The Smidsy

A few weeks ago I witnessed a motorcycle accident.

I have been in an accident in the past (hit from behind on my Triumph America), but this was the first serious motorcycle accident I witnessed as a bystander. Needless to say, it was quite upsetting.

I was heading east along a 4 lane road (2 lanes east, 2 lanes west) and there was a Harley Electra Glide driving alone in the oncoming direction. At the same time, a lady was pulling out of a shopping complex on the north side of the street. She looked both ways, and then shot out to get in to the eastbound lane, crossing the westbound lane in the process. Unfortunate for the Electra Glide rider, she pulled out right in front of him. He tried to swerve to avoid but hit the back end of her car, was thrown off the motorcycle and tumbled a few times before coming to a stop about 15 feet from the motorcycle. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

It was an ugly scene.

Immediately, numerous bystanders were on their phones calling the police, and a handful had rushed over to the biker to help. He was lying motionless, his body twisted sideways and his arm in an unnatural position. Another lady came to the driver of the car, who I overheard saying, “I swear, I didn’t see him!”

This accident is so common it has its own nickname – The Smidsy. There are numerous causes of this kind of accident, and there are several steps we as motorcyclists can take to minimize our risk.

The best video I’ve found that summarizes causes of and methods of mitigation is this pilot episode of motorcycle safety videos:

The Smidsy

I hope this video helps motorcyclists and cagers alike – drive safe on the road, and be mindful of motorcycles. Keep the rubber on the road!

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