Watch a biker get wiped out on a Russian highway

Dailies -



The dash cam on this car was running just as a Mazda3 collides with a rider on an urban highway in Russia. The results…aren’t good. This is a pretty terrifying accident, so don’t watch if your squeamish if if your mother is in the room. The rider suffered a concussion and open fractures on his left arm and leg. What should he have done differently to avoid this crash?

  • cynic

    Ouch. Looks to me as if a dab of break might have allowed him to get in behind the car.

    But, that’s a bad place to be, between a car and a center divide.

    • The other Joe

      It only takes about half a brain to anticipate that the car was going to change lanes. Yes, that’s a bad place to be, but he put himself there. It’s his own damn fault.

  • JVictor75

    First thing he should have done was slow down and not try to race the Mazda into the lane.

    Yes the Mazda driver was an asshole and A) didn’t signal, B) didn’t look over his/her shoulder before making the lane change, C) didn’t STOP when the accident occurred.

    BUT I think everyone here can attest to hearing this (or some variant of it in your local dialect) “Never get in a fight with a car while out riding your bike, simple physics trumps attitude every time.” Or another variant “Whoever has the most lugnuts, wins.”

    1. Slow down. Not necessarily speed wise, but PLAN AHEAD and don’t be in a rush. If you already feel the need to run out the door to get where you’re going you’re probably late already. I have never, in my life, been able to ride my motorcycle fast enough to go backwards thru time.

    2. Nothing on the road should be a complete and total shocking surprise. Watching the cagers around me as well as active scanning of the roadway and traffic conditions keeps me entertained and “in the moment”.

    3. Convince yourself that as soon as the helmet comes on and the key goes in the ignition that everyone on the road is actively attempting to kill you.

    Following rule three and paying attention to rules 1 and 2 will pour icewater down your veins the first time you actively watch the other drivers on the road if you’ve never done it before.

    Something else I do, plan your trip!

    Doesn’t matter how far you’re going or what you’re doing, go over a mental checklist of where you’re going, how you’re getting there, what you’re going to do to mitigate danger/threats, etc. I do that while going over my T-CLOCS. Even if all you do is to go over the trip in your mind before kicking the bike into gear, doing so will put you in the right frame of mind.

    • Lucas Worthing

      Well said.

    • aristurtle

      Or another variant “Whoever has the most lugnuts, wins.”

      I think this was most succinctly summed up as “F=m*a”.

    • sanjuro

      I saw that a few weeks ago.

      While it is was the driver’s fault for continuing the merge, it does look like the rider is trying to force a bad position.

      Hold back until you are safe. Only when you are in control should you accelerate past the Mazda and break off a mirror.

      • mugget

        It is not the drivers fault. Aside from the fact that neither indicated for the lane change – the car was in front of the bike. If you hit the rear of another vehicle, it’s your fault. Simple as that.


          I heard the driver committed suicide. For reals.

        • aristurtle

          It really isn’t as simple as that; there are lots of cases where you can hit the rear quarter of a car and the car driver can be “at fault”. In this case, it looks like the motorcycle was in the left lane before the car moved into his lane, for example.

          • mugget

            Probably true. But let’s say that in a similar instance a motorcyclist has right of way, and still gets taken out…

            One important thing to remember is that being “in the right” has absolutely no healing properties whatsoever.

            Thinking about that before trying to enforce my legal right of way has no doubt saved me a lot of pain.

            • JVictor75

              +1 The attitude of “He won’t hit me, he’ll get in trouble!” may have a grain of truth. But which would you rather: being in the right and in the hospital (or morgue) or to learn a little humility and live another day?

            • aristurtle

              Oh, I agree. But at that point it’s less of “if you hit the rear quarter of another vehicle it’s your fault” and more of a “if you hit another vehicle under any circumstances it’s your hospital visit”. Certainly, riding cautiously is a good idea, but that doesn’t mean we need to defend the driver after the fact when shit like this happens.

  • PCPaul

    Riding way too agressively, agree with cynic, a dab of brakes would have avoided the disaster.

    • mugget

      A dab of brakes? More like a handful of brakes. He was already on the brakes when he came into frame – you can see the brake light go out when he hits the guardrail.

      He either should have braked harder initially, or got off the brakes earlier and steered away from the railing.

  • Lucas Worthing

    The rider should have done one of two things differently. Either he should have braked when the Mazda 3 first switched from the number 1 lane into the number 2 lane giving up the passing cushion (as he should have expected the worst… the Mazda to shoot through the slowing traffic to the number 3 lane), or have been more aggressive getting into the number 3 lane by accelerating sooner and faster than the Mazda and punch turning into the number three lane. Experience teaches you when to brake and more often when to accelerate out of a situation.

