I just saw video of a guy on a motorcycle who almost got run over by a woman in her car who was on a cell phone. He was trying out a new bike mounted video camera and caught the action on video. Link to VRCC thread with video.
Now just to be clear, there is no excuse for the woman’s actions. She was obviously not paying attention as she pulled into his lane right in front of him and almost hit him. Though I couldn’t see it on the video, I have no reason to doubt his assertion that she was on a cell phone. But the biker is not completely without fault either.
I was nervous as I watched the video. Of course I knew from the title of the thread that there was going to be a near collision. But I’d have been nervous any way because of where the biker was riding. He was in her blind spot. Additionally, that is a bad place to be because of exactly what the woman did. It’s a rather fundamental safety procedure that you do not stay in that position, relative to a car or larger vehicle.
Somebody pointed that out a little ways down the thread. The rider acknowledged that he was in a bad spot, but said that the woman would have still pulled out if she could have seen him because she was on her phone. I think he missed the point that she couldn’t have hit him if he wasn’t there. As motorcycle riders, we should assume that the larger vehicles are going to do do things like that and be sure that we’ve taken appropriate counter measures. When a car pulls up slightly ahead of you, as the woman did in the video, you should get out of that spot. Pull up at least as far as the front door of the car. This keeps you in the drivers’ line of sight for one thing. If they still do something unfortunate, you will have more time to accelerate out of the danger zone. If you can’t pull up that far for some reason, then drop back far enough that a sudden lane change won’t hit you.
The thread wandered over several topics, from the camera to louder horns. But the salient point, not to be missed here, is the ultimate responsibility of a motorcycle riders’ safety lies with the biker. As the operators of the smallest and most vulnerable vehicles on the road, it is incumbent on us to not allow the larger vehicles to hurt us. Regardless who is legally at fault, the motorcyclist will get the worst of it.
In this incident, the camera recorded a good lesson. I hope the rider learns it.
－ Guy Wheatley