Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
Please put down the damn phone!
I like to use accidents and near misses to share my thoughts and actions and encourage others to suggest how things might have been handled differently.
Yesterday, I was stopped at a traffic signal in my truck. I was about the third vehicle from the intersection. The light turned green, I took my foot off the brake, and as the cars in front of me began to move, I started to accelerate. Suddenly, I was rear ended and the truck jolted forward a foot or so. I pulled onto the shoulder and the truck that hit me followed. A teenaged driver got out and, obviously concerned, asked if I was OK, which I was. He was very courteous and remorseful. I asked him if he had been on his phone when the accident occurred. He said he had looked at his phone to see if he had any messages, then had bent down to put a CD in his player, and when he looked up and saw the light was green accelerated. He failed to note the speed of the vehicle in front of him. Damage to my truck was minimal. Had I been on the bike, it would have been seriously damaged and I probably would have been hurt too.
When riding, and stopped at an intersection, I'm always in the "ready" position; right hand on throttle, left foot down, right foot on brake, eyes scanning the mirrors and the bike pointed toward my predetermined escape route. It's one of the best things I learned in rider training, and it saved my bacon once with a distracted driver. But once a vehicle or two has stopped behind me, I take my eyes off the mirrors and look forward, because I can no longer see approaching vehicles from the rear, assume the stopped vehicles behind me aren't going to suddenly run into me, and need be ready to move on when the light changes. So I don't think I would have avoided being hit had I been on the bike in that situation. Any thoughts on if or how I could have avoided this accident?
Anyone guilty of using their phone while driving and assuming they are good enough drivers not to get into accidents because of it? The statistics say that's not true.