Lane-splitting can be an efficient way to cut through traffic, but it also comes with its own risks-- like the time I tapped a mirror at a signal shortly after picking up a Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS Adventure press bike. After looking over my shoulder and seeing the car's mirror housing was skewed, I decided to pull over and assess the potential damage. After the elderly driver of the ten year-old Mercedes-Benz C-Class pulled over with his wife in the passenger seat, I clicked the housing back on, checked the motor to make sure the mirror moved properly (it did), and showed the driver that it looked-- and worked-- fine. Little did I know that handing over my contact info-- just in case-- would later bite me in the butt...
While the Suzuki's freakishly wide saddlebags made it awfully easy to tap that mirror while I split lanes, I took full responsibility for my mistake, and emphasized to the driver that it looked like the mirror was fixed and that I didn't want this to become an insurance issue... but lo and behold, about a week later I got a call from an insurance company informing me of a several hundred dollar repair estimate. To make a long story short, the claim proved uncontestable; I got slapped with a $587.76 bill, which was remarkably easy to pay online thanks to a staggeringly uncourteous and condescending collection agency.
The moral of the story? Well, that really depends on your priorities. Would this experience made you split lanes more carefully? Perhaps not volunteer your contact info like I did? Or would you simply ditch the scene and hightail it into traffic?
How would you handle this situation if it you were in the saddle?
Photos © Basem Wasef