Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Southside of Indianapolis
While I have been reading all of the responses and digesting all of the comments I notice a trend, which is also a natural instinct. Many people are trying to point to one person for blame. I have done many risk assessments and lessons learned/after action reports. It is extremely, almost never, one person or one factor to blame for a failure. One of my favorite processes to use is the fish bone diagram. Imagine a fish skeleton, with contributing factors being the bones that extrude from the spine. Each bone is a factor that contributed to the result, or head. You can even have factors that led to factors so it can become quite complex. You can then weight or rank each factor. It is a great visual to illustrate how avoidable a lot of situations are.
While I totally agree the biggest factor in this particular accident was the douche-bag driver of the car, maybe as high as 80%, you cannot dismiss the riders responsibility for speeding and passing inappropriately. Does this deserve the resulting action of the driver and release him from responsibility? Absolutely not, but it does need to be considered as a factor. If the rider had not been passing illegally, and we assume speeding then the accident would have been avoided. This is a dangerous path to go down, because you could ultimately reach the conclusion that riding is unsafe, leaving your house is unsafe, hell just living will kill you eventually.
I have over the past few years helped teach my 3 kids how to drive and one of them to ride. The discussions and instruction about how to operate a vehicle is the the easy part. The hard part is trying to teach them the required skill of constantly evaluating risks, visualizing escape routes and anticipating the actions of other drivers. I can honestly say that in this case expecting a driver to swerve into your line of travel is unfathomable. I have had it happen while I was driving a car on the way to my wedding and had to lock up my brakes to avoid an accident. The only way we survive as a society and are able to operate vehicles without constantly hitting each other is the expectation that other people are going to follow the rules and behave normally. Otherwise pure chaos will ensue. Hopefully the driver will have his license revoked forever, especially considering his lack of remorse and repeated offenses from reports posted here.