Tldr: Really learn to become one with your bike and more importantly make it comfortable so you can maneuver quickly and safely. You as a biker need to pay extra attention to your surroundings, especially those in front of you, things can change so quickly that death can be on you before you even notice it if you just aren't looking.OOOOOPH. Thats a lot of text; lol i am too lazy to read anything more then 5 sentences.
I know it's an old post, but, I had a similar "evade" once. I was in moderate traffic on a 5-lane street thru a commercial/retail area. It was about quitting time so traffic was kinda heavy but going pretty fast, round 40mph I'd say. Anyway, I spot an obviously drunk/stoned pedestrian crossing my left to right, mid block. I'd say maybe 100 yards. Car in front is slamming on the brakes, I'm about to, but look at my mirror and minivan driver is on the phone. Threw my little econo box into the left turn lane and van smashed the car in front of me just as I went by. My only concern was "where's that pedestrian" . Didn't want to hit him but accident. Wanted it to be on purpose!I have huge lights on mine. I just built a separate brake light that used an old school chrome bullet with a conical red plastic lens, but I put a bare (no focusing lens, so it scatters naturally) 650nm laser diode that used to be a DVD burner, about half a watt, as the light source. It's diffused, but still really bright. I know they can see that. Plus, it has that strange sparkly effect to it like diode lasers do. You can't be too visible on the roads with the knuckleheads in the steel cages in this country.
I have a theory on people's terrible driving, but nobody wants to believe it. I read somewhere that we have a natural ability to retain our sense of where we are in a room for 8 seconds after the lights are turned off, leaving us in total darkness. Being kind of curious, if not skeptical, I tested this myself, and it's true. For 8 seconds I know where everything is, but after that, disorientation comes on right away, leaving me lost. That's interesting. My theory, my experience, knowing that 8 seconds thing, and watching people drive, is that we do it when we drive, without even realizing that we are. We can take our eyes off the road completely, to text, or whatever, and not be looking at the road ahead at all, and still know where we are on the road for 8 seconds, before we have to look up at the road again. But somehow, we seem to convince ourselves that we are watching the road during that 8 seconds, since we still know where we are on the road. And I mean through corners and all, without looking. Well 8 seconds is a long time on the road, and a lot can happen in 8 seconds. 8 seconds is more than enough time to run right into the back of something that has unexpectedly stopped in front of us, when we aren't actually watching the road. We tend to do this much more when we are on the freeway, and don't expect anything to happen in front of us, or to have to stop. So this is why accidents on the freeway are so common, even though you would think with huge, long straights, that give plenty of time to react to things that are going on in front of you, that people should be able to stop in time, or at least switch lanes. But we don't, because more often than not, when we are cruising down the freeway, we aren't paying any attention to the road ahead at all. So if a car stalls, someone will almost always come along and run right into it, usually without even touching their brakes. And this is why, even on long straights, when something happens, it has a way of turning into huge pileups involving lots of cars, not just the ones that initially started it. This is why they had to make all forms of distracted driving illegal. We won't devote our entire attention to the road unless we are forced to, like the old bumper to bumper, stop and go mode the freeways take on during rush hour traffic. I have since retrained myself to handle my own distractions by muscle memory, without looking at whatever it is that would be distracting me. You can answer your phone that way, but unless you have voice activated calling, you can't make calls. I turn my phone off when I am driving, but I do like to eat while I drive, and change cd's, that sort of thing. But I can now do that without looking at any of it, when I do other things in the car, I force myself to watch the road, and do whatever without looking at it. And it it's something I have to look at to do, I don't do it while I drive.
The real danger, here, is not that we do this, but we do it without realizing it, and most people flatly refuse to believe that they are doing it. Denial, that is the response people have to the idea that they are doing something really stupid and dangerous without realizing it. The first and most important step in learning not to do it anymore, is realizing that we are doing it in the first place. Only then can we break the habit. I did it. But I'll be the first one to tell you, old habits die hard, and it wasn't that easy. And I was really surprised at how many things were distracting me, it's only when you force yourself to do it all without looking away from the road that you really notice how many distractions there really are. I can feel my way around inside the car pretty good, now. But if anything is out of place, I can't find it, and will have to find whatever it is when I stop someplace. The only thing I will allow myself to look at is the gauges on the dash, and even those I only glance at for a fraction of a second. I can take it all in in one glance. And the rear view mirror, same rules apply. And when I do see unexpected events ahead, I always check the rear view, and lean on the horn, since what I ALWAYS see in the mirror, is the driver behind me looking at something else, and I want to get their attention if I know we have to slow down.
Anyway, that is my theory as to why motorists don't see us, it's because they aren't actually looking. They only think they are.
I was driving along in a line of traffic, on a single lane highway, with no intersections, or other reasons to stop, when 3 or 4 cars ahead of me something happened (I know I saw it, but I can't remember what it was) that caused one a few cars ahead to stop suddenly. We had a good safe distance between us all, actually, and I think the cars in front of me were paying enough attention, since they all braked pretty hard, too. But they still rear ended each other. I knew I probably was going to hit them, too, and as I started to brake, I took a look in the rear view. The rather attractive woman driving the car behind me was completely engaged with doing her makeup in her rear view mirror (it was morning rush to work hour), I knew that wasn't going to end well. I elected to get off the brakes, and swerve to the right, which sent me careening off onto the grassy shoulder, and into a complete 360. As I came around past 180, my entire windshield was now full of a side on view of the woman that was behind me, still completely wrapped up in her makeup. She never knew what happened, or what she hit. She ran smack into the car that was in front of me, oblivious the whole time. I came around the rest of the way, let go of the wheel for a moment, and let the car gather itself back up again, once it was pointed back in the same direction it was sliding down the grass. This sent me right past the whole mess, and I just kept going. I'm sure glad that I was actually really paying attention to the road, and not just telling myself that I was, like miss Revlon behind me.
That is something that will turn heads