Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Murphy was a bicyclist . . .

The following video clip shows a bicyclist in London who zoomed through a red light and went headlong into the side of a bus.  Fortunately, he wasn't seriously hurt. Watch it in full-screen mode for best effect.

The photographer initially thought that the cyclist had deliberately run the light.  However, after he posted the video on YouTube, the cyclist commented:

"It was me.  Thought I'd just get the lights, hence the speed.  Realised it wasn't happening, squeezed the front brake.  Cable snapped.  Not enough time to lose speed on back wheel in the wet.  Not fun."

That's a very worthwhile reminder that we may do everything right, but still be caught short due to a mechanical failure or someone else's mistake.  In the cyclist's case, his brakes let him down.  Another friend of Miss D.'s and mine had a very narrow escape on an Interstate highway just a few days ago, when a driver being pursued by the police cut in front of him and wrecked.  He just missed him, but at the cost of flat-spotted tires and burned-out brakes, costing him four figures to repair.  He wasn't happy about that, to put it mildly!

Driving defensively means accepting that whatever can go wrong, sooner or later will go wrong.  The better we drive, the lower the chance that Murphy will kill us.  I'm grateful for the reminder - and that it came cheaply, without anyone getting hurt or killed in this case.


1 comment:

Will said...

A couple days ago on the freeway, I watched a big rig with full length dump trailer (40ft?) lock up his brakes to avoid a car that jumped in front of him. The trailer tires were bouncing 2-3 ft in the air, with smoke boiling off all 18 tires (empty trailer).

I don't think anti-lock systems work with air brakes, and you can't simulate them by pumping the pedal, or you run out of air pressure. (more than 40 years since I drove with air brakes, so I could be out of date on this)

There was no obvious reason for the car to do what it did, so it may have been a deliberate effort to cause a collision for insurance purposes.