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Invisible on the road

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by Blacklight, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. From another forum, thought y'all might like to read it.

    A very interesting story. I guess I am one of thoes 'safety first' nuts you speak of. I wear a full faced helmet with armored jacket, gloves, boots (most times) and kevlar lined jeans. My riding style is defensive I do not speed or weave in and out of traffic. I use my bike for commuting through the city and enjoy taking day trips through the mountains. I do not feel the need to put my bike or my riding abilities to their limits.

    There has only ever been one near-miss where I was riding down a road, around 100 meters ahead of me there was a car on the left side of the road with their right indicator on waiting to turn right (to come opposite me, they would have had to cross my lane). I was travelling at around 60km/h. I assessed the risk and decided not to take off the throttle as it was a slight incline and there were cars coming in the opposite direction so the car would have to wait. I covered my rear brake as a fail-safe while I monitered the car. I saw the driver look at me, look left, then look directly at me again. Around 40 meters away the car took off from the stop sign directly infront of me and I went into a kind of 'accident avoidance' mode. My rear brake was applied as soon as I realised what was going on and reacted. Next I dropped the throttle and put on the front brakes hard. With my left hand I pulled the clutch, applied the horn and dropped the gears with my left foot. All within a second or two. I could feel the bike wobbling under the pressure of the braking and there is quite a possibility that my rear wheel had locked up.

    The driver who heard my horn (with their window down) must have paniced and put on the brakes. So now I have barely 30 meters to stop from 60km/h with a car stationary in the center of the road. I ended up coming to a complete stop around one arms length from the cars drivers side door. I was staring directly at the driver who had a horrified look on her face, she didnt even shrug, just looked left to make sure traffic was clear and drove off.

    I pretty much rode another 10 meters past the street the car turned from and pulled over on the side of the road where I turned off the bike and lay with my face on the handlebars. Surprisingly even though it was a near miss, it shook me up enough that I did not feel like riding for the next half hour.
  2. :popcorn:
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Often when I've averted a situation without any horn or show of doing so, where the car has crossed my path and the gap opened behind them for me to move through, I've sensed that hitting the horn might have induced them to hit the brakes as happened in the OP scenario thus barring any escape route from the collision. It's good to be in the habit of hitting the horn a second later (or earlier), enough to (possibly) let them know what they just did.

    But people pull this shit against cars, trucks...anything, not just bikes.
  4. I'll post up soon my "Hey I'm here"-without-honking-my-horn (which gets you defensive which = aggressive) device when I've fitted it; currently it's in the post.

    EDIT: Oh, and I just saw you have only one post. You're not a spambot are you?
  5. No, im a person. =]
  6. That's what all the spambots say.
  7. Situation normal.

    Hello Blacklight.

    The smash that nearly took off my left leg went down very much like that, except I was a bit closer to the car when it started to move.
  8. As a rider, something you need to quickly get used to as being normal ..... SMIDSY.

    But a lot of positives albeit, scary for him.

    He kept eye on car..
    Somewhat anticipated it could happen or at least never totally expected that the car would not take off.

    1st most important thing is he did enough and AVOIDED a crash.

    2nd impressive action was that he stopped and gave himself time to settle things down before proceeding..

    And yes there's a bonus??
    Vital addition to his bag of experience!

  9. Yeah, pretty typical story.

    I make a point of covering the front brake whenever there is a chance of a SMIDSY, so yeah, I have the front brake covered ~99% of the time, maybe a bit more.
  10. blaring of the horn is absolutely pointless. it makes the driver have to reconsider his actions - meaning you can't predict what his next move will be.

    better to let them keep going (they obviously haven't seen you - and by the time they hear your horn and react they will be too far gone), so they will continue to pull out as if you're not there - so you can predict what their actions will be and take action to avoid them.

    sure you'll end up looking like the 'hoon motorbike rider' thats swerving around traffic with reckless abandon, but better that than sailing over the hood of a car stopped across 2 lanes.
  11. I hesitate to give advice about this, because (1) my own history is not entirely successful, and (2) there's no single right answer, and few generally correct guidelines.

