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


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Old 06-07-2017, 01:31 PM   #1
Zz-
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Default Multiple close calls, is this common?

So I've been posting up a storm. Sorry. I'm new to riding and have too many questions..

So the first time someone turned into me, willingly and knowing I was coming I was more offended that someone would be so careless. I started practicing something a rider mentioned. A handlebar yank. Left then right, right then left.

The other day I was pulling 40 through an intersection. A car double took and then decided to cut me off anyway. I was about <twenty+?> feet, possibly more away. I whipped the bike left then right and felt like I might not recover, but it worked as practiced.

Is this just common? That was the most severe occurrence. The rest have been hard braking situations. But this happens way too often here and I'm starting to develop a hankering for keying these cars. Any tricks? I've watched some videos where people rev heavily. It seems to have some promise.

Last edited by Zz-; 06-07-2017 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Ride like your invisible.

Road raging is never a great idea, especially on a bike.
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

A few of my thoughts

Keep your distance, go with the flow, maintain your lane and be especially cautious and alert at intersections.

Do you very best to never get pissed....Good luck with that! But there's no question we don't make good decisions when we're pissed. I just try to keep calm and cool. There is a percentage of the population that hates motorcycles and/or they are just plain stupid and careless. As such, you've got to stay alert and calm.

Probably most important....Practice. Go to a parking lot and practice panic braking, swerving and slow speed maneuvers. Not nearly enough riders practice. In sports practice makes you a better player. In motorcycling practice might must keep you alive. PRACTICE!

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Old 06-07-2017, 02:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JThomasNC View Post
Ride like your invisible.

Road raging is never a great idea, especially on a bike.
Yeah, what he said. You are basically unarmored infantry, going up against a tank. Best way to reduce the potential for serious harm to yourself is to avoid the conflict. You are already dealing with a moron or jerk in a tank, if you go the road rage route - at any level these days, including just revving - you will then most likely be dealing with a pissed off moron or jerk in a tank.

As satisfying as it would be to take action, it's a losing game. Eventually it will catch up with you. Far better to just accept that it happens (it happens so often where I am I don't even get pissed off any more, most of the time. It's like getting pissed off at the weather.), avoid the accident and clear the area as quickly and as safely as you can.

And btw, Welcome and there ain't no such thing as too many questions. Great bunch of folk here, with lots of good advice.
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Old 06-07-2017, 03:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Definitely sound advice.. I know I ought to be much more cautious. And not try my luck with the many mom tanks around this area. I even almost got window punched by an H3 driver for putsing at 10 mph in the shoulder so i didn't have to keep stopping this morning.

I definitely practice, try to keep my distance, and I'll keep trying to keep my cool
And I'll keep throwing out questions then

Many thanks
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Old 06-07-2017, 05:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Try going to the interesction this has happened in on foot and spend sometime watching the traffic. May be a visibility or traffic flow issue.

There is a premptive move you can try, intended to help ensure you are seen. Change position in your lane at least once. This breaks your headlight out of the stream of car headlights seen by oncomming traffic.

I have almost turned infront of bikes due to their headlight lining up exactly with the vehicle behind them. Very unfortunate optical trick of light, especially during dusk or dawn
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

1. I simply adore lists.

2. Just because they look, does not mean they see.

3. It's your lane, use all of it. I switch sides constantly.

4. Everyone is out to kill you, or provide the means for your demise, both actively and passively.

5. There is no substitute for vigilance, confidence, and a developed skillset. Survival is a combination of the three.

6. Gear can help protect, but it cannot protect from everything. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

7. Just because they are actively trying to kill you, does not mean it is personal. Let it go.

8. Even if they are personally trying to kill you, they have the right of weight... always... let it go.

9. I really wanted to get to 10, but I'm out of thoughts.

10. I really, really, wanted to get to 10...

11. Crap I overshot...
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Old 06-08-2017, 06:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

