The Challenges of Riding a Bike on a Public Road
As most motorcycle riders know, riding a motorcycle on public roads has many challenges:
- Incoming and crossing traffic that may not observe you.
- Vehicles that abruptly stop ahead of you with no apparent reason
- Cars that sway towards your riding lane
- Cars that come in fast from behind without noticing the motorcycle
These are just a few of these daily potentially dangerous situations we all face. To make things even more complicated, more challenges arise in countries where it is legal to lane split. Lane split means sharing the same lane between a motorcycle and another vehicle, and passing between car lanes, especially when bikers ride between vehicles in busy traffic.
Ride Vision’s testing team uses several motorcycles from different makers. They ride on public roads in daily traffic which ranges from empty roads to heavy traffic. Back at the office, the team pulls and inspects the recorded footage from the system. A few days ago, as the team replayed that day’s footage, they saw an incident that happened in front of the test bike and was caught on the video.
The video is recorded by the test motorcycle, which is riding in medium morning traffic. In front of the test motorcycle, another motorcycle is seen as it is passing a car from the right-hand side (a black maxi scooter with a black rear pannier). From the recorded footage we can see that the black motorcycle rider is riding very aggressively, which will eventually lead to the incident.
The Chronicle of The Accident
Let’s analyze what happened to that motorcycle:
At the very beginning of the video, the rider attempts to pass a pickup truck from the right, only to be slightly surprised by the truck’s braking and turn right.
Mistake #1. This causes the rider to slow down for a couple of seconds, only to pick up speed as the lane seems to be empty:
The specific part of that road is made of 3 lanes, where the left most lane is for turning left, the right most lane is for driving straight ahead, and the middle lane is for both left turning and driving straight. “Our” rider is taking the right most lane, where in front of him we see a white Mercedes car in the middle lane.
As we will shortly see, this is mistake #2.
As the two vehicles approach the traffic light, the arrangement of the lanes become more apparent to the viewer, as do the clearly marked arrows on each lane. However, the biker on the black maxi scooter does not want to ride straight as the arrows indicate, and instead he decides that it would be a good idea to pass the Mercedes from the right, on the right lane, and get to the intersection ahead of the car in order to allow him to turn left.
Mistake #3. We can see how the motorcycle starts to lean to the left, as the rider forcibly attempts to get in front of the car:
Another fraction of a second later, the aggressive motorcycle rider places himself right in front of the car’s right front corner, and takes the turn:
In the Mercedes, the driver slams the brakes, but is too late and the black maxi scooter is hit from the rear, causing the motorcycle to fall and spin:
Luckily, the rider was unhurt and did not require medical assistance. However, it was a close call, and had both vehicles speeds been faster, it’s very likely that the rider would have sustained injury.
Could The Accident be Prevented?
Had “our” rider on the black maxi scooter adopted a more careful, more relaxed and less aggressive riding style observing the traffic laws and common sense – this incident would have been eliminated in the first place. It is clear that the rider didn’t respect the marked lane direction signs, nor did he respect the other vehicles’ right to use the same road as him, making at least 3 judgment mistakes that should have been avoided in the first place.
However, it’s not always the riders fault. Many accidents occur because of the other driver’s fault. It is estimated that half (~50%) of mixed accidents (involving 2-wheelers and 4-wheelers) – are due to the fault of the 4-wheeler driver. This means that even if the motorcycle rider is not to blame, he or she still needs to suffer the consequences of the accident – to their body, or to the motorcycle, or both.
Ride Vision’s System to Reduce These Dangers
By constantly monitoring the predicted path of the motorcycle, the system continuously evaluates any danger that may pose a direct threat to the rider: Front, side and rear collision alerts, plus blind spot alerts are exactly the needed pieces of the puzzle that will increase the safety of motorcycle riders.
Assuming a fast approaching car that comes from behind, the motorcycle rider using Ride Vision’s system, will be alerted on this imminent potential danger through the Blind Spot Warning alerts. The rider will have the chance to take avoidance measures and reduce or eliminate the risk.
Ride Vision increases our chance to get to our destination safely!