This morning while watching the local news, the traffic helicopter was over an accident on the freeway involving a motorcycle and a minivan. I know you are like me and anytime you hear of a motorcyclist down on the freeway you cringe and instantly say to yourself “I hope the guy is alright”. In this case he was taken to the hospital and injuries seemed minor, his motorcycle however didn’t fare so well. A driver crossed over the double yellow line on the freeway to get into the carpool lane (which is against the law) and took out a motorcyclist who was there legally. The drivers response to the police…”I didn’t see him”.
When traffic slows to a crawl we can split lanes, at traffic lights we can work our way to the front and at times we’re simply stuck too. It’s a lot of work commuting on a bike. I can remember days of after over an hour of splitting lanes I was exhausted when I got to work. Dodging cars that change lanes without looking, drivers turning left in front of you, somebody texting and drifting into your lane, a mom or dad yelling at the kids in the back seat (“hey you kids, knock it off before I reach back there and…”), you get the picture…drivers that aren’t paying attention and especially not to you.
Every rider that commutes has stories to tell; a driver is mad that traffic is stopped and takes it out on you because you can go between the cars by opening his door just before you get there and proceeds to flip you off, drivers that move over just to close off your path and proceed to flip you off, the driver that makes a u-turn in the middle of a block without looking and the instant they see you…they flip you off. Ok, it’s time to stop before I go into full rant mode.
Those of us that commute to work on a motorcycle everyday know the risks and accept them as part of our way of life. But, here is some good news, on a freeway that I ride regularly and has a pretty heavy traffic flow, Cal Trans has come to the aid of riders.
Thank you Cal Trans