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Accidents, Crashes, and Close-calls Post-incident report, analysis and discussion aimed at increasing safety


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Old 06-20-2017, 10:45 AM   #21
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Agreed.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:45 AM   #22
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

I think many of us arr experiencing bad driving, doesn't matter which city or state. Mis-use of technology is causing distracted driving. I have also seen some alarming numbers of the people going through life drugged and heavily mediicated. Then there are the handicapped, physically limited in there ability to check traffic around them. Add on the stress and pressures that lead many otherwise sane people to become stunt drivers, and it is a challenge to drive any vehicle without incident.

I do agree that ones own speed is the greatest factor you control.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:14 PM   #23
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Before I ever got into motorcycles I was talking to a rider friend about the dangers of riding and he said something I think about every time I swing a leg over the seat: Ride like everyone is trying to kill you. All of the above posts make good points, especially about anticipating stupid people doing stupid things.

In rider safety classes they teach techniques to improve your visibility, where to be within the lane when going around corners, passing vehicles, etc. Always think about what you can do to show yourself to other vehicles whether it be shifting sides within the lane to expose yourself to their mirrors, not following other vehicles too closely, abrupt lane changes, etc. I also use the old civil war logic 'don't shoot until you see the whites in their eyes'...until I make eye contact with someone as I approach an intersection I expect them to pull out in front of me, so make sure I have an exit strategy or slow down until I have a way to maneuver out of a potential situation.

I also try to read a driver's body language as I approach them, the biggest signal being their head movements. Someone that is constantly looking down and back up (texting) or turning to the passenger frequently is likely distracted and trying to kill you, whether they know it or not.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:45 PM   #24
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

QueTips. Watch out for QueTips, a perjorative term for people with white hair. You know, old folks. Their rheumy eyes are pointed toward you but your image doesn't register on the mental recognition chart. Before any of you old people reading this get upset, I'm a QueTip myself, edging slowly toward my 72nd anniversary of being here. Well, not all here. I listen to Clint Eastwood; I know my limitations.
My personal traffic scan includes looking for people with a cellphone glued to their ear, people texting, drivers who are obviously engrossed in conversation with a passenger, drivers who are drumming their fingers on the steering wheel, mad as hell at something and folks who are snapping their fingers and jiving to music I can't hear.
I listen for sirens, too. I was stopped at a red light in downtown Los Angeles, heard the emergency sound, saw a really big firetruck approaching from the left, code three. Glanced in my mirror, a car was approaching from behind me, his view of the truck blocked by buildings, his hearing likely attenuated by radio and air conditioning. I did what I had to do and turned hard right staying as close to the curb as I could get. Car slid part way into the intersection but the firetruck missed him. Had I been there...oh, darn.
Last observation. Intersections are always dangerous. Vehicles pause at the light, sometimes dripping lubricant onto the asphalt, especially between the tire track areas. Summer heat makes this especially treacherous. Stopping on an oil slick can provide a real rush.
Motorcycle survival is like health. It's up to us, not to the other drivers. Practice, situational awareness, experience, vigilance, good decision making, all are important.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:35 PM   #25
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 227708 View Post
Practice, situational awareness, experience, vigilance, good decision making, all are important.
I would put situational awareness at the top of the list. If one is thinking about what's for dinner, time to get a cage.

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Old 06-20-2017, 01:40 PM   #26
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Forget looking at drivers' eyes, look at their front tires.

BTW it's a Revolutionary War for white's of eyes, I believe.
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:07 PM   #27
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sagerat View Post
Forget looking at drivers' eyes, look at their front tires.

BTW it's a Revolutionary War for white's of eyes, I believe.


I stand corrected! A quick search on the interwebs confirmed it was first uttered in the Battle of Bunker Hill during the Revolutionary War.

Anyway, I also look at the front tires but once I get close enough try to look at eyes too.
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:47 PM   #28
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

A friend of mine in Tucson says he's seldom cut off in traffic nor do people often attempt to run his motor off the road. He spends a significant amount of time in the saddle. He wears the gear when he's riding, that includes black protective pants, boots, helmet...utility belt, gun...badge, and so on. Same guy says on the other hand he encounters all the problems the rest of us do when he's off-duty and astride his civilian Honda.
Another buddy is an attorney in Phoenix. He rides a bright white Suzuki Burgman 650 that he says is invisible out there on the big city streets.
Last example is my neighbor who rides a Harley chopper with ape hangers and straight pipes. He says he doesn't encounter problems with other drivers. He's 6'4" tall and weighs somewhere around 230, most all of it muscle. Shaved head, FuManchu moustache...tatts...he's a paramedic, nicest man you could meet. People in cars notice the size of his arms, his 20" neck, yeah, you get the idea.
It's not nice to consider but folks in cages aren't just oblivious or distracted. They're aware that some dink wrapped in colorful protective gear riding a scoot that sounds like a two-wheeled lawn tractor doesn't pose much of a threat. The dude with a cop shop patch on his shoulders is different. He can cause problems. The big bald guy could squeeze yer head 'n make poop shoot out yer ears.
I keep that in mind. I'm an old, harmless fogey on an awkward looking bike. I don't stand a chance in a quarrel with a car or a truck. I ride accordingly and hope that karma is more than what a dogma chases.
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:58 AM   #29
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

How this post has come to quoting revolutionaries... I love it.