    Either way, it always is very hard to see a rider go down. Glad he had proper gear on (for the most part). Also glad to see he made it as it could have been much worse. Reminded me of Sean’s crash… left side body drag along center divide. As hard as these things are to watch, they remind us of how important it is to always be on point and how quickly a situation can occur.

  • aristurtle

    I’m not going to start saying that it’s the motorcyclist’s fault or anything… but I generally leave a lot more room than that when passing. It looked almost like the biker and the car were racing each other there.

  • tbowdre

    looks like panic and target fixation on the cheesegrater style median.

    Either acceleration or braking probably would have been better.

    Looks like that really, really hurt. glad it was not fatal

    • BMW11GS

      Target fixation gets me many times when I am not gone through my mental “riding” checklist. It’s really important to train yourself to not look at a danger, something I think we can all work on.

      • Lucas Worthing

        Looking at danger and target fixation are two different things. One has to be aware of their surroundings at all times, but it is the act of knowing what to do when you see it that separates reaction from fixation.

  • TheZakken

    I just want to point out that that guy’s bike stayed upright and continued to travel a ridiculous distance down the freeway. Anyone else see that?

    • *

      +1 Gotta be a record.

  • Dylan

    Wasn’t so hard to watch until he started flopping around on the ground. Thats just horrible. He definitely shouldn’t have tried to beat the mazda into the lane though. As many have said above, in a car vs. bike fight the car always wins

  • walter

    THAT, is why I don’t ride like that.

  • Maxwell

    damn look how far the bike continued!

  • Tony T.

    I was holding my lane on I5 yesterday and some random subaru came within about a foot of taking me out. I think I was hidden behind her driver-side A-pillar and she just merged into me.

    The trouble with situational awareness is trying to keep tabs on the cars on all sides. This guy could have braked but then he would have been really damn close to the guy behind him. Would that guy have stopped in time?

    The only way to avoid the situation this guy finds himself in is to not be in that spot to begin with.

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

      The only way to avoid the situation this guy finds himself in is to not be in that spot to begin with.

      That’s one of the most important things I learned in my MSF class many years ago — and it’s stuck with me.

      Riding defensively isn’t enough. Instead, try to maximize the buffer zone in all directions around you, and also try to maximize the number of escape routes in case any part of your buffer zone is compromised.

      • Ax

        +1. Even a fraction of a second’s worth of reaction time can make the difference between a near miss and making contact. And if there IS an impact, it will be at a lower speed.

  • Holden and Annette

    That is blood-curdling.

    I’m more likely to get into this situation if the driver and I have a “history” going back the last minute or so. Like, if the driver keeps getting in the way, pissing me off, I might try to squeeze past, as in the video.

    The antidote: Take ego out of it. Define “winning” as getting to the destination safely, instead of as getting to the destination quickly and in a bad-ass way.

    I ride best when I think of other vehicles as game pieces. The object of the game is to arrive at the destination untouched. The game pieces tend to move in predictable ways, but not all the time. When a game piece is traveling slowly, or weaving, or both, it often means the game piece is operated by a texter, phoner, or intoxicated person.

    Thinking of vehicles as game pieces turns the ride into an intellectual pursuit, instead of an ego struggle.

    • Edward

      This a good way of thinking of it. It’s hard to resist the urge sometimes to chase and pass a driver who’s pissed you off in traffic. At those moments, I try to remind myself that nothing good will come of it and that I really don’t want to be anywhere near that vehicle.

      • craha

        Good ideas, thanks!

  • FiveG

    Why didn’t he back off?

  • adeysworld

    Steer quicker…stay on gas. Never roll off in those situations.
    If you can’t…ride conservatively in the slow lane.

    • $Lindz$


      I ride like 80% of the cars can’t see me or don’t know I’m there and the other 20% want to kill me. Either commit to some law breaking to preserve your skin (I hate following cars, they jam you up and put you in situations to break your bones) or ride defensively and don’t go for diminishing gaps.

      • adeysworld

        You said it. This guy probably thought he wasn’t gonna let the car get the best of him. But his ambition outweighed his talent. As Casey would state it..

      • je

        ZT :P

    • Mark D [EX500]

      Agreed, he was riding like he was planning to make an aggressive pass. That’s not textbook riding, but the only thing worse than making an aggressive move is making 1/2 of an aggressive move, then trying to back track.

      A good rider would know what his bike is capable of, keep the throttle pinned, and flew past the Mazda. A better rider would have seen that the Mazada was a bout to do something stupid, hung back, and passed between the lanes.

      • adeysworld

        Moral of the story…be decisive.

        • Lucas Worthing

          +1 Every fucking second!

  • jason

    Dumb ass riding. Way too close to the cars, Playing moto gp on the freeway. Totally avoidable.