I've spent enough time on a MC in all types of traffic including 15+ years splitting traffic in Calif to learn that any close call is YOUR fault. Yes, most are simply not paying any attention. Yes, they can be looking right at you and not see you. You are the one operating the controls of your bike. Its your responsibility to keep your self out of harms way. With time you'll soon learn to read traffic better, know if a 4 wheeler is about to turn by what the driver is doing (example: drivers will move/change hand positions on the steering wheel) or vehicle movement within the lane and realize maybe it is YOU who are being the aggressive one.
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Old 06-08-2017, 06:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

The first two posts, noted. I'm especially going to try lane changing. Also I always armor up so much that my coworkers always have a comment or two. As for it being my fault, definitely. I ought to be doing half speed and checking so I'm able to stop hyper short. It's definitely a shock, in used to diving a restored truck which no one messed with. Here someone agonist veers at me willingly acknowledging I was there. It's a whole new game. Although I don't lane split. I'm very cautious when it comes to following traffic like I'm a car. At most I puts at 10-15mph during a dead stop FAR left in the non emergency shoulders so long as there is an escape left or sufficient room.

Last edited by Zz-; 06-08-2017 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck B View Post
I've spent enough time on a MC in all types of traffic including 15+ years splitting traffic in Calif to learn that any close call is YOUR fault.
This ^

Whenever I've had a near miss with another vehicle I immediately ask myself why I didn't see the vehicle or anticipate its move. After you ride enough in traffic you'll get better at anticipating potential crashes and avoiding them.

You'll learn in scanning 4-6 seconds ahead to look at front wheels of vehicles on sidestreets and driveways for movement, assume left turners will cut in front of you, keep lane position where you can see and be seen (while assuming you're invisible) which means not only switching left to right in lane, but also dropping back when following large vehicles like trucks and buses, watching cars that wander or have aggressive drivers, and remembering to check your mirrors as part of your scanning.

It's overwhelming at first, but gets more second nature after several thousand miles. You'll develop a spidey sense about traffic. When in doubt, cover your front and rear brakes to keep stopping distance to a minimum. Good luck.
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Again. I totally agree. I've actually started to read drivers who intend to mess with me or have acknowledged me and just don't care since that really bad cut off. I'm definitely not being aggressive, but I've accepted there are four primary situations. Mindful drivers that respect my space, the oblivious, the overly aggressive to be avoided type, and those that genuinely have a problem with motorcycles and could get a laugh from running one off the road. To be honest they are becoming much more predictable intuitively. Even driving respectfully as possible, it's very difficult and sometimes impossible to disarm. I've simply started to actively avoid and positively gesture drivers. I now will even pull to allow tailgater's off the highway by. I'm getting used to it. Also I've even figured out some non offensive gestures that have played well to disarm erratic drivers. Not sure if that's smart but I'm on one off the worst highways and they are a serious risk if I'm unable to get over into another lane. Thanks for all the input. I used it to rethink my ways a little and I've almost hit 3k accident free now, cheers.

Last edited by Zz-; 06-12-2017 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Chuck is right. I have the same attitude. If I ever have a collision with a car it will be completely my fault. Why, because I didn't do what was needed to avoid it.

More lists:

Freeway riding. Most important tip is to not surprise the drivers around you:
  • Signal lane changes. Should be obvious, but some people seem offended at the idea they should have to do this.
  • Change one lane at a time. This is a big one on the freeway. Look, change lanes then look again. Repeat as needed. Give the cars around you a second or two to realize what you are doing before moving into the next lane.
  • Go the same speed as the average of the cars around you are. This is not The Fast and The Furious and you really don't have any reason to pass every car on the road. Save spirited driving for the track (or unpopulated roads).
  • Pick a lane (normally the left most unless it is a passing lane) and stay in it. You can change lanes as required, but don't engage in constant lane changes. Especially don't cut across 3 lanes of traffic, then back just so you can pass one car.
  • Ride your bike like it is the size of a car. Seriously, don't cut through that car-length hole in traffic. Drivers around you are not expecting anything to come through that hole.
  • Lane splitting. Not at 70+ MPH please. And not through a line of cars waiting at a red light. Cars own their lane just like you do.

