There are lot’s of these motorcycle Vloggers out there. They ride around with their gopro cameras, blather on and on about whatever nonsense is in their heads, and then post the videos on YouTube. Apparently people like watching that sort of thing. Beats me. I don’t get it.
One common theme they like to hammer is how drivers are constantly “wronging” them. Everything that happens to them is some idiot driver’s fault.
And there are indeed a lot of idiots out there. I see them every day.
But I disagree with the mindset that says a motorcycle crash is the other guy’s fault. Ever.
Riding is all about 100% accountability. I don’t care if the other guy made an illegal move or otherwise did something wrong, as riders we are the ones who suffer the consequences. It is our job to actively avoid collisions, even if that means riding beyond some other guy’s mistake. I have no interest in having a remorseful guy at my funeral.
Toward that end, I took the video above and screen grabbed it at a few key moments to show where I think HD2 messed up.
We’ll set the stage by noting that HD2 is in the “carpool” or “HOV” lane. In California, in theory, other drivers can not cross the double yellow line into that lane. Motorcycles are allowed.
Because the HOV lane is less congested, traffic moves faster. That’s the point. We pick up the action with HD2 coming up hard on some cars in the next lane. Look closely at the tail car in the lane to HD2’s right. I froze this image at the moment that they put on their brakes. Anytime you see brakes on the freeway you have to take note and understand why the driver feels a need to slow. This is the moment that HD2 should have first entered a state of heightened awareness. There’s potential trouble ahead.
Moving ahead a few frames, and the key thing to note is that despite the fact that the situation unfolding ahead of him has gotten quite a bit worse, he is still not on the brake. Look at his right hand. He almost, sort of starts covering the brakes, but he doesn’t. He is now practically on top of the accident, and should already be braking. But he isn’t.
Now I’m going to zoom in on his right hand. By this point, he should know he is in a real jackpot and be taking corrective action, but note that even though he is less than 50 feet from a collision, his right hand is completely relaxed.
Move ahead a few more frames, where the collision is practically on him, and he is still not braking hard. Note the relaxed right hand posture.
Finally, with essentially zero room left between himself and the car, he gets on the brakes.
Bottom line for me: The driver of the car violated the law when he crossed the double yellow line, and I hope he is held legally accountable. But from a motorcycling perspective, HD2 demonstrated both an extreme lack of situational awareness and a lack of skills. He rode right into an accident that should have been easily avoidable.