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Avoiding an accident

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by cossie, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. First off, this is posted here as it will be relevant for more than one specific area. Although feel free to move it if necessary.

    As there are so many 'rider down' threads at the moment, I thought it would be good to share a few ideas on avoiding an accident. However, without focusing particularly on riding style as that has been covered many times before and should go without saying.

    What other ways are there for avoiding an accident?

    High visibility? Wear a fluoro vest/jacket (particularly during poor visibility, fog etc) if the rest of your riding gear/bike is all black.

    A more powerful bike? this has been discussed before but with suitable experience a little extra power may help get you out of trouble?

    Bike safety features? I realise that dual airbags and side intrusion bars are a little way off yet but are any bikes 'safer' than others? ABS, dual combined braking systems, better handling?

    So ther than riding style, what other suggestions are there for staying safe?
  2. Staying safe, its like saying, im going to become a profesional boxer and not get punched, while we can do things to minimise risks, ultimatly we always take that risk when you hop on a bike.
  3. A wise man once said to me "50% can't see you, the other 50% are trying to hit you"... and this was when Dad was teaching me to drive a *CAR* so this applies doubly now. Always have an escape route planned and always know what is going on around you.

    A car pulls out of a side street, then sees you and stops blocking your lane. Do you (a) jam on the anchors and try an emergency stop or (b) is it a better option to punch the bar and take the side street he's just come out of? Other side of the road an option?

    If you ask those questions before the situation happens, you stand a much greater chance. As per the vid in the multimedia section, you can just jump off and have a think about the situation, then address it. Once it happens, there's a split-second... so be prepared!

    Also, it's rare that I see a bike rider actively look when passing a side street... most of us just assume nothing is coming, or that the green light means someone won't run the red. If you don't let that complacency come in, you'll stand a much better chance.

    Above all... there's always that possibility, so remember to dress for the crash, not for the ride.
  4. big engine, big breaks. avoiding is a poke fwd or a suddent stop. any bike can swerve.

    good tyres!


    join stump in her mission to make the RTA competent. whos with me?

    if the RTA was competent the right people would have a license and you would be safe. i would be on a bike, and heaps of great people would still be alive.

    raise awareness and say 'this is not ok'
  5. How about we all ride to our limits whatever they may be (on the road). That way we only have to worry about everyone else.

    Push your limits in a safe environment.
  6. How about riding to the conditions?

    Leave safe stopping distance in front, particularly in the wet, and when stopping (especially suddenly) look in the mirror to see that the goose behind you is also stopping and not about to shunt you in the arse.

    Take care when cornering, cold/wet/frosty roads can be slippery.
  7. i think we all need to take a leaf out of drews book.
    ride with your eyes open, and always be aware of whats going on around you.
    his particular case has a million and one wotif's but the facts are that he was alert, and had it mentally forged in to his riding to act evasively to preserve himself. therefore, the only wotifs that are relevant are, wotif i wasnt a sensible road user?!
    we cant control everything that goes on out there, but the importance is to do the best to control as much of our own safety as we can.
    make evasive actions second nature and ride defensively. it should never be a race.....unless of course it is :twisted: :p
  8. It is sad but in many cases its a case of learning from ones mistakes...

    Frequently check that your indicator has been neutralised - even if you are 90% sure it has already!!

    Identify the worst case scenario in each riding position and have the escape route mapped out in your mind.

    Its funny how history rarely has a tendancy to repeat itself when you learn the hard way :cry:
  9. I had a bit of a scare on the way home tonight. Cars in front stopped suddenly, cos they were all tail gating (in the rain), so I had to stop suddenly, thats when I heard the scretching tyres.. a quick look in the mirror saw a Rodeo coming my way nose down & skidding towards me.
    A quick release of the brakes & I aimed straight at the concrete divider. the rodeo stopped about 1m behind me & I was close enough to touch the concrete, and my front wheel was level with the bumper of the car in front.

    Like my old man always told me: ride to the conditions, and if you can have a escape route ready.

    I call it riding paranoid, but i keeps me alive.
  10. I got axed from behind in December. The more I think about it, the more I believe I could have avoided it if I had positioned myself better in the lane. I was traveling dead center of the lane, cars pulled up suddenly in front of me, I stopped in time, car behind me didn't. Bike written off, I went over the handle bars and hit the deck. Long story short, I made it through fine, the bike died.

    Since then I have mostly traveled in the "inside" wheel track when I am on multi lane roads. For other roads I decide which wheel track is better, but I never travel in the center of the lane anymore. Had I been in a better position on the road, I would have been able to go around the cars in front, rather then trying to stop in a hurry.
  11. These three points of advice are very good. :) Escape routes are always a good idea.