Intersections: Extremely deadly places for motorcycles.
  • Pay attention. Is there somebody waiting to pull out into traffic or turn left in front of you? At a minimum, flash your headlight. Change speed or change lanes so you can go through the intersection with a car beside you.
  • Waiting at the head of a line when the light turns green? Wait a long second and look both ways before taking off.
  • Don't stop close to the car ahead of you. Keep the bike in gear and your eyes in the rearview mirrors until there is a car stopped behind you. Be prepared to bail out of the lane if the car behind you doesn't slow down.
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Also:

When passing a line of cars, pass them one at a time and get back in the lane. Ask me how I know this.

At 15 MPH above the surrounding traffic, reaction time falls off dramatically. Try to stay under that 15 MPH.

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Old 06-18-2017, 09:10 PM   #14
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Good advice here. I'll submit one more vote for practicing for emergencies. Frankly, I'd be surprised if 1% of riders do this.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanBarwick View Post
Good advice here. I'll submit one more vote for practicing for emergencies. Frankly, I'd be surprised if 1% of riders do this.
I practice my braking drills monthly. Its a skill that you dont learn once...its on going.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:30 AM   #16
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

I'll make it real simple. If you are having close calls, you're going too fast. Slow down, stop being in a hurry, and your close calls will go to almost zero. And in the rare instance when a close call is about to happen, you'll have more than enough time to react.

This advice is from a guy that rides everyday, all year round, rain or shine.

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Old 06-19-2017, 07:38 AM   #17
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Quote:
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I'll make it real simple. If you are having close calls, you're going too fast. Slow down, stop being in a hurry, and your close calls will go to almost zero. And in the rare instance when a close call is about to happen, you'll have more than enough time to react.

This advice is from a guy that rides everyday, all year round, rain or shine.
Very sensible, boring but sensible. Hey, you ever get down around Huntsville?

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Old 06-19-2017, 10:35 AM   #18
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Adding to Haldor's intersection items -

Be extra very damn careful when stopped at an intersection that has a protected left-turn lane. It is not unknown for the protected left turn lane to start moving while the main light is still red and some semi-comatose cager in the still stopped lane starts to move. I've been hit on the bike from that (slow, no major harm) and have had close calls twice in just the last couple of weeks. Watch out for that in both directions... a cage behind you starting to move when they shouldn't, and also watch for the traffic coming towards you when you are making the 'protected' left turn. My recent close calls were one of each case.

Glad to see you are getting into the rhythm... there are lots of hazards to watch out for, but the reward is worth it. I agree with your breakdown of cager types... the just plain oblivious are, I think, the biggest danger just because there are so many of those. The openly aggressive are bad news but not as many of them. Far too many cagers seem to have the attitude that the entire highway system and all other vehicles on it are just for their own personal convenience and they just don't pay attention. Then they feel all bad when they injure or kill one of us, when it's too late.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:53 PM   #19
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Again. Lots of great advice. And I currently over what's been served me as of my last post and still I refuse to lane split. 4k miles And as to the comatose drivers comment, yeah I've realized one new thing. Do not pass cars slowly, sometimes that can cause a double blind spot. Had it happen the other day. I couldn't see he was merging and he didn't see me. I noticed his car seemed closer so I gunned it. Similarly (not really) I actually had a guy move over two lanes trying to scare me into another car. I couldn't brake because someone came up behind me. He matched my speed too when i tried to get ahead. I was going the speed limit and he was smirking afterwards. I did nothing to aggravate him. I'm not a fan of where I live.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: Multiple close calls, is this common?

Anticipate stupid, it's everywhere. Saved me again, yesterday.
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