Watch the biker’s hands here — they tell the whole story. From the initial shock and alarm to the helpless waving, to those final gesticulations of disappointed resignation. I mean, what can you do when a student driver cluelessly backs over your motorcycle? Not a hell of a lot, as Reddit user x_ing learned recently.

Well, personally, I think he did pretty much all he could — that is, when he saw the clueless RAV4 barreling at his bike, he got off the bike. Many of the government-engineered supersoldiers over at r/motorcycles disagreed and thought he should have, you know, executed a perfect 60-inch vertical motorcycle leap or something, but, personally, I think he did the right thing, seeing as how he didn’t end up crushed along with his bike.

Here’s what he said in his own words:

Ok boys and gals. I am the actual rider in the video and will once and for all dissolve all speculations and such that to my amazement have come up so far.

We both started slowing down when the light turned orange. The red SUV ended up in the middle of the intersection. Cars seen on the right started turning left, one car actually made it in front of the stalled/frozen driver. The car then proceeded to back up - IN THE LEFT LANE - i was aware about its presence all the time. And yes I was in the 1st with the clutch in as can be seen on video (anyone see the Neutral light?). As some have pointed out, only have I noticed it changing directions a couple of seconds before impact. Yes, a rider with tens of years of experience MAY HAVE been able to sprint to the right (risking clipping the car and being at fault for running a red light into potentially left turning traffic, as the light for the oncoming lane was changing to a left turn go), but given the circumstances... the horn wouldn’t have done squat. Again, we’re talking seconds. Disbelief that the car was going to back into me was up there. I was in the dominant position for my lane (left half of the lane, where cars in the left lane have the best chance of seeing you in their mirror), watching the driver... but again... how often do you guys assume that a car will decide to reverse into your lane from a different one and floor it?

The video ends where it does because there is absolutely nothing exciting happening afterwards. The two occupants get out, we exchange remarks, and then i take the helmet off and turn off the camera. No swearing or yelling. The adrenaline pumping through my system was so high, I was kinda happy to not be under the car. The car was resting on the bike, they had to lift it to get the bike from underneath.

Yes please, all those that could’ve avoided this - I salute you and your superhuman reactions. I’m just human and did the best I could when I realized what was going to happen to get my sorry ass out of the way.

The aftermath... if I can figure out how to post pictures here I will. The driver got a ticket as it is illegal to back out of an intersection (or something thereof) and yes, because they are on a learner’s permit (can only drive supervised), they may have very high insurance premiums. And as far as the bike - it will be looked at by an insurance adjuster on Monday where I will find out what happens next.

Here’s what really amazes me about this whole thing: the student driver must have felt the car hitting and rolling over the front wheel of the motorcycle; the driver pauses there, after all. It’s the fact that the driver then keeps going and runs over the rest of the bike. It’s like the driver realized they hit the fallen bike and thought “Well, fuck it. May as well finish the job.”

The original video is here, if you’re interested, though there’s not much more to see than in the GIF — RAV4 drives out into intersection on yellow light as it turns red, panics, stops, then, still using panic-logic, backs out of the intersection and right into the motorcycle.

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I feel like I should commend everyone involved for staying calm and not making a crappy mistake into a genuinely bad situation, so there’s that. And for all you student drivers, remember to check those blind spots and if you happen to hit a motorcycle, just remember you’re not obligated to put it out of its misery, ok?


Contact the author at jason@jalopnik.com.

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