Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Could you have avoided this crash? Helmet cam video

Spinning helmet cam captures the horror of a motorcycle crash.
"Made friends with the front of a lorry today," a young motorcyclist in England notified his friends on Twitter  Aug. 28.

"Needles to say, I won't be calling it back for afternoon tea."

The helmet cam video of his collision with a giant truck has made the 20-year-old who signs himself Lazy Days Rider "a bit of a celebrity," he admits.

The clarity of the video, the fact that we hear the sound of his voice (and even the sound of the crash) and the horrifying effect of the camera spinning through space after the impact makes a deep impression on anyone who has ever been on two wheels.

Hundreds have commented on the video, some to express concern for his health and some to criticize the rider for not doing more to avoid the accident.

I am not sure what more he could have done (some suggested precautionary swerving from side to side approaching the intersection, to attract attention).

My comment would be that this is one of those traffic situations that allows very little chance for escape. The rider has a solid stand of trees to one side, a wall of truck in front of him, and a second truck moving to cut off escape to the other side.

In an effort to better set the stage for those of us who drive on the right, I have flopped the screen grabs you see in this blog item. Only a heartbeat separates these three frames. The wide-angle camera lens actually makes the danger look more distant than it is.

Whoa! Rider realizes here that black truck is entering his lane.
Black truck coming fast. Red truck blocks escape.

Escape impossible.
I encourage you to watch the video. It pauses momentarily at several points as captions appear to explain what the rider is seeing.

I console myself with the thought that I would have been moving slower on my Royal Enfield (Lazy Days Rider was on a Triumph Speed Triple). Also, on Florida's typical multi-lane roads it is often possible to use a car ahead and off to one side as a football style blocker, clearing the intersections just ahead of me and my motorcycle.

Maybe that would have helped. Big maybe.

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