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Banged in the behind

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Catweazle, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Hey all,

    I'm wondering what, if anything, I could have done to avoid getting gently rear-ended earlier this evening.

    The event: I had stopped at a stop sign (as you do) and was starting to turn left onto a 4 lane road (Cambridge Rd onto Swansea Rd, Montrose, if that rings any bells) which at the time fortunately had no traffic on it. As I was taking off the car behind hit me as it also turned left.

    The driver definitely saw the bike in front (based on what he said), probably just looked right, saw the road was clear and accelerated before turning his head back.

    I bounced around a bit before I could get control and stop, and luckily didn't drop the bike (or myself). Phew.

    Visible damage: the guard and number plate are bent, so not much to see, at least in the dark with a torch. Very minor damage to car's headlight.

    I was kind of stunned at the time and after swapping details etc I rode the short distance home without checking much more thoroughly than that e.g. didn't check tyre condition, whether the chain tension had been "adjusted" in the process :shock:

    I was rear-ended in a car years ago, no visible damage to my car, but a few month later had exhaust issues and the whole deal needed replacing, not just the muffler. So I'll get a mechanic to check the bike out for hidden surprises.

    Anyway, for safety, what could I have done differently?

    I knew the car was behind me at a reasonable distance and I came to a smooth stop at the line which somehow took the driver by surprise. Perhaps I could have crawled the last yay many metres to the stop sign? That would be so annoying for folks behind it would be hard to miss, but is it practical? That intersection is at the bottom of a moderate slope, badly lit and usually has generous quantities of gravel on it, so it's not like anyone would sprint down to it in any vehicle (ok, maybe they do).

    It's the kind of intersection where people might treat it like the stop sign was a give way. No surprises there, except that that stretch of Swansea Rd gets more bunches of flowers taped to poles than usual.

    While it may be generally safer on a bike to get through an intersection (and away from cagers) as snappily as possible, it just doesn't make sense to me to run a stop sign while turning left on gravel and looking right for performance car enthusiasts, in the dark, with only a few weeks riding experience. Stopping seemed obvious for safety (as well as legality). Had I not stopped I reckon I just would have been hit while at slightly higher speed and further out on the main road.

    So what could I have done? Continued to look hyper-vigilantly in mirrors as well as ahead for traffic right through the whole stop and turn? Reckon I will after this.

    Since the driver saw me almost immediately before running into me I wonder how much the usual visibility measures would have helped. But a fluoro vest, super-bright brake lights, a loud pipe (even on a Spada) and craploads of reflective tape are all looking pretty sexy to me right now. :?

    BTW the driver was also a rider, so was particularly embarrassed (might have liked to meet the guy in other circumstances, seemed like a pleasant chap).

    This wasn't supposed to be war & peace, just a couple of Qs, so thanks for reading if you got this far :wink: Any thoughts?

    /me wonders off for sleep followed by public transport :(
  2. Mate, not much you can do.

    If he saw you, he just made a mistake and stuffed up. Happens to the best of us, you're very lucky that no traffic was coming the other way! (Then again, if there was, he might not have driven into you.)

    I've really got no idea with this one, sounds like the driver had a brain fart.
  3. There's only so many events that can be fitted into the finite amount of time between when the bloke behind you sees you and when he hits you, and unless he's got the reflexes of a GP driver, hang on and hope. The dill who smashed the Hornet in February last year bounced out of the car and said, "Sorry mate, I wasn't paying attention." At least he was honest.

    Having been the crasher as well, I can say that the 'look to the right, expecting the car in front to move off, look back and find he hasn't, BANG' syndrome all happens far too quickly to be pontificating about what you COULD have done.... Just be grateful you didn't fall, and, yeah, get a proper check-up on all the bike systems.
  4. Hornet's about summed it up...

    Obviously the dude was a local and has gotten used to the way locals deal with the intersection.

    Based on what you said, I think you should have stayed at the stop sign until you were ready to ride off in ONE CLEAN MOVE. The driver seems to have assumed that once he saw movement, you were going to be outa there... cause that's what he woulda done.


    When I read the title, I thought this was going to be a whole other kind of thread, not suitable for G rated forum :LOL:

    Glad to hear you and the bike were OK.


  5. I've done that as a cager too - vehicle in front starts to move off, I check right to see if I can as well, while I'm rolling to the front, but other vehicle had changed its mind. I learnt my lesson!

    I don't know exactly how you were riding, but you need to make your movements as definite as possible.
    * Don't roll forwards unless you're confident you can complete the turn.
    * When on the same road try to be either blocking the car completely, or be out of their way completely.
    * Keep an eye on the car behind you (bit difficult when you're trying to merge into traffic).

