my left side may encourage cars to give me more space as they are passing me, but after this past incident I'm wondering if it would be safer to have it on the right side to avoid it being "hooked" again. What are your thoughts?