A Word to Car Drivers

Listen, car drivers kill us motorcyclists and scooter riders all the time by pulling out in front of us.

Because of this, please cut us a little slack when we’re wary around you.

To the guy pulling out of the gas station this morning: there you were, squinting into the sun, shielding your eyes with your hand. I was coming from the direction of the sun. You (of course) had no turn signal on, but I surmised you were about to turn left – from the great US turn signal.

The US turn signal, incidentally, is the two round black rubber things at the front of your car which can often – but not always – be relied upon to be pointing in the general direction you intend to turn. That’s all you’ve given me to work with… I’m sorry.

The trouble is, not only are we left to ascertain your intended direction from the two black rubber things, those are also the things we are intently watching to see if you’re moving. If you never actually let those things stop, how are we supposed to know you have seen us, and are not in the process of pulling out in front of us?

I’m sorry but, try as I may, I cannot perfect my powers of telepathy and, frankly, I don’t trust you. There, I’ve said it.

Yelling at me because you don’t like the speed and hesitancy with which I’m passing you doesn’t help. Here’s what will: STOP YOUR DAMN WHEELS TURNING!

I’m sorry to mess up your perfectly timed fly-by manoeuvre to smoothly pass the rear of my bike as I clear your path, but to take part in such a manoeuvre, I would really like some advance warning and, preferably, some practise with the vehicles involved.

The Red Arrows and the Blue Angels get to practise such manoeuvres. We haven’t had a chance yet. Forgive my irresolution.

Exactly one mile further on my journey (and again one mile further on), I encounter another manoeuvre which always makes my day special: I’m riding down a highway with two lanes going my direction, and you’re about to join the road.

YOU may know what lane you’re aiming for when you pull out in front of me, but, unfortunately, I don’t (another victim of my less-than-stellar telepathic prowess).

YOU may be perfectly confident that everything is going to be OK because you’re aiming for the lane I’m not occupying but, sadly, I have no way of knowing.

Would it be too much to ask to have somewhat more than 30 milliseconds to work out which lane you’ve chosen? Because, guess what? I have to react as if you have chosen mine.

Sorry, I need more than 30 milliseconds. Here’s an idea though: WAIT UNTIL THE DAMN ROAD IS ACTUALLY CLEAR BEFORE YOU PULL OUT – AND THAT MEANS ALL LANES!

Once again, my deepest apologies for having such poor telephathic abilitlies, but it’s all I have.

Maybe in another life, those abilities may have improved, but I’m in no particular hurry to end this one to see. I’d rather not have your help in that regard.

Thank you for your attention, but I won’t hold my breath…

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