There she was, sitting between my 2016 Civic passenger side mirror and the handicap ramp — “I swear officer, I didn’t see her!
Living in the second most popular business-bicycle-commute city in Oregon (second only to Portland) has its benefits — if you’re one of those folks that prefer 2-wheel-kinetic personal conveyance to and from the workplace. In the rain, and that does happen often in Eugene, visibility is limited, streets are deadly slick, and often coming to a timely controlled stop can sometimes be “iffy” at best. At times like this Honda’s right side Lane Watch ™ feature saves lives. By placing a cellphone-size camera in the right side mirror of Civic, Honda effectively eliminates right side blind spots, at that side of the car anyway.
Remember when you were a kid? That self granted freedom to largely ignore stop signs, traffic lights, lane control, sidewalk abutments, parked cars and pedestrians — that false sense of “freedom” too often comes with one’s adult mindset when free-wheeling a bicycle through town? I get it, I ride a bicycle — “It’s still there man!” Yet unbridled freedom often comes with a very steep and painful price tag.
Over the past 2 years, I’ve personally witnessed 3 car/bicycle collisions downtown, one a fatality. So I keep an eye out for bicycles. Unfortunately, in all contact instances the bicyclist came up on the short end of the stick — face down on the concrete and painfully disillusioned. Generally, the cars involved in these most unfortunate cycle-car encounters always win to a measurable degree, although rarely exiting the scene unscathed.
Dented doors, scratched pant, busted mirrors, and the driver’s remorse, at right or wrong, that always comes with an unintended bicyclist to car encounter. Here’s where Honda Civic Lane Watch ™ comes into play. I first experienced Honda Sensing ™ and Lane Watch ™ in Malibu , California.
2016 Honda Civic Lane Watch (blind Spot Monitor) can save lives
Driving in the city, particularly the older narrow 2-way-road sections of town, shared with pedestrian traffic, can be harrowing. Such was the setting last Saturday while driving the Broadway corridor of downtown Eugene. Granted, it was late afternoon and raining — bar and theater patrons walked the streets — mixed in with the familiar hand and sign extended pan handler or two.
As we came to a full stop on the corner of Broadway and Willamette St. I viewed a fast moving bicyclist in my rear-view mirror bouncing in and out of stop and go traffic. Did he or she see me?
You know how it is: A balancing act of keeping your eye on the road ahead, while scanning your rear-view and side mirrors for oncoming and cross traffic — an ongoing controlled chaos that changes by the second. Good enough! I began my right turn onto Willamette after the Jamaican Summer slow crossing of the new “lawfully” stoned participants of a pub crawl finished crossing the intersection, despite the red light.
With the flip of the right with the turn indicator lever, Civic’s blind spot monitor was activated; revealing the fast moving cyclist that seconds earlier maintained a safe distance between her front fender and my trunk line. No more baby!
Squeezed between Civic’s pristine near zero mileage passenger side door mirror and the curb resided one pushy-ass cyclist. Without the aid of the Lane Watch camera and dash monitor, she and her sweet bicycle or worse, would have hit the curb, stop sign, newspaper stand and a handful of Friday evening party goers. No worries … with the “flip of the bird,” Miss Congeniality was on her way, unharmed — thanks to 2016 Honda Civic’s standard featured Lane Watch feature. *All or part of this article appeared first in my Honda Torque News column.