Well we met after work. He paid and threw in a little extra. Funny thing is, he has been asking himself the same question, so he doesn't have a repeat incident. He is a gearhead, does the Formula SAE racing thing at school, and is restoring an old XR so he can start riding. He has been talking with the riders at school to get their input on what he could have done, or didn't do. He is well aware of the gravity of the situation, and was open to answering any questions I wanted to ask. It's not often you get to ask the driver what he was thinking.
It was very foggy, and he said that he looked down, and when he looked back up he thought I was a car much farther down the road. As he started to pull out he realized it was a bike, and MUCH close than he originally thought. He said that 'bike' did not register at first. We discussed that the 'triangle of light' or 3 lights might help differentiate enough to make people actually ask themselves what that is.
I suggested, and he agreed that he will be taking the MSF before he gets his license, and be wearing gear all the time.
"Every could has a silver lining"
Again Glad you survived and had the skills and reflexes to not get pasted.
The gentleman you had the run in with seems like a good guy and the fact you and he spoke about what was the cause and what could be done to avert this in the future (spreading the word here as well) is Fantastic!!! So often it is just call my insurance and go F yourself or you hit me
The admission "he thought I was a car much farther down the road" is gospel as to what happens.
For me I believe that the triangle (lights on forks + headlamp) vision of a bike makes much more of an impact on drivers. I read it somewhere that most people are trained to see horizontal objects and to block out vertical objects (telephone poles don't move but the vertical lights/car do).
Glad you survived and you as well as all of us got a chance to learn from this, a "silver lining" to a possible black cloud. Thank you Max