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Accident risk compared to overseas

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Clayt0nB, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. I was talking to a family friend this evening and I knew he had ridden before and was wandering if he still did.

    So I asked him and he told me a story which in shot form; two days in a row he had very near crashes, as he is a new father he couldn't afford the life risks for his family so he sold his bikes.

    Anyway, he was used to riding in places like London where bikes are everywhere and OTHER drivers on the road are aware of them.

    Now, Riding over here is not as big as a lot of places overseas, I go days without seeing bikes on the streets sometimes so im assuming that car drivers are LESS aware of bikes on the roads they roam, leaving myself and fellow riders at a greater risk then overseas.

    What are your opinions on this? Do you think riding is more dangerous over here because its not as big and drivers aren't as aware there are smaller people they are sharing the roads with?

    FYI, Im in SE QLD, maybe in Melbourne its a whole different story.

  2. where in SEQ are you?
    i'm in SEQ and i see 30+ bikes per day

    yes i do agree they're less aware of us than in higher motorcycle populated countries, but that also has to do with education, not just exposure
  3. I reckon if you have 2 near misses in consecutive days, that would be your quota. You'd be good for a long time, provided those near misses were not your own fault. Statistically speaking of course!
  4. If only it worked like that.

    I'm in Noosa which is 1 1/2 hours north of brissy

    If I go a little south to Mooloolabah you see a lot more bikes but on my general travels every day there aren't too many, which is concerning because people wont be used to looking for smaller objects such as bikes
  5. If you have two near misses you are either really unlucky, or not reading traffic correctly.

    Stupid is predictable....... generally.
  6. I dont know, I got used to near misses each day or every ride, so 2 near misses in 2 days would be pretty normal (I'm SEQ too FWIW). I guess it depends on your definition of near and miss, but I had enough and found the track is better/safer for recreational riding which is all I do now. Maybe you could suggest your friend get a trackbike if its weekend riding only. To answer your question though, at face value I'd say you would generally be safter in places with higher awareness for bikes and other vulnerable road users, but their populations would be larger too, so there'd be more acco's for the same % of bike acco's if that makes sense. i'd need to see the stats. At the end of the day if anyone parks their road bike up I can appreciate their decision, esp if its based on commitment to their family.
  7. I spent a few days in Rome on a scooter and felt much safer than I ever have on Sydney roads.
  8. Near misses for me, also in SEQ and riding in traffic daily, are months apart.

    Given the very different experiences on the same roads, rider attitudes and skills have to be relevant.

    That's the hole in *all* probabilistic approaches to this issue: the probability of cars doing dumb stuff can be different, but it's the rider's skill at avoiding that that sets the actual probability of having a collision or incident.

    It's important to stack the odds in your own favour.
  9. I would count a near miss as anything that got my heart pumping from the adrenaline.

    That happens maybe once a month for me riding in Sydney traffic everyday. I just got back from Rome as well, and I had a adrenaline moment on the first roundabout, because I didn't understand the flow of traffic correctly and misread the situation. I was fine after the first roundabout.

    I am annoyed everytime I have a near miss as I have failed to anticipate that. We have to learn from our mistakes, I think about what happened just before so I can maybe prevent it in the future.

    Not saying that everything is avoidable, but a lot is.
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  10. I think you're right, to a point. I've said this before, but I'll say it again, a few years ago I had a near miss with someone I worked with, basically a SMIDSY. He said something along the lines of "Bikes are small and fast, drivers can't possibly hope to see them". I responded "What couldn't you see, the 220kg bike or the 5'11" 110kg bloke sitting on top of it". Eventually I got him to agree to pillion with me around town on a Saturday morning.

    He was been converted, so to speak. He was simply astonished at how many drivers just don't look properly and how many drivers just do stupid things. A couple of weeks later he mentioned that he'd suddenly noticed there are hundreds of bikes on the roads, admitting he'd never seen them before because he wasn't looking for them.
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  11. I rode in Koh Samui in Thailand. Surprisingly there was almost zero SMIDSY's as everyone expected and developed their road experience either surrounded by scooters or on one. Unfortunately their road sense is very limited due cultural reasons (they honestly believe that their fate has been preselected by god and that 'defensive driving' would therefore be pointless, so they're fine with overtaking downhill, on the wrong side of the road around blind corners. Seriously.) There are also a few cars that must belong to some dodgey characters (i.e. a late model S500 Mercedes on a poor Asian island..) and they SEE you, but they don't give a **** though and will run you off the road if it means they get there quicker.

