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Is it SMIDSY or You?

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by brownyy, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. 1-5 / year - Less then 12 months on the road.

    7 vote(s)
  2. 1-5 / year - 12-24 months on the road.

    7 vote(s)
  3. 1-5 / year - 24 months+ on the road

    19 vote(s)
  4. 5-15 / year - Less then 12 months on the road.

    0 vote(s)
  5. 5-15 / year - 12-24 months on the road.

    0 vote(s)
  6. 5-15 / year - 24 months+ on the road

    2 vote(s)
  7. 15+ / year - Less then 12 months on the road.

    1 vote(s)
  8. 15+ / year - 12-24 months on the road.

    0 vote(s)
  9. 15+ / year - 24 months+ on the road

    1 vote(s)
  1. While I usually ignore the near miss forum as reading about cagers stupid actions just enrages me and the responses from other forum users are typical, I thought about this last night. Is it the rider or other road user?

    I commute CBD Melbourne peak time traffic, suburban traffic and highway traffic, twisties at all times of the day and night. However I can count on one hand all the close calls I've had this year. Yet other people are constantly talking about been nearly wiped out.

    What is the definition between been wiped out and just a 'flinch' moment?

    For me, I spend 90% of time going faster then the traffic. Call it hooning or a defensive maneuver, but I feel I'm more in control of the traffic. I'm moving past them, I'm looking for those going to pull out, I have my set plans in place in case they do, I know where pedestrians might step out from etc. Call it a false sense of security, but it seems to be working for me. *touch wood*. I also love to split at all speeds, those who have gone through traffic with me would know when I'm up for a hoon what I like to get up to.

    However on the contrary, and lets face it, when I spend more time speeding, if someone pulls out I accept that its my fault. That road user looks in their mirror, sees a bike in the distance and automatically assumes close to the speed limit and pulls out. If i'm doing 150% of the speed limit and they pull out I'm close. I take my not-so-evasive action (i.e. pre-planned), and continue on. I don't get angry, I face the fact I'm not 'normal' traffic. Those who do see me speeding and immanently cease their merge or stop pulling out because they saw me, I wave to and acknowledge their observation skills for motorcycles, much a thanks you to them.

    Is it the rider or is it the traffic?

    Your thoughts?
  2. Also; Add your riding style with respect to traffic and other road users (sedate or hoon etc) and add your traffic types you are regularly in (CBD, freeway, highway, suburbs, country, twisties etc).
  3. Some things that others might call a near miss I wouldn't based on me noticing it happening and making exit routes etc.

    For example, a car is in front of me on the opposite side of the road wanting to turn right, I notice this, buffer out to the other side of the lane, car notices me after the nose of his vehicle has already entered my side of the road.

    Near miss or just another day at the office?

    If you are talking about those "oh shiiiiiiii iite" moments, they happen only a few times a year and they are usually due to a brain fart, me doing something beyond my capabilities or something in the environment popping up that just doesn't usually happen AKA a massive rock sitting in the middle of the highway at night.

    I think the dilemma we are faced with here is a definition of terms when it comes to a "near miss".
  4. I understand what you mean N4R, but what I'm referring to is traffic (not rocks / road conditions or wildlife etc) and those moments where you blame the other road user.

    What is the definition is exactly my point along with riding behaviors and road positioning / planning.

    Sort of what I'm leaning towards.

    Or are people just more desensitized to it then others?
  5. Really depends on your definition. When I first started riding I would have been freaked by things I barely register these days.

    After a while you either accept them as a normal part of riding or you stop riding.
  6. No idea what the poll means, but a few insights, if I may. 35 years of riding now completed. Near misses in that time? Too many to count, and I don't count them anyway, they're just another "day at the office" as someone has already said.

    What I CAN say with certainty is this. Far more of the near misses are the riders' fault than what we are prepared to admit to. . After the heartbeat has settled and the situation is over the very first thing that we do is to rationalise what has happened and consciously apportion the blame to the other party. It's just a fact of our nature that we abhor having to admit that we are in the wrong. So, if a ute does a "u" turn in front of us and we have to lock up to avoid him, we get on the forum and rage about "stupid cagers" who do "U" turns without indicating.

    Now, what we DON'T say (and what we don't want people to KNOW) is that, yes, the ute did a "U" turn without indicating, but that, had we being doing 60 km/h instead of the 100 km/h that were were REALLY doing (in a built-up area), the "situation" would not have been a situation at all.

    The rider would have had plenty of time to assess the surroundings, take appropriate action and it wouldn't have ended up being a SMIDSY at all.