  12. Dont try to push the boundaries on nice twisty roads with guardrails, just enjoy it at a moderate pace.
    Replace bald tyres..
    Watch out for black ice when riding to work when its -3 degrees....
    I learnt all of them the hard way, its the only way i learn tho lol.
    Other than that..in traffic personally I ride agressively, make the bike loud. Get far ahead of traffic and always look for an escape route.
    A simple one..pay attention dont let your mind wander in heavy traffic.
  13. always ask yourself what if...

    speaking of escape routes. came to a stop on a two lane railway bridge. paranoid that i am about be shunted from behind i stopped to the left of the lane.

    well, a tradie in his van suprised the fcuk out of me by stopping right beside me; his bumper to my right and in front of the bike.

    i'm like wtf!? he looked to be totally oblivious before i tap on his window and motion for him to open up so i can have a word or two.

    he actually thought i had moved to the side to "stop" in a no standing zone, which i pointed out to him.

  14. Don't have the answers - Only have SOME areas I can look after.

    Can never stop stupidity in other road users, otherwise the roads would be empty!.

    But I can be constantly aware of what is happening around me, beside, in front, WAAY in front, and behind.

    I CAN change down a gear when approaching green lights (when they have been green for a long time) and place two fingers on the brake lever - just in case I need to decide - accelerate or brake.

    I CAN move myself away from trouble, by not riding close the the cars beside me, making myself visible to cars entering the roadway, and using lane positioning to gain that little bit extra room.

    I CAN make myself heard by having loud pipes, so the cagers may wonder - that noise = motorbike?.

    I CAN check the bike at least once a week for cables, tires. brakes, pressures, fluids etc.

    I CAN choose not to lane split if it doesn't look safe!
  15. Reading these forums and taking in the experiences from other riders, then putting into practice what you have learned is great. What i mean is education between riders has always been good.

    However the question is how do you break into the cagers world and educate them. Especially the newbie cagers. How or where do start to get legislation so when people are obtaining a licence for the first time and maybe even renewing a licence, they must read or watch a short video on the processes looking and seeing. Making them aware of the environment around and what can happen.
  16. Actually, as of 2006 the Honda Goldwing was available with optional rider airbag, designed to reduce your, uh, "exit velocity" when involved in a front-on impact. (You're leaving the bike whether you like it or not; their tests showed the airbag would at least reduce injuries from the sudden stop at the end of your "flight")

    But airbags do not prevent accidents, of course...

    Linked brakes and ABS help a bit - one friend in the states has been saved by his VFR800's ABS specifically when a car missed a red light. A manual panic stop probably would not have stopped him in time. I'm strongly considering ABS for when I get off of restrictions, even though I practice emergency stops every time I ride home.

    I believe BMW now has a fancier ABS that detects the rider's clenched buttcheeks and helps initiate a panic stop faster than normal, much like the ABS boosters used in some cars.

    But as everyone else has said, the best method is prevention. Stay the hell out of blindspots, and work on the Zen art of predicting other motorists' wants and needs before they even begin to move.
  17. Its NOT paranoia if they're really out to get you! (A bit like Kiwis - its NOT an inferiority complex if you really are!)

    Every piece of the environment is, or is hiding, a threat. Riding as safely as possible means thinking about which is the current highest threat and what you can do to minimise the effect of that threat.

    Leaving adequate room, making sure you are visible (can you see two mirrors of the cage in front of you?), being in the right gear to boogie out of there if necessary, being concerned about what the cage three in front is trying to do, knowing where to go RIGHT NOW when it all turns pear shaped are the sort of threat counters you need to be thinking about all the time.

    City traffic is a perpetual multi-threat environment. Country roads are only marginally less threat intensive (why do farmers always put trees around where their driveway meets the road? why are all animals (domesticated and native) intent on taking out a motorcyle as their dying act?). The weather, the road surface and cagers are 'universal' threats. Are you willing to bet your life on the ability of the rider in front of you on a group ride? Then leave a big enough gap!

    If you think about where to position the bike and in what configuration to minimise possible threats you stand the best chance of avoiding them.

    There are a number of 'riding for survival' courses - you never know everything and these are a good way to hone your skills and learn some new ones. The objective is not to turn you into a quivering lump of jelly that's afraid to go out on the bike, but to develop techniques that improve your likelihood of avoiding the threats. Fighter pilots call it 'situational awareness'.

    Hopefully these become second nature and you are not even aware that you are moving toward the centre of the road because there is a hidden junction coming up on the left.

    Of course, there is always the potential for a 'red mist' attack, when all of the above gets chucked out and the priority is to find out where the 'edges of the envelope' are!

  18. A sig I had from another time.

    Defensive Riding: Allowing for mistakes, theirs and yours.

    But even I have had errors of judgement. :oops:
  19. Never travel in the centre of lanes anyway, cause thats where all the "crap" gets left, the car wheel tracks are generally cleaner/dryer etc etc