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Rear-ended BMW rider seeks justice

Matthew Craig's BMW R 1200 R before it was rear-ended

A Brisbane rider whose BMW R 1200 R was rear-ended in 2016 is still waiting to find out if the irresponsible driver who hit him has been fined.

Matthew Craig, of Daisy Hill, was leaving the M1 at the Mt Gravatt-Capalaba Rd exit when he stopped at a give way sign in the left-hand slip lane to let a several vehicles pass by.

Seconds later, he was rear-ended by an impatient BMW X3 driver.

Since then, Matthew has not ridden and is still waiting for another bike as his was classified a repairable write off. 

To rub salt into his wounds, police and the courts have refused to provide him or us information about the driver’s punishment.

Matthew Craig's BMW R 1200 R before it was rear-ended
Matthew Craig’s immaculate BMW R 1200 R before it was rear-ended

All he knows is that the woman was charged with driving without due care and attention and the matter was finalised at Holland Park Magistrates Court on January 25, 2017.

Search for justice

Matthew was not forewarned about the court appearance and his efforts over the past two years to find out what happened have failed.

He has been told it is a privacy issue.

However, the matter was heard in an open and public court. It is not his fault he was not present when the matter was heard as he was not warned of the date.

It is good that justice may have been done, but it is important that justice is also seen to be done and that the victims are satisfied with the verdict.

Matthew is now filing a Freedom of Information application.

We will update you if/when he gets a result.

How to avoid rear-ender

Meanwhile, it looks like there is little Matthew could have done to avoid this rear-ender.

The problem is impatience.

It happened to me at a stop sign when a fellow rider rammed me from behind. We were in a queue of riders going around the corner. While looking to the right for oncoming traffic he assumed I had dribbled through the stop sign instead of coming to a full stop.

I have also seen this happen to another rider and a friend in his car. Check out this rear-ended rider’s video.

The first vehicle moves to the front and stops to look for traffic and the next vehicle stops behind them.

On seeing that the road is clear, the second vehicle just proceeds without looking ahead, assuming the vehicle in front has also moved.

In this case, Matthew waited cautiously for the vehicle with the dashcam, even though there was a clear left lane.

Matthew Craig's BMW R 1200 R before it was rear-ended
Impatience leads to impact!

And the driver behind him doesn’t even appear to be ready to stop!

His cautiousness cost him a crash.

To avoid this sort of incident, riders can try several things:

  • Check behind to see if there is a vehicle following;
  • If possible, offset your bike to the following vehicle, either to the extreme left or right of the lane or trickle a little around the corner; and/or
  • Blow your horn or rev your bike to alert the following driver that you are still there.

Click here for more tips on avoiding rear-enders in situations such as lane filtering.

  1. This comment will be controversial so let me start by saying I 100% agree the BMWs actions were outrageous and irresponsible and life threatening, but an extra thing to add to your list to avoid this type of rear end scenario is actually be a confident rider and merge when it is appropriate to do so. If I saw an incompetent car driver sitting at a merge like that waiting for a written invitation to merge when it is clearly safe to do so, I would question their awareness and/or ability to drive because I would have approached with the expectation that the vehicle was going to go. Although I must be in the minority as I actually check traffic as I am approaching an intersection/merge, I don’t get to the sign then start looking at traffic. Just because it is a biker I don’t change my view. That kind of inconsiderateness isn’t worthy of getting hammered, but if less of these type of hesitant, nervous drivers were on the road we would have less traffic and safer roads generally. Bring on the hate, but think about that the next time you are following a car through a set of changing lights and they slam on their brakes at the last minute (due to hesitation and not considering drivers behind), or when you are sitting in the boiling sun at a roundabout whilst some Sunday driver is deciding whether or not a ten minute gap is safe to enter the roundabout

    1. Given Australian drivers propensity for rapidly changing lanes without looking and/or indicating I can understand the riders hesitation entirely. I have been in that situation, pulled into the vacant lane and was hit by a vehicle that was roughly in the position the dash Cam vehicle was in this video. Result? Broken leg and bike as well as being charged with failing to give way to oncoming traffic. Nowadays I will wait (depending on the speed zone I am in. )

