I was riding home today, freeway is packed as usual, cautiously splitting lanes, don’t want to be too aggressive, I usually tend to learn my lessons fairly quickly. It seems to be a known fact to drivers that motorcycle riders “come out of nowhere” because they move faster than traffic. Well, tonight was not the case. I did not come out of nowhere.
I was probably half a mile away from my final exit off the freeway, the traffic was going approximately 5 to 10 mph as there was an accident ahead. A Lexus SUV with a woman driver (surprise-surprise) on my right and a Mitsubishi Lancer on my left. I was pacing at the very same speed as them in between two right most lanes as I was looking for a chance to sneak through. We’d been rolling on like this for at least 5 seconds when the woman driver on my right saw an opening in the left lane and decided to jump erratically on the opportunity. She initiated the merge, then as if it still mattered turned her blinkers. My peripheral vision helped me as I spotted a large gray body of steel approaching me rapidly. I reacted quickly, and swerved left while accelerated a bit. I saw her abort the maneuver and get back into her lane quickly turning off her blinkers. I think she must have heard my engine as I was accelerating, I was in the first gear. I don’t believe she bothered looking left. But again we were going side by side for some time …
Having a somewhat analytical mindset I wanted to review this situation closer. And then I decided not to bother. Did that happen because women can’t drive, or regardless of the driver’s sex sitting in traffic numbs your sense and you are no longer inclined to look around before executing a maneuver, or drivers don’t recognize riders as full time occupants of the road? Why bother. It’s happened before and I am sure it’ll happen again.
In any event I am home safe and sound. I am sure the woman got scared more than I did. And that will hopefully leave an imprint in her mind. Or may be not. She drives an SUV after all.