We were heading for a rally west of where we live. However, on the way it started lashing down with rain. Proper cats and dogs to the point I could hardly see anything. We were in lane one and due to the rain, the car in front started slowing down to about 50mph. As I wanted to get to the rally and set up our tent and get dry, I moved into lane two and was just filtering between the slow car in lane one, and a van in lane two, when disaster struck.

Despite having a big red bike, I don’t think the van saw me and we collided. As I was alongside him at that point to his nearside, the van hit my offside pannier. Through skill and experience I managed to keep it up and not crash.

However, as he had hit me, I forced him to pull over and swap details. He was not too happy when I read him the riot act. However, as I told him, I was doing less than 70mph (about 65mph); I am legally allowed to filter; and he would have to pay for my scratched pannier and for nearly killing me and my partner. Basically he told me to poke off and speak to his insurer.

I have tried to get them to pay and said I would accept £10,000 each for me and my partner for nearly being killed; plus £500 for a new pannier. However, the insurance handler laughed and said take them to court. So that is what I am planning to do. Do you think I have a good case?


They say there is no such thing as a stupid question. However, you have just shattered that theory. In reply, NO, you do not have a good case.

Whilst I accept filtering is legal (it is one of the great joys of riding a motorbike) there is a time and a place to do it. And doing it in the piddling rain between vehicles in lanes one and two on a motorway at 65mph is not it. If you want to know who is to blame for this, you need to go to your bathroom, right now, and look in the mirror.

Basically you made your own lane between lanes one and two; in horrendous conditions when you could barely see at 65mph and had a collision. Unless I am missing a trick, this minor (thankfully) collision was your fault.

If I were you, I would keep my head down because if the van driver reports you to the Police I suspect you could end up facing a charge of dangerous driving, or driving without due care and attention.

Lastly, even if the van was to blame (which seems unlikely), you do not get compensation for ‘nearly being killed’. You need to give your head a wobble.

Andrew Prendergast

More Bikes – October 2023