Posted: May 27, 2012 in common sense, wreckless driving

How many times has it happened to you? You’re driving down the freeway and all of a sudden… Out of nowhere… Some nut passes you on a motorcycle rolling about 120 mph. You’re so distracted by the fact that you think you’re about to watch someone die, that you forget that you’re driving. I’ve seen this too many times.

I’ve never really cared for motorcycles. Maybe because my father got into an accident on one when I was a kid. He was riding down a busy street and some fool drinking a Big Gulp had his head tilted back and veered into my dad’s lane. Luckily, despite it being a head-on collision, my father only suffered bruises, cuts and a broken leg. The speed limit on that street at that time was 40 mph. What happens when you wreck and the speed limit is 70 mph? Bad things, man. Bad things.

I was returning from Downtown Jackson recently when this person flew past me on his “crotch rocket.” I was doing 75 mph at the time and I’m guessing he (or she) was doing 100 mph. I was passed so quickly that I couldn’t even tell you the color of the bike. I never saw it in my mirror, but I heard it just seconds before it passed me. What if I had decided to change lanes?  If you’re going to drive fast enough to go back in time, then shouldn’t you do it when there’s no traffic?  I had a college roommate who worked at the airport.  He and his bike-riding buddies would take their motorcycles and race on the runway after work.  He told me that he once reached 190 mph before his helmet visor flew up and a bug hit him in the face.  The impact of a bug hitting him in the face at 190 mph embedded the bug in his cheek.  But, at least there was no traffic out there and the runways are generally smooth.  I still think he’s nuts (and lucky that the bug didn’t hit him in the eye).

Some of these daredevils daredummies like doing tricks while traveling 75 mph on the freeway. Nothing says “I’m an idiot” like popping a wheelie with cars moving all around you. You would think that these people would realize that one slip or even one small rock under the tire could throw them into traffic. And even if they’re lucky enough to not be thrown in traffic, hitting the ground at 75 mph is not the flesh weight loss plan I want to try.

The most nerve-wrecking of them all is “lane splitting.” That’s when someone rides their “widow maker” straight down the dotted lines of the street in between stopped/slow moving vehicles. I’ve only seen this happen in person once or twice, but I was so tempted to open my door just as he passed me.  I know, I know, shame on me.

What makes someone have no disregard for their life like that? I’m not saying that motorcycles can’t be fun, but the margin for error is a lot less than for someone in a car. It’s one thing to perform a stunt, but to do so with other moving vehicles around you? You may think you know what you’re doing, but what if the people around you can’t drive?

How do you feel about amateur stunts performed on motorcycles on your streets?

  1. Lane Splitting happens ALL THE TIME in California, the traffic capital of the world. I have always considered getting a bike (better mileage, blah blah blah) but I keep seeing articles like this or reading about accidents in the news.I'll pass. I watch for motorcyclists, but if you're not careful with the way you're riding your bike, you're asking for a wreck.

  2. Thank, Q says:

    With so many people texting instead of looking where they're going, there's no way I'd buy a motorcycle now. I don't trust anyone's driving. People treat driving like they treat each other: "it's all about me. I'm in a rush and have something to do."That attitude of entitlement alone is enough to keep me off of a motorcycle.

  3. jadedj says:

    I agree with you…just damned stupid. If for no other reason, the fact that the smaller profile of a motorcyclist makes just being on one dangerous because they are so difficult to see. In other words, unsafe at any speed in my view.

  4. Thank, Q says:

    Thanks for commenting! True! With so many more SUV's on the road these days, it's hard enough to see cars yet alone someone on a motorcycle who is driving irresponsibly. I just have no use for a motorcycle. I have a hard enough time worrying about getting hit in my car.

  5. I live in California, too, and I see lane splitting all the time. I've also seen the aftermath of some pretty bad motorcycle accidents, too. Just dumb.

  6. It never ceases to amaze me how many bloody idiots are out on the roads, my husband rides a motorbike and he tells me he is always careful and safe but I know he does what you called Lane Splitting and it worries me but he can't get why I worry…………my cousin was killed in a motorbike accident when he was only 18 his bike went under a truck……

  7. Thank, Q says:

    I would imagine that it happens quite often out there. Motorcycle accidents are never a pretty sight. Thanks for commenting!

  8. Thank, Q says:

    I've seen some horrific accidents on television and I hope your husband remains safe. You have to drive defensively especially when it comes to motorcycles. You can never expect that someone in a car sees you.

  9. Q. This is why the fine folks in emergency rooms call motorcycle riders "organ doners".

  10. Thank, Q says:

    If there's an organ left to donate, Mooner. I wouldn't be surprised if half of the organs are some where smeared on a highway. People have to be extra careful on motorcycles. I'm not saying don't have one, I'm just saying you really have to drive defensively.

  11. LogAllot.com says:

    Why do people do stupid crap like this? I hate when they ride by in between cars here in Cali and they do it all the time. I move over because I can count how many times I saw them knock off someone's rear view mirror. One guy got out of his car to chase him down. Now that was a lost cause. He had to walk his a– all the way back to his car. LMAO!

  12. Thank, Q says:

    LOL! Did he really think that he was going to catch a motorcycle? LOL! I never even thought about losing a mirror. That would piss me off to the utmost level of "pisstivity!"

  13. Haven't heard "pissivity" since Bebe's Kids!

  14. Thank, Q says:

    That's exactly where I got it. RIP Robin Harris.

  15. Anonymous says:

    While I agree about the stunting in traffic, I have to respectfully disagree that lane splitting/filtering is bad. It's 100% legal in California and the majority of people that make it dangerous is the cagers (drivers) getting angry that we're passing & trying to stop it or block us. Motorcycles overheat if they're not moving & we just sit there like dead weight in traffic our bikes would fail & cause a whole 'nother traffic jam. Like we always say, you'd have to be a rider to truly understand… So please, look twice before you change lanes. But otherwise, the guys doing 100mph wheelies down the highway are most definitely idiots.

  16. Thank, Q says:

    I appreciate this reply. I had no idea that splitting was legal any where. Is there a speed limit to it? I'd have to think that splitting cars at 60 mph is frowned upon. I'd love to hear what the rules are on that.

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