10 Years of Blog Archive

Friday, October 05, 2012

Why I Won't Ride a Motorcycle or Bicycle in Cuenca Ecuador

The bus driver was speeding down the road like many do here in Cuenca, when just a short distance ahead the light turned red. The bus driver knew he wouldn't be able to stop in time to not hit the car in front of him so he swerved and went into the right hand lane. Unfortunately, in the right hand lane was a man on a motorcycle. 


We saw the motorcyclist, and the bus driver must have also, but none the less, the bus driver was just going way too fast; it was either swerve into the right lane and hope the motorcyclist sees the big bus barreling into his lane, or hit the car ahead.

The bus driver swerved into the right lane and sideswiped the guy on the motorcycle. It could have been fatal but luckily the cyclist was driving defensively, saw the bus, and was able to only get sideswiped, and he and his bike crashed to the ground. 

The bus stopped. 

The motorcyclist slowly got up from the pavement, took off his helmet, and slowly limped to the door of the bus. We thought he was going to yell at the bus driver, or take down information... and well, you know everything you would do in the US had you just been hit by a big "something ton" bus while you're on your bike. 

 The motorcyclist is the guy on the right

Instead the guy just said to the driver in loud Spanish, "what's going on? Didn't you see me?" We couldn't hear what the bus driver said back to the motorcyclist because the music on the bus was really loud. The guy simply went back to his cycle and someone got off the bus and helped him pick up his bike and the bus drove off. 

Ecuador ranks second in Latin America for number of traffic accidents.

Lately, in the last few months we have seen more cops ticketing drivers who are driving too fast. Hopefully this will help curb some of the traffic accidents that Ecuador has. However, all this new police activity, did not seem to bother this bus driver and prevent him from driving erratically and almost killing someone.  

In 2010, there were 50,000 accidents in Ecuador, which killed 2,500 people and 15,000 were seriously injured, while already this year the country has recorded 5,160 deaths from traffic accidents. Read the full article here.


  1. All you have done is convince me I am much safer with my life in my own hands than putting myself on a bus or taxicab. I feel much safer in control of my own vehicle than boarding a bus or walking down the street without the maneuverability and braking capabilities of a motorcycle. Seeing how many buses crash and go off cliffs here in Ecuador, I think it much safer to be on a motorcycle than a bus! To each his own I guess.

  2. I loved Cuenca but I don't think I will ever drive there. I will take a cab or the bus because the drivers seem to know how to drive in the crazy fast traffic. Me, I would cause an accident because I'm not used to driving that way. I actually liked the buses and they are CHEAP! Who can beat .25 cents?


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