Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Dangers of splitting

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by gegvasco, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. Before you all start in on me, I am just relating a story in an attempt to highlight to some the risks associated with splitting. It is up to the individual to assess the risk of everything they do and act accordingly.

    Was coming home on the Great Western Highway west of Sydney this arvo. Lots of traffic on suburban single lane road with a wide verge/emergency stop area. It was pissing down. As per usual, I was staying in the lane and going with the traffic doing about 15-20kph. A guy on a Harley split down the left doing about 30. No big deal. I get another 500m down the road and there are cars parked everywhere and people running around with blankets and first aid kits. Lying on it's side in the gutter is the Harley a little smashed up. Then I see that what looks like a pile of blankets and tarpaulins is actually the Harley rider with three people administering first aid.

    The story goes that while the traffic was almost at a stop, someone was trying to turn across the traffic to get into a shop on our side of the road. The cagers just ahead of the Harley stopped to let them through. The Harley tried to split past as the car turned across. The car hit the back right pannier and sent the guy flying into a telegraph post.

    I got there about 1 minute after it happened and pulled to see if there was anything I could do. Luckily, in one of the cars that witnessed it were 2 off-duty ambos. They were first on the scene and took over. Another driver that witnessed it was an off-duty nurse. By the time I got there he was in good hands and were doing all the right stuff.

    All I could do was help another bloke get the bike off the road and clear up some debris to let the traffic through again. Once the ambos(on-duty) got there, they said it looked like a broken lower left leg(it was flopping around) and a slim chance of a neck injury. The guy was wearing sneakers and jeans and you could see the impact marks on his leg where it was broken from whatever it was that hit his leg - there were some chunks of skin gouged out. Some proper boots might have helped limit the damage. I asked the cops if there was anything I could do with his gear/bike and they said that they had arrangements in place for all that. They move everything to a holding centre awaiting collection.

    When the cops started the obligatory interviews, I said I didn't see it and arrived just after thinking that I was therefore of no use to them and therefore wouldn't need to give a statement. But by this stage they already knew the guy had been splitting so they wanted to know if I saw the guy earlier ie. "you are required to make a statement". They even said they needed the statement to backup the car driver's case that the bike was riding illegally. Was a bit of dilemma because I reckon there were two causes here, both illegal. One, the rider was overtaking to the left. And two, the car didn't give way to oncoming traffic. But, it was obvious the rider was going to wear the blame. So I just stated the facts. Yes, the rider did pass me on the left 500m up the road. No he wasn't doing an excessive speed.

    So, moral of the story, if you are going to split be very, very, careful.

  2. Splitting and not noticing a gap in the cages is a recipe for disaster as this guy found out, if cages have stopped and made some room to give way to someone you’d better be careful, slow down and look before proceeding.
    Riding a Harley whilst wearing sneakers, is that cool? I don’t think so.
  3. Actually I was discussing the legalities of it with the senior cop on the scene(3 pips, don't know what rank that is). In regards to splitting down the left he didn't seem averse to the idea of doing it. But he made the point as DuHast did that he certainly shouldn't have been doing it at a speed that wouldn't allow him to stop real quick, especially in the wet. Yet when I made the point about the risk of getting squashed if you don't split, especially in the wet, he wasn't at all in agreeance. It seemed like he had never thought of that consequence before.
  4. I think it was written in one of the other 'lane splitting' thread, riding in the emergency lane is NOT splitting. It is illegal and clearly dangerous. He was totally at fault, as he was not on the carraigeway, the driver did not have to give way to him.
    Terrible to see a rider down, and hopefully his injuries are not too serious, but there is no blame on the driver from me.
  5. The exact same thing happend to the missus some time ago, she was in the car.
    Traffic stoped to give her way as she wanted to turn in a side street, bike came splitting and bang !
    Rider was more or less ok (few bumps and bruises), we were all in the ambo together going to the hospital.

    Incendtly the car was written off, big chunk of the front was wripped off !

    Moral of the story, if you split you need to double your attention and watch out for gaps, may it be people turning or cars deciding to change lanes.

  6. I thought splitting was if you do it in any lane illegally ie. to the left in the same lane or in an emergency lane. Because you are using a part of the road you are not supposed to. If you filter ie. to the right of a car in the same lane, then that is an acceptable practice and generally legal(depending on state).

    In regards to the bike being 100% at fault, I was a witness to a similar incident a few years ago but with two cars colliding. A nutter was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic trying to get ahead when there was no room to do so. He swerved violently behind me, into the very left lane on a three lane road because he saw a gap and slammed straight into an old bloke who was pulling out into what had been a clear lane literally 1 second earlier. When the cops turned up, I explained the speeding/swerving driver was at fault but they said they weren't able to establish that. All they could establish was that the guy who pulled in and didn't give way was at fault, regardless of what the traffic already on the road was doing. So I thought in today's case the cops might lay the blame equally.
  7. 2 rules for staying upright : assume nothing.
    be ready for anything.

    2 strikes he's out.
    Sneakers in the rain? WTF-3 strikes.
  8. Thanks for the write up gegvasco

    So the rider gets a smashed up bike, a ticket and a broken leg - bugger of a way to end the weekend.

    There was a thread a few months ago where a netrider was splitting and a 4WD came into the intersection - from memory quite a few of the posters saw it as the 4WD'ers fault despite the rider "travellelling too fast to stop" - don't remember who got the ticket though. Anyone else remember this one?
  9. Sounds like the rider won't be splitting again in the near future.

    Where abouts on the GWH was this gegvasco?
    Up in the mountains somewhere???
    Most of the GWH from Penrith into the City is all 3 lanes AFAIK.

    You see it sometimes on that road and the freeway and I always wonder what the safety factor is like. I would of thought the splitting rider in this case should of been prepared for something like this to happen. I know if it was me I would be.
  10. there's a million different ways to come to grief when riding - ignorance, stupidity and failing to read the signs are just three of them.

    be careful out there and live to ride another day.
  11. Hazelbrook shops, halfway between Katoomba and Springwood. The car was trying to turn into the carpark at the shops from the westbound lane.
  12. The cager will get the ticket for this.
    The cager should have given way to all oncoming traffic regardless.
  13. Owch...

    The thought of splitting in any weather gives me the willies.

    Today was horrendous for riding in.
  14. i made the same mistake on my 250. i split into a keep clear area, truck on my right, couldn't see a tarago coming from the other way trying to do a right turn. went to hospital but discharged on the same day. wrote off my fzr.
  15. I always split, I''m impatient.
    but I always go only a slight bit faster than the cars are going (ie, if the traffic was stopped i'd be idling similar to how we would leaving southbank).
    or i'll zip up quickly when all the cars are stopped at the lights.
    Tis a good thread, reminds me again to look ahead more often
  16. Dang man.

    That must have hurt. Lane splitting can be very dangerous, same as anything else. However, since you're blocked off so much by traffic and your view is obscured you should be extra careful.

    Not sure whose fault I think this is, clearly the rider shouldn't have been there BUT the car shouldn't have turned either regardless and should have been looking for oncoming traffic.

    Hope he heals fast and gets back in the saddle soon.
  17. I don't see this as any different to the TAC ads where the little girl rides her bike out onto the road and the speeding car hits her. According to the ad, the car is at fault because he was breaking the law and speeding. This rider was beaking the law by not riding on the designated carraigeway. The car was giving way to all traffic on the road. If the car was turning into his driveway and the bike was on the footpath, the bike would still be at fault, and it's the same scenario, legally, I think. Just my opinion, I'm no lawyer.

    Bottom line, I hope he is on the mend already.

    This rider failed on all counts.
  18. This is infuriating, that authorities don’t recognise the very clear danger of motorcyclists getting shunted if they don’t split.
  19. Hey Greg. 3 stripes is rank of a sergeant.

    I'm sorry to hear about the rider, who ever may be at fault. I'm still patient enough not to split, but I'm sure with time, that will change. ;)
  20. What if the Harley happened to be a pushbike going flat chat in the breakdown lane? What would everyone's response be then. What if it was a pedestrian walking along the break down lane due to an obstruction on the footpath? What if the Harley had pulled into the breakdown lane to avoid a collision or because he had a mechanical failure or because he was turning into the next driveway? The car turning across oncoming traffic still has a duty of care to ensure he can complete the turn with safety. Yes, the Harley contributed to the accident, but it doesn't totally absolve the car driver.