Also as to the last post. Yes. That's exactly what prompted me to start this thread. So many of my encounters come from cars weighing me as a non-threat. The smart solution is to grab a helmet cam and get plates.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:27 PM   #30
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 227708 View Post
I'm an old, harmless fogey on an awkward looking bike. I don't stand a chance in a quarrel with a car or a truck. I ride accordingly and hope that karma is more than what a dogma chases.
Hey, I semi-resemble that remark.

Congrats on living in Bisbee, I always enjoyed visiting that town when I lived in AZ. Of course that was so long ago, I moved there shortly after the meteor hit outside Winslow...
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Old 06-22-2017, 12:08 AM   #31
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

I have never felt like the drivers around me where eyeing me with malicious intent. Some of them look exasperated when some spud on a race bike weaves his way through traffic like we are all poles in his slalom course. I bet they wouldn't cry to see him on the side of the road hurting, but unless you do something incredibly idiotic and offensive, they just want to get where they are going.

The danger is the people who are autopiloting, or distracted. They are the ones who will just flat run you over.

So I am constantly thinking about what would I do, where would I go if "this" happened. Helps to keep me mentally engaged in the ride, especially when commuting to work by bike.

I love riding my bike. I appreciate the reduced commute time (HOV lane is open to bikers in AZ). I enjoy being in the outdoors (even in the summer heat or winter rain).

I like the exhilaration of leaning the bike way over in a tight radius curve and accelerating out of turn. I like nimbly maneuvering my bike.

I don't like the fact that I am 26 times more likely to die in a crash than a car driver is. I assume that my planning and actions reduce this likelyhood, but I know that no matter what I do, short of giving up riding, I remain at a much greater risk for a serious injury or death because I ride.

That, along with the discomfort of being exposed to the weather, heat, sore butt on long rides. Bugs hitting me in the neck... These are a price I willingly pay for the joy I get from riding.

We all have to go sometime and somehow. I am enjoying life and wish to have a long one, but I also know I would rather not go like my dad did (choking his life out with lung cancer at 63). It is possible to live too long...

Be safe, but be true to yourself first.

Remember, safety 3rd.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km8XxRCuCho

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdfsn_NzP1Q

And Mike Rowe is absolutely correct. Focusing on what others do and how they "cut you off" or "didn't see you" is actually making it more likely that you are going to die in a crash. Don't focus on how you were wronged. Focus on what you need to do in order to be safe. Own your own future. Nobody else really cares more than you do.
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Last edited by Haldor; 06-22-2017 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 06-22-2017, 08:41 AM   #32
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

I, too, ride year around. That's how I've accumulated almost 98,000 miles on a '98 BMW K1200rs. Part of that mileage was in Phoenix, which has to be one of the most dangerous places I've ridden, particularly on the multi-lane freeways. Traffic stats in Phoenix agree with that observation. An article in the Arizona Republic a few months ago pointed out the high fatality rates for motorcycles in the Phoenix area, the data derived from NTSB records.
Personally, I found Phoenix to be more hazardous than Los Angeles where I also lived and rode a motorcycle.
During my years in Phoenix I lived just south of Camelback on 36th St and Montecito. I rode almost daily on a bicycle, too. Up 36th to the AZ Canal, west to 75th Ave and back. Heat wasn't a problem.
Dwelling on why someone cut me off is wasted and diverts my attention from my situational awareness. However, a scan of other vehicles does little good without noting the drivers. Cars, pickups, trucks are mindless accumulations of steel, plastic and rubber. They won't turn in front of me--well, now that we're going driverless, I'm not certain of that--but the driver may cause such dangers.
My reference to an attorney in Phoenix who rides an invisible Burgman scooter isn't made up; neither is the county deputy in Tucson who experiences drivers with enlightened awareness when he's on his cop bike. Riders who have never experienced malicious drivers are fortunate. I don't ride a bike (or a motorcycle) recklessly though I wish to be wreckless. I don't believe grandad or granny wants to harm me; I think they're oblivious to the danger of what they do or don't do while they're driving. I don't extend that benevolence to the young kid with a chip on his shoulder.
Will this knowledge (or belief) stop me from riding? Well, it hasn't so far.

Last edited by 227708; 06-22-2017 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 06-22-2017, 09:11 AM   #33
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

My favorite line is: Safety is no accident.

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