Use your mirrors, people. It’s what they’re there for. The M4 had a problem again on Friday evening with a couple of accidents and broken down vehicles, so there were long tailbacks. One of the advantages of being on a motorcycle is that at least you can filter between the lanes of queuing traffic.
It’s amazing though. Even with 220 Watts of driving lights on the front of my bike (240 Watts on high beam), vehicles don’t see me approaching. Either that or they DO see me approaching and decide that “because I’m stuck in traffic, I don’t see why I should let anyone else get past me.”
Fortunately I was only doing about 25 mph at the time.
So to the driver of the red car(no idea what make or model it was, I didn’t have time to identify it) whose vehicle is now missing a left-hand wing mirror, don’t worry about it. Seeing as you weren’t using it anyway you’re not going to miss it.
To all those other drivers who DO use their mirrors, and move their vehicles slightly away from the lane lines when stuck in a tailback, “Thank you.” We bikers aren’t asking you to leap out of the way, just stay in the middle of your lane so there’s room for us.
A week or so ago I was going down the M4 bus lane (For those of you not familiar with the M4, this is the right-hand lane of 3 lanes and runs for several miles going into London. Buses, Taxis and bikes are allowed to use this lane.) when I came up behind a small bus. It was obvious that he was not using his mirrors. Most taxis (and even some buses) will move over slightly to allow a bike to get past. Not this chap. (It’s not an issue when they’re keeping to the speed limit – I don’t mind staying behind them then. When they’re driving at 40mph in the 60mph zone is when I want to get past.)
Now I do frequently check MY mirrors, and as luck would have it, I spotted a vehicle approaching some way away with alternately flashing headlights and a blue flashing light on top. Not a problem, I indicated left and moved out of the bus lane. There were a few gaps in the traffic; it was not bumper-to-bumper. The otherwise unmarked police vehicle rapidly came up behind the bus. Where it stayed. Right until the end of the bus lane several miles later when it was finally able to get past the bus on the left. I think the bus driver was asleep.
My other pet hate is drivers not using their indicators. I think I’ll start carrying a screwdriver with me, and when a driver doesn’t use his indicators I’ll follow him. Once he’s stopped I’ll remove his indicator bulb. Hey, it’s not being used so there’s no reason for it to be there!