      Not to mention that I suspect the BMW driver was using your exact method to merge I.e looking to the right, not where he/she was going and certainly not scanning between the two at a sufficient rate and as a result, the presence a human being on a bike was entirely missed! You are risking doing the same if you are approaching intersections in this manner while following a vehicle. Maybe today a cautious rider like he was, or I am. Maybe a manual car that stalls out (I was rear ended in a nice XR6 ute in this manner after stalling) Maybe the driver in front sees a hazard on the road you cannot see and stops. Whatever the scenario, if your head is looking to the right and your brain is assuming the vehicle in front is moving you are setting yourself up for failure. I get you’re playing Devils advocate here and I suffer the same frustration from ridiculously overcautious(incompetent)drivers but really there is no way any blame can be apportioned on the rider here for being justifiably cautious. Heck, look at all the ads about the place thlat encourage motorcyclists to be exactly that because “who comes off second best.”

    2. Today whilst in my cage I had to be hesitant about pulling out onto a road because I couldn’t see squat the sun was in just the wrong place it was a very bad angle and to top it off some truely bad drivers were blocking my view of what I might be pulling out in front of.
      It was a right turn (in a uk area) and the sun was setting. I had moved to the centre median area as it was completely clear on my right but some vehicles were coming on the left so I couldn’t proceed. Then some cars came to make a right turn from the road I was turning down and just sat there even though there was nothing coming and a light further up was red stopping anything from coming. Finally one car moved enough that I could see and I gunned it to get going in case I missed something and I was a good half a kilometre down the road before the clown that was blocking my view moved off.
      So I totally agree with you about hesitation but sometimes it’s not a good idea to just go when you’re not sure what’s coming or what’s on the road that you could lose traction on.
      I watched a guy high side his brand new Ducati because he wasn’t hesitant enough when making a turn. I went around the corner very slow and upright due to new tyres and a wet road he should’ve taken it as a hint.

    3. Sorry disagree..I have seen way too much erratic behaviour at roundabouts, false indicating
      swapping lanes etc to Ever make any presumptions about what the other driver may do..And I say that as a daily rider [no car] that has survived 50 years If it takes a couple of seconds longer so what? It is pretty common for entering drivers at a roundabout to actually try and race you,,,So much for merging..Ok if your in a 4wd and dont give a stuff

    4. @Can’t stand traffic

      That’s absolutely not an argument I can even slightly agree with. Being overconfident is more likely to get you into trouble than waiting unnecessarily at a stop/give way sign. Not going when you could’ve is better than misjudging what the oncoming traffic is doing and colliding with it.

      1. No such thing as a blind spot if you set your mirrors right and use them.
        But even the training manual gets that wrong, forcing you to do shoulder checks, ie taking your eyes of the road.

    5. I agree wholeheartedly
      I see it all too often, dual lanes, one lane empty and a large gap goes through with enough time for multiple vehicles to go through to the other lane, but they sit there waiting for a gap in the first lane
      I learnt a valuable lesson about that one as I was on my bike and rear ended a car because I was watching the traffic at a stop sign and I just assumed that the car had moved off because I would have pulled a small truck into the traffic

      So it pays to be aware of your surroundings even if you’re at the head of the cue watch what the person behind you is doing
      You can always dribble through the sign without entering the traffic flow

  2. A few yrs ago I had a close friend stop at a stop sign on his bike,when a car driver rearended him,and he died as a result.
    I have been riding bikes since I was 17,I am now 59 and still ride.
    As millions of riders would agree always check your rearview mirrors to see whats happening behind,and keep checking even when stopped,you just cant trust anyone on the roads theses days.
    I lived in Melb for 5 yrs riding various bikes and at peak hr traffic times ,it can be crazy to say the least.

  3. Rule number one , don’t expect the police or court system to be remotely proactive in processing your case . Engage a lawyer and take them to civil court in a lawsuit . It sounds suspiciously to me like the driver might have had a friend or relation in the force

  4. I suspect that driving instructors and licence testers may have gotten lazy. There are rumours that VIC Roads are quietly granting licences to Asian drivers, even though those drivers may have flunked the test repeatedly. Apparently just to get them out of the way.

    A far cry from 1989, when I qualified for my full bike licence. Every move on that test had to be executed with military parade precision. One little cock up and you blew it. And had to arrange a time to repeat.

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