Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dumb Motorcyclist Near-Miss

Driving on fast-moving Loop 101 in Phoenix recently, I overtook a sport bike cruising in the fast lane.  I slowed and hung well back, allowing him time to notice that he was blocking faster traffic.  Abruptly, he chopped the power, slowed 10 mph and locked step with a Porsche 911 in the adjacent lane.  

It may have been deliberate; some apparently think they're moving as quickly as humanly possible and nobody should be allowed to go faster. The other possibility was that the rider was oblivious to my presence.

Suddenly he accelerated and resumed speed. Maybe he'd finally noticed me; perhaps he felt that he'd proven his point. Regardless, it was time to put some distance between us.
Clueless biker accelerates away from near-death experience

Once clear of the Porsche, I accelerated and moved into Lane Two to go around. I was nearly alongside when he suddenly dove into my path. I spiked the brakes, missing him by inches. Apparently unaware of the near-death experience, he blithely accelerated laterally across four lanes and took the next exit.

Had we collided, the 911 driver might have obligingly remained at the scene to offer witness. But even assuming that he'd noticed the event, not everyone is willing to become embroiled in a fatal-accident investigation.

Fortunately I had an impartial witness, a dual-camera Rostra dash cam.  Aside from a front camera, its rear-facing camera monitors the driver and interior. With GPS it records speed and location; on playback it displays the vehicle's path in real-time on Google Maps. Among other data, it also shows whether the car is accelerating or decelerating, moving left or right.

At home I reviewed the footage, confirming the biker's good fortune. The video would have been priceless as an exculpatory accident-reconstruction tool. But I'm glad that it wasn't needed.