  12. Yep, I'm a brand new bike rider and I must say, when I'm in my car I am now MUCH more aware of bikes than I was before. Namely I now notice bike riders doing stupid things! Just the other day I had a momentary freak out in my car on the freeway because a bike that was in my rear view mirror had suddenly disapeared. When I did spot him again he had shot over 3 lanes and was scooting up the outside of a car in the far right lane!

    I think all car drivers should have to spend a month riding a bike to learn what to look for, and I think that Bike riders need to drive like everyone is out to get them and always think defensively*

    *ok i'm still in my first month of riding, (and I ride a cruiser) so its possible I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about! :-s
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  13. The concept is well understood in cycling circles. The more riders in a city area, the safer they are as other traffic expect them and look to see them. There's also the concept that the more people that cycle, the more family and friends become aware and recognise and look out for bicycles.

    Safety in numbers makes sense.

    In Victoria there's 5m+ people, some 300,000 with a motorcycle license, but only 165000 registered road bikes... the vast majority of folk in Victoria do not ride and don't know anyone that rides. Similar story across Australia.

    The majority of drivers in Australia do not expect or look to see a motorbike - at the moment.
  14. I don't get why car drivers get upset because we change lanes fast. That is not a high risk activity. Fatalities on motorcycles are caused from collisions at intersections and failure to negotiate curves and head ons in 90% of cases.

    Changing lanes quickly to get you into free space can be safer as it gives you room to avoid collisions at intersections.

    I suspect they get pissed off with us changing lanes for the same reason as the lane splitting- because they can't do it.
  15. Yes its possible, but it doesn't show up on the stats so is not a considerable risk. Fatalities are from collisions at intersections and curves.

    Maybe it is because injury is less likely where both vehicles are travelling in the same direction. Maybe it is because there is a chance that the motorcycle can buffer left and pass by. Not sure but it doesnt show up on the stats and it decreases the risk of accidents that do.


    “Almost 50% of motorcycle crashes occur at intersections and in the majority of cases they involve another vehicle.


    Half of the fatalities are related to negotiating a curve prior to the crash


    See those are the big causes. Never heard lane change as to be a fatality risk.
  16. It's a double edged sword for me. I agree, the more bikes we can get out there on the road will increase awareness and safety. It will also help with lobbying and having the authorities treat us with (at least some) consistency and consideration.

    Then I think how much I like being in the minority and feeling part of a small exclusive group, such as riding was when I first started out. I feel slightly misanthropic in the way that once something becomes popular, I start to dislike it and the sheep following it.

    Filtering was never an issue when there was only ever one bike every few sets of lights. Now you see 4/5 bikes at each intersection drawing attention to the fact. You could also park a bike ANYWHERE when it was the only one around. Right or wrong I know I would not love riding, even remotely as much, if anything even a tenth of the population were on bikes and/or scooters.
  17. I don't feel at greater risk here in Australia than I was back in the UK, but I do find that there is greater hostility directed at bikes here. Back there I was verbally abused maybe once or twice in 7 years of daily riding in all conditions and widely varied places. Here it's a weekly occurrence.
  18. Do you only get that on the bike?
  19. Nah, I just get picked as a wanker whatever I'm doing :D.

    Seriously, yes it's just on the bike. Usually, but by no means exclusively, filtering related.
  20. I hear ya.

    The other edge of the sword is a great influx of beige risk averse noobs who aren't interested in the craft of riding but more the utility of it.

    They adopt hi viz, ABS and come to riding looking to the state to make riding safe for them. They're mostly NOT on forums so they are hard to be re-educated.

    This leaves me with mixed feelings sometimes, because it's interested riders that care about their riding and my view of the utility riders is that they don't care much. If the average rider skill level drops leading to an increase in stats, then the state will respond.

    But we need greater numbers for a bunch of good reasons... so on balance I now welcome the increase.