    Beyond that, I really don't think there's much you could've done. Sometimes things happen. Considering he definitely saw you, I don't think being lit up like the sun would have helped.

    Well done for keeping your bike upright! :applause:
  6. Doesn't sound like much could be done. I will admit to having almost run up other people in similar circumstances - see them move, check traffic and go myself, only to find that they stopped in front.

    This morning I was almost hit from behind as well. Coming down the monash (towards city), just past Warrigal road traffic always backs up (still moving around 40-50). I slowed, the person behind me didn't slow and almost ran up me. Fortunately I saw the driver coming and ended up lane splitting to 'get away'. (which, in itself wasn't so great because there was a police car a few vehicles ahead... Oh well, I guess I will wait and see if I receive anything in the mail).

    In short - try to be predictable, and always be aware!
  7. I've seen several people watching right, rear end someone who hessitated.

    I make a point of not even bothering to look right until I am first in the queue and stopped at the white line.

    It encourages a proper stop for a couple of seconds rather than a roll-through that most drivers seem to use these days.

    And yes, i've been bumped too (however, at a roundabout) for the same reason... they were looking right and thought i'd gone :/
  8. Rob, don't you have a photo in your Slip Sliding Away link titled "Banged up Bag"?
    I'm seeing a pattern here... :wink:
  9. i think your fault was 'making a move'. i bet he assumed that you've moved out from the quick glance, and he gave a glance to check if there is oncoming traffic.
  10. Well done keeping it rubber side down. Have a good check of the bike/back wheel etc.

    If nothing else the cage driver will have a good think about stopping in future.

    Welcome to NR too.
  11. Sarz, I think I'd like to buy you a drink for the chuckle you just gave me. Taaa for that! :LOL:
  12. Glad to be a source of your entertainment Rob :wink:

    Drink I can do, but be warned - I have a tendency to not stop at one... \:D/
  13. If he hit your rear wheel, make sure you get your shock and swingarm checked thoroughly and make sure everything is still in alignment.

    BTW - the title of this tread is an absolute hoot! Then you read the first line.....HA HA!! :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
  14. Try not being a sitting duck for the comatose cagers, getting shunted is my number1 concern, so if the coast is clear - gun it, every time.
  15. Lucky you were able to keep control of the bike and not have it smash on the road. He stuffed up and its not your fault.
  16. :rofl: I couldn't resist this thread when I saw the title. :LOL:
    I'd say if you can't avoid it just hope you get a reach around. :LOL:

    I don't think there's anything you could've done mate. It's rare to have an accident where there was no way to prevent it but in this case it was all the driver's doing. Plain and simple bad luck on your part but congratulations on not dropping the bike. :)
  17. Seriously though, this type of accident is all to common and its because people inisist on travelling in a direction that they are not LOOKING in. I have belted panels for this as there is no excuse. If you are gonna be moving forwards, and not LOOKING forwards, especially when you know that there is a vehicle stationary or quite recently stationary infront of you, better hope that no one has stopped or stalled.

    Of course you need to look left and right to make sure you are clear, but there is no need to be in motion before you have looked forward again. No excuse.

    /end rant (sorry, pet hate.)
  18. /me giggles like a school girl at title and leaves thread.

  19. When i did my learners course the instructor told us a story about an accident like that happening when they were testing the posties. They were in a long line of about 10, and because some of them were too busy looking to the right and then moving before checking if the person in front had gone, there ended up a pile of posties in the middle of the road.

    Ever since then whenever turning left, after seeing the right is clear i always check left before moving, because the vehicle in front may still be there, or there may one coming from the left. If they have to go around a parked behicle and the street is narrow, they'll be on your side of the road, and you will hit them if you don't look. I have had a couple of close calls like that before so I'm careful of that now.
  20. Had this exact same thing happen to me in a Hyundai hatchback, except I was hit by a HUGE Aus Post truck :shock:

    To look back and see then hear the bullbar of a truck coming though your back window is a bloody scary experience. I was shaking so bad I couldn't write down my details to exchange. It was only at slow speed, but all the same, scary.

    As a result, now EVERY time I am doing a left, I completely stop and try to make sure whatever is behind me is stopped also before even looking to the right (when cagers are close behind).

    Also, as someone else mentioned in this thread, its a great idea to not even look to the right until you are at the front of the queue

    Another trick I read somewhere on NR, is to keep your brake light on while taking off (light touch on the rear brake), as while its on, the cagers brains think your still stopped. I haven't mastered this yet, but working on it.

    Glad you kept it upright, and that your all right :grin: