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Be extra careful at night. Don't be invisible!

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by Fuzzism, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. I was coming home from school after studying for 9 hours today and I get to the intersection right before my tram stop. I saw my tram coming and couldn't wait for the cross walk sign so I decided to just cross the street. It was rainy and dark so I made extra sure to look both ways first. I even stared for a full 5 seconds and saw NO cars or headlights so I started crossing the road. Then suddenly when I reached the middle of the road, I heard furious honking. I looked at where it was coming from and still couldn't see anything! I could hear the horn (he was pretty much holding it down) but it was like it was coming out of thin air. Only until he was about 15 meters away did I see him. Black bike, all-black outfit, and no hi-vis vest. He swore at me something fierce as he sped past me.

    I don't know why I didn't see him. Perhaps it was the glare from the lamp posts off the wet ground shrouding his head lights (which were pretty darn dim) or maybe because I was overly stressed from studying. But if I was a car it probably wouldn't have ended well for him. So if it's dark and rainy, do everything you can to be seen because I honestly did not see him at all. I've always been told how invisible we can be, but that really opened my eyes!
  2. Don't be invisible while crossing against the light.

    Got it (y)
    • Funny Funny x 3
  3. Night Vision takes a while to recover after looking at well lit areas. Your vision into dark areas is impaired. Some bikes have laughable headlights as well. Could have gone worse, but you were jay walking so would attract a lot of the blame should you have come together. That's not a criticism, we have all done what you did at times but there can be consequences.
  4. I know for a fact that I have to leave my high beams on my GS500 at night when street lamps are scarce. Cars don't notice at all. In fact I've noticed that my high beams are worse than my cars low beams
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Yes the GS500's have a bit of a reputation for poor lights. They are a standard automotive H4 60/55w bulb though so you could try an upgrade to Halogen Blue/Whites

    PS: Buy a couple, they don't seem to have as long a life as the standard ones. They run much hotter. Or perhaps buy one and if it works for you get a second as a spare.
    • Like Like x 2
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  6. @Fuzzism

    If the bike had been a sleek little black sportscar, and the driver had forgotten to turn on his lights, while he was busy making an important Facebook update, you wouldn't have been able to make that post.
    You wouldn't even have got a warning toot.

    Of course, the driver would say " I didn't see him, he just stepped out in front of me. If he had been wearing a high vis, I would have seen him. What's that? on the phone? No, I wasn't. Yes I did have my lights on. Nope, no witnesses."
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Really, wearing an all black outfit, with most likely an all black bike and an all black helmet and then complaining no one sees you is a bit like pissing in the wind and complaining that you get wet.
  8. #8 mUnky, Jun 2, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2015
    nah come on guys, how can a motorcyclist be at fault if he wasn't seen? you weren't gonna see the bike even if he was towing a 20ft neon sign behind him, so you might as well just ride wearing camo...
    • Funny Funny x 1
  9. mUnkymUnky, plain text posts please mate, thanks.
  10. Thats all a matter of opinion, mUnky, I wear a stupid looking bright orange helmet and commute home nearly daily at 2200 and swear that its saved my arse an innumerable amount, yet I still ride as if I'm invisible, as you cant rely on being seen, but at least with the orange, I gave it an effort.

    Riding is dangerous no matter how you look at it, its a dangerous decision. However if you decide to ride AND dress like you're invisible, then youre just kidding yourself disputing it when people complain that you cant be seen, its the choice that each individual rider makes, while doing something inherently risky.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  11. I know, my post was pure sarcasm... I originally posted it in italics but evidently that isn't allowed :p
  12. Oh dont worry, I'm pretty thick, its probably just me that missed the sarcasm!
  13. If the OP is looking - for 5 secs + - straight at a headlight and not seeing it, then it's time for an eye check.
    Seriously, there are possible medical reasons for that.
    And while we're on the subject, there's probably a large number of peds out there ignorant of their poor vision, so ride accordingly. It's not all about whether you can read signs or not.

    Occasionally people will mistake a bike's single headlight for being a car's dual headlights merging in the far distance, and confusing their perception of closing speed.

    As for the rest, I'll only acknowledge the dimness of the headlight as a factor. It doesn't matter what colour your gear is if it's behind the light. Even fluoro hi vis isn't especially bright without ultraviolet (day)light.
    I am a big fan of reflective tape though. Particularly effective when the bike is side on to a car's headlights.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  14. Few weeks ago driving to work 5.30am, see a bike coming up behind me as I was slowing for a red light. I drive 4wd dual cab. As the rider got closer he totally disappeared, his headlight could not be seen as he was at that distance that his headlight was shining at my tailgate or diff. Next issue was his helmet was hidden by the center headrest in the back seat. I didn't see the rider again until he pulled out to pass me, 500 or so meters later even though I was keeping an eye out for him.
  15. #15 Al_Cam, Jun 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
    Black bike + Black gear = invisible side on: Was stationary in traffic in my car on Rathdown street after dusk in the evening commute, watched a bike coming from the right down a side street, could see it fine from the headlight then as it passed across the tram tracks and in front of me through the stationary traffic it all but disappeared even though I had the headlights on, which are HIDS and are as about as bright as they come. It became visible again as it turned away from me and the tail/brake light was pointed at me. All black bike with Rider & Pillion both in standard all black gear. I suppose because of the contrast to headlights, street lights etc. all around. Quiet startling as I was tracking the bike in question, but if you weren’t and doing even a careful scan I doubt anyone would spot it. Reflective would’ve helped a lot.

    Used to see a bike parked near work, warming up while getting the gear on that had strings of white led strips stuck to his frame, like a giant Y. Maybe 2 meters per side. Very effective though probably needs to be amber to be legal. Just priced a roll of reflective tape at $12.95 for 1m roll x 50mm wide from a Chandlers.

    I just replaced my single H4 60W/55W globe (factory OEM was 35w/35w "no see-ems") with twin H4 LED Cree globes as the halogen was loading the alternator too much. Those LEDs aren't ADR but are much brighter than the halogen. Managed to re-aim the headlights so that they meet the low beam aiming "standard". I did have a couple of 600 lumen led spotlights mounted as well but removed them so as not to attract too much attention to my non-ADR headlights. With the dark of winter here, have been thinking “stuff ‘em” and wondering about putting the spots back on.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. I fail to understand how this topic belongs on a motorcycle forum. Pedestrian makes possibly dumb mistake expects people to do something?

    I devote my energies to spotting hazards and keeping away from them rather that faffing about with mostly pointless nonsense, "being visible" as people call it.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Where you wearing high vis and a helmet Fuzz? Maybe you should also have been wearing boots and leather...
  18. I work in St Kilda and see this type of get-up most mornings...
    • Funny Funny x 3
  19. I have been on the other side of this equation as well. Dark clad pedestrian (drunk) weaving along outside the line of parked cars in a poorly lit area. I was upon him before I had noticed and had to take a swerving maneuver. Visibility is a variable thing, its only ignorant politicians and road functionaries that think put people in a Hi Vis jacket and everything is solved.

    A valid point but we can use this opportunity for a general discussion in Night and Winter/Low Light visibility.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. I agree with titustitus that whilst we all have our whoopsy nearly squashed idiot moments, I would go get your eyes checked out even if you already wear glasses. Should be covered by Medicare.
    You also said that you had been studying for NINE hours. I am thinking eye strain most likely your issue but...get checked out...only get one set of eyes per person :)
    When studying like that (or working as well) make sure you keep altering your focal length by looking up at something distant and trying to focus on it once every 10-15 mins whilst studying.
    sorry for the nag! :)