We spend a fair amount of time here defending Toyota Prius drivers, who seem to have a bad reputation for slow and inept driving.

We point out that gentle acceleration gets you there almost as quick and saves you money, despite the angry SUV driver 18 inches off the rear bumper.

But then something happens that makes us think perhaps the reputation is deserved.

In this case, a 19-year-old Toyota Prius driver hit two motorcyclists while attempting to shoot cell-phone video of a group of bikers out for an 8 am ride yesterday morning.

The incident, which took place on Highway 101 on the San Francisco Bay peninsula, ended with both bikers being taken to the hospital.

The Prius driver ended up in the hospital, too--after he was beaten by the rest of the bikers.

California Highway Patrol investigators hope to find witnesses to the event, which CHP officer Art Montiel said will produce a citation for distracted driving for the unnamed Prius driver.

According to the story in SF Gate, the bikers were riding in the fast lane and the Prius was in the center lane of northbound Highway 101 in Hillsdale, a few miles south of San Francisco Airport.

The distracted driver veered into the slow lane, overcorrected, swung into the fast lane, hit one biker, bounced his Prius off the 4-foot-tall central divider, hit a second biker, and then came to a stop.

The beating followed.

The moral(s) of the story:

  • Use extreme caution driving around groups of motorcyclists.
  • Do not attempt to shoot video of anything while driving.
  • Do not hold mobile devices while driving.
  • Learn how to react to an emergency situation behind the wheel.



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