    Personally, every time I've ever been in a situation where a horn might have a had beneficial effect, I've been too busy with things like steering and braking to think about using it. By the time I remember I have one, using it would be nothing but a useless gesture of irritation. This is true of a million plus km as a motorcyclist and about four million as a metropolitan Brisbane taxi driver.

    All I can say is that there are moments, usually of less than a second's duration, which happen all the time in traffic, where you are completely at the mercy of other road users. Just before, and just after, there are many things you can do to avoid, or mitigate, but there are moments where you're just a sitting duck. The trick is to try and minimise the frequency and the duration of those moments, and to have contingency plans in mind for the instant before and the instant after. There isn't a whole lot more you can do.

    If you stopped dead on the road every time you approached one of those sitting duck situations, you'd get run over from behind by some dozy car driver within a week. We ride motorcycles, folks, and that's just one of the risks involved. You do the best you can, but sometimes things go down that you can't do anything about, and just going slower and being more conservative doesn't seem to help.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. ok...
  13. to the first story...

    If he had time to apply the horn, it wasn't a near miss....

    if that was me in that situation, i would have covered the front brake, not the rear...and checked my mirrors getting ready to change lanes
  14. Quote the fact... my only real near miss was with a taxi doing a U-turn in front of me in the city on a downhill damp road at night. Honestly, I was too busy avoiding the situation to perform any horn action. Had the rear-end kick out and I came to a stop between the taxi and the gutter with pedestrians scattering in all directions (and then clapping that I managed to keep shiny side up). In retrospect, I shouldn't have been so surprised, should have been riding slower for the conditions and therefore not have ended up in the situation I found myself playing out.
  15. It's never one thing. It never just happens.
    An accident is a series of small mistakes by both parties, till finally they collide.

    The more experienced you are the less these things will happen. Simply because you foresee these situations. Little alarm bells start going off. You don't put yourself into the death zone.
    The trouble is even the most experienced suffer conscious incompetence. I cant be the only one.
    Riding fast on the track is all about vision and being a corner ahead of yourself.
    Staying alive and enjoying your riding on the toad is all about vision and being two steps ahead of yourself.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. In a year of riding every day in peak hour traffic and having numerous stupid events unfold around me, the only time I have ever used my horn is accidentally while trying to cancel my indicator. The same goes for driving in the same traffic conditions for 3-4 years prior to this one (except for the accidental usage - read: never used).

    Horns in any vehicle serve no purpose other than to piss off the people around you - they will not save you from a collision. Brain power needs to be devoted to observing and assessing your surroundings and to controlling your vehicle.
  17. As far as using the horn, do what the brown people do. Use it as a warning device, which is its intended use and why the bloody factory put it on in the first place! (aside from it being a legal issue). It saved me from having a car driver pull out in front of me once, he looked very pissed off with himself! Yes I know the attitude in Australia is that "beep" means "fuck off" but this crap needs to change. It should just be another thing in your bag of tricks to use to increase your chances of avoiding a SMIDSY. I recommend installing a louder, deeper horn, like a stebel air horn or a pair of hella supertones! If they don't look, maybe they will hear. If they don't listen, maybe they will see. If they don't do either, then well you have to dodge them! Keep your eyes peeled for an escape route at all times!
  18. My horn is for when I get home and letting someone at home know I need the remote of the garage rolladoor pressed because I didn't bring my remote with me... :p
  19. Parts of a motorcycle which are completely useless:

    * The horn
    * The "pass" switch on the headlght.

    Parts of a rider which ARE useful

    * Brain
    * Right hand.
    * Left foot.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. I use my stebel horn to say "ya friggen moron !!*

    That's all it's good for. I find out more people than not just ignore me and or it.