  • jason

    Never assume cars can see you, or care. Keep far away, have an exit if things go south. I am shocked at how many drivers i see texting or gabbing on the phone, oblivious to me right next to them.

  • Carlo

    the blood in my veins went cold when i saw his leg. I do hope he recovers.

  • Brian

    Two things will hurt you or kill you on a motorcycle; arrogance and inattentiveness. Unfortunately, this rider experienced both. Wow! Wow! Wow! (I am glad he was not more seriously hurt or even killed.) I am sorry this happened.

  • mugget

    Bloody hell! That guy looked to be in some pain… glad I am not that guy.

    What should have been done differently to avoid the crash? Very good question…

    First up he did not leave enough room for himself. Neither vehicle indicated, so neither would have known that the other was going to change lanes (bad situation right there). When he did decide to hit the brakes he should have done harder and kept the bike pointed down the road instead of into the guardrail. Also it looks like he target fixated or just got freaked out because there would have been room for him if he didn’t keep steering towards the guardrail. (I’d rather rub elbows with a moving car than a guardrail.) Another option would have been to let off the brakes and just keep hugging the rear of the car. There was obviously space on the car side because he did not hit it.

    Finally, never make assumptions. He assumed that the car would not change lane.

    Those type of guardrails are just about my worst fear. That could easily have been an instant amputation.

  • KR Tong

    1. speeding mazda
    2. wall of cars ahead
    3. gap on the left
    4. he’s doesn’t have so much as a toe on the brake pedal
    5. he’s going to shoot the gap or crash in the car ahead of him

    If a fast-moving car is stuck in a slow lane you need to accept you’re in his way.

  • Edward Jones

    Maybe it’s just me, but from my point of view, that looked as though the Mazda had ripped over a couple of lanes.

    My take on it? The rider was riding beside the filming vehicle, and the Mazda cut over two lanes shooting the gap. Rider only moved over when forced to do so.

  • Ax
  • Гена
  • JVictor75

    OK, here’s my round two take:

    All that I said above still stands.

    1) Either the Mazda darted over from the far outside lane to get around the obstruction, or he was already going to the near outside lane.

    2) Our intrepid motorcyclist was also attempting to go from middle to near outside.

    3) Both were travelling at a high rate of speed, far faster than the rest of the traffic surrounding them. (Look at how quickly they cleared the camera vehicle!)

    4) Neither were signalling.

    I think the scenario played out like this:

    - Mazda and motorcycle were speeding along, both oblivious to the other.

    - Mazda notices the stopped traffic first, sees the opening in near outside, and makes a break for it.

    - Motorcyclist notices the Mazda moving, sees the stopped traffic, sees the opening and attempts a half-hearted cutoff because he wants the open near outside lane.

    - Mazda doesn’t back off, either because he/she is oblivious or because he/she thinks the motorcyclist is being a bit of an asshole by trying to cut him/her off from his/her intended path. (I’m not saying the M/C IS beng an asshole, I’m saying the Mazda pilot most likely interpreted his actions as asshole-like behavior. “Dickhead! That’s MY lane!”))

    - Motorcyclist fails to understand the f=m*a rule and fails to either apply sufficient brake or to goose it. If he had done either this wouldn’t have been such a calamity.

  • Keith

    “Riding defensively isn’t enough. Instead, try to maximize the buffer zone in all directions around you, and also try to maximize the number of escape routes in case any part of your buffer zone is compromised.”
    This is a VERY good POV!
    And, as mentioned earlier, braking is not the only solution. Accelerating into an escape zone can be useful as well.

  • Fizzy Fox

    I’d like to know if that cunt of a Mazda driver was ever tracked down and arrested.

  • Michael

    Why do people think he wasn’t on the brakes? His brake light is clearly on up to impact with the guardrail. I think he may have been overtaking the mazda quickly in his own lane to the left and the car didn’t see him or misjudged the bike’s speed when he wanted to change lanes. Biker tried to brake and didn’t slow fast enough.

  • dael morris

    dude, the rider is an idiot. as the previous commenter said “did’t brake or slow down fast enough”. then, after edging to the left, he swerves too wide and basically takes himself out. all of which could have been avoided by simply not getting into the tussle in the first place. i ride worse roads than that, with more traffic, going way way faster every single day of my life – usually at least two hours a day, peak commuter traffic on one of the two most dangerous roads in the country, in a country where all riders lane split at speed. and that was just plain dumb. people make that lane change a dozen times a day in front of me. i’m sorry for the rider, but that doesn’t make any of that any less his responsibility. the entire mitigation strategy for riding commuter traffic is predicated on “predicting” and “avoiding”. if you’re not doing that, this happens.

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