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Motorcyclist Rear-Ends Car after Being Blinded by the Sun

This rider is incredibly lucky to have walked away from this “with only bruising and a sore back.” I can’t imagine why you would keep accelerating if you couldn’t see.

From the rider:

Yesterday, I was involved in a collision which occurred at around 7:50AM on my way to work. The sun was extremely blinding; you can see more on the video than I could in person, which says a lot.

The dual carriage way I entered is on a slight incline, and the sun peered over the horizon, causing me to ride totally blind. I was trying to wipe and adjust my visor as I was riding, in the hopes that I could clear my view (of course that didn’t work).

As I went to put my hand back down, I realized that I was driving full force into a car. The only reason I saw it was because the top of the car blocked out the sun when I was about half a meter away from his bumper. By this point it was too late.

I ended up flipping over the handle bars and landing on my back. As I was sliding, I was rolled onto my stomach; before having the bike smash down on my back and pinning me underneath.

Thankfully, I’m okay. I got off lucky with only bruising and a sore back. I haven’t seen my bike properly yet, but I know it’s a total write off. I’m not insured full comp so I am now stuck without a bike for quite a while…

To answer some questions and statements – this is what was going through my mind at the time:

  1. Why did you continue accelerating when you couldn’t see? Honestly, there is no acceptable answer to this question. It was a silly thing to do and a mixture of a lapse in concentration and incorrect assumptions. The two cars in front of me accelerated fairly quickly up the dual carriage way, disappearing into the sunlight before overtaking the car that I hit. I made a wrong assumption that the road must have been clear based on the fact that they were travelling significantly faster than I was at the time and were in the same lane, not seeing that they had overtaken a slow moving car up ahead. Keeping a steady speed is one thing, but accelerating, even though it was gently, was blatantly stupid. I think it was a clear lapse in concentration whilst I was clearing the visor which lead to me making this silly mistake.
  2. Why didn’t you slow down sooner? Again, that is a mistake I made and the lesson learned is a costly one. Lack of concentration, badly made assumptions and decisions all played a part in the crash. I saw the two cars in front accelerate much faster than myself and assumed there was nothing up ahead, but I didn’t see them overtake the slow moving car as they disappeared into the sun. Even so, I should have slowed down immediately.
  3. Why didn’t you stop/pull over? I was planning on doing so but made that decision WAY too late. I didn’t realize how close I was to the car in front at the time. The two cars that sped off and overtook the guy I hit distorted my perception and I believed that there was nothing up ahead due to what I was seeing. By the time I started slowing down it was way too late and it’s no fault but my own.
  4. You were going way too fast for conditions! Correct. I’ve already explained why I think I accelerated, even though there is no excuse for that silly maneuver. I admit that I was going too fast for the conditions and had I been going slower; the accident may not have occurred. Additionally, I was being conscious that going too slow could have resulted in somebody going into the back of me considering that it is a 70MPH road.
  5. You ride like an idiot! or You’re an accident waiting to happen! or You’re a horrible rider, go and take an advanced course or This video proves you are anything but a good rider or You should have your license revoked for life! These are just a few of some of the negative comments that I’ve received. These comments are based on 1 or 2 videos out of my entire experience of riding. All of my videos combined probably cover around 50 miles of road, whereas I’ve ridden over 10,000 trouble-free miles on this bike in the last year; so that is just a tiny fraction of what you’ve seen. To make a judgement based on that fact alone is ridiculous, acting as if though you’ve never made a mistake on the road. I am only human and I have only been riding for 1 year, taking that into consideration I am obviously bound to make mistakes.

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