The Law

Stamps & Post Office

I was on my way to do some tasks for my mother. Then some things I had to pick up for myself too too. I never thought I would come close to changing someone’s life as I was today. I was merely making a left turn when all cars in oncoming traffic was stopped at a red light. Then I hit a motorcyclist. His bike was under my car and he was on my hood.

I took a motorcycle class almost a year ago. I knew how dangerous it was to ride a motorcycle. I had lectures, tests, and videos. I saw everything I could see. At least, that is what I thought.

In California and in New Mexico, there is a understood rule that motorcycles can “share the lane” while cars are moving or “filter” while all traffic is stopped. I was in traffic that was at a complete halt. As I was making my left turn, the motorcyclist rode towards me, and that was the end of it.

I could have killed someone today. It breaks my heart. When I saw the guy standing on two feet and help guiding my car away from traffic, I let go of the breath I was holding. We exchanged insurance information. He checked my car. I checked his bike. We let the insurance companies figure out the damages.

Everything is settled at the moment. The only thing I don’t understand about the law of California is that motorcyclists can ride between lane one and two in order to relieve traffic and avoid their bike from being hit by a car from behind. It still doesn’t help the fact that I cannot see him when I am already making my left turn. He is allowed to ride ten miles per hour faster than the current traffic no matter what I am doing because I am supposed to yield to all oncoming traffic.

I agree that I am supposed to yield to all oncoming traffic, but how am I supposed to do that if I can’t see them. The guy was in my blind spot. The DMV handbook of 2010 states that it isn’t safe for motorcyclists to “share the road” or “filter” in traffic, but that it is also legal to do so. How do I contend with that? It also says that if you are in this sort of accident that you will have a difficult time fighting it.

That is why when I hear that the motorcyclist dropped the claim, my heart was relieved. My policy would not go up. I made several checks on the road to make sure everything was clear and still I failed. I thank that motorcyclist for his compassion. I am glad his bike went away without a scratch. My lesson in this is the costs I have to make repairing the front end of my vehicle.

My confidence in my driving has sunk to an all-time low. Even though, I did the necessary checks, I was not ready for what happened. I have learned a great deal from this. One of such that you don’t want to run into a motorcycle in California (or in New Mexico) because the law is on their side.

Now I have hundreds of people who have seen this incident happen. They think I am a horrible driver or that “it just happened”. I can only focus on those people who think I am a horrible driver. The ones who have only seen this once incident out of the 11 years I have been driving. They won’t know how sorry I was. They won’t know all the things I was dealing with at the time. All they will know is what they saw me do. That can lead to so many negative things. I have to take the time I have now to learn not to think of them and just focus on being better.