    I am 100% certain that, analysis of accident statistics in which the SMIDSY defence is used, would show that a huge proportion of motorcyclists that WEREN'T seen (allegedly) weren't seen because they were travelling so fast in traffic or between lanes that the driver/rider wouldn't have had time to see them anyway.

    On a motorcyle-only forum like this it's easy as to raise the anger level and fulminate (look it up) about "cagers" and find a sympathetic audience.

    I wonder how many of us have considered the effect that it has on other road users when they are involved in an accident where a motorcyclist has been killed or seriously injured when it has been the motorcyclist who was at fault. Having to live with causing a death must be the most horrendous thing.

    So, in the words of a very wise man who once said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
  7. Agreed; we are quick to blame someone else, but slow to accept our own blame.
  8. If we were doing 100 we would have been past the ute before he attempted the u turn, but I agree with the fact that most of the "near misses" are indeed controlled by the rider as it's what between the ears not between the legs that is important when riding.
  9. The all-important connection between the brain and the right hand...=D>
  10. I think this thread is heading a bit too much in the speed direction... I think accident avoidability is more concerned with road predictability than speed over the limit. I would rather suggest that bad road positioning and darting make you a bigger smidsy target opposed to say doing 80 in a 60 zone that has plenty of visibility and lots of space for an exit strategy. I think its more dangerous booting it through heavy traffic and darting up the inside + splitting too quick opposed to exceeding the limit a reasonable amount.

    If you are somewhere where car's can see you, you become a much smaller target. However, once again this is based on reasonability. The person darting through traffic at 40k's an hour is in just as much danger of coming unstuck as the guy doing 100 in the residential zone.

    Reasonability, predictability and some critical assessment of the situation at hand are what I think avoids smidsy.... and lets not forget colourful clothing and reflectors! :LOL:
  11. It's not about speed, you are agreeing with what Phil and others have said. It's speed DIFFERENTIAL that's the problem. If you're zipping along at 80 when everyone else is doing 40, you are absolutely going to be in places where the rest of the traffic doesn't expect you to be. Campaigns saying "Watch out for motorcyclists" can only do so much when motorcyclists use their speed and accelleration to be in unexpected places......
  12. Preferably while that right hand is not between the legs
    Sorry I couldnt resist

    But yeah, I've had many "near misses" as they could be called by some, where people dont see you, merge towards you etc, but thats part of riding a bike.
    We're about 1/6 the size of a car, so surely we're harder to see.

    In terms of ACTUAL near misses, I've had trucks merge COMPLETELY into my lane forcing me onto the shoulder, I've had cars oncoming, overtaking a truck and not making it past so that they're in my lane again forcing me onto the shoulder to avoid a head on.
    Things which actually put your life in danger but where a crash is avoided can be considered a near miss, the rest is just defensive driving IMO

  13. Post Of The Month.

    That is all.
  14. I ride much the same way, but I generally avoid speeding in traffic - but that doesn't preclude rapid starts from lights to get ahead. I have always felt more control when the bulk of traffic is in front of me, not pushing from behind. All I need is a 5% average speed advantage to ensure that. This way, I can safely bank on NOBODY in front having even the SLIGHTEST idea I am where I am, therefore having no consideration for me. There is no misunderstanding here.

    Another situation when I think life gets dangerous is when you have the bulk of traffic feeling frustrated behind you, and desperate to get past. Pushy drivers prioritise their own actions by looking for gaps VS the biggest vehicles that can harm them. Bikes are tiny, and don't occupy a full lane.

    I have also found that the only SMIDSY episodes I have encountered could so easily have been avoided by myself. I strongly believe that most riders who repeatedly have these problems would find the same if they had the self discipline to suppress the rage and consider what REALLY happened.

    I don't ride a loud bike - although I have done before. In heavy traffic I always hog my lane as much as possible and position myself to be visible in mirrors and away from blind spots. It's MUCH easier to do on the K which is essentially silent, but like the Queen Mary than it was on the tall, skinny, noisy dirt bike. I don't ride like a hoon in traffic - all this does is rattle the cages housing the real crazies...

    Considering the only serious "potential accident" I have encountered in the last month was a Goldwing wobbling along on the wrong side of the road at Mt Macedon, I must be doing something right.
  15. Gotta watch them 'Wings....sorry, couldn't resist that either!
  16. Very true - but when I think about them, a lot of the situations that I avoid every day are basically only because of experience. Take u-turning cars for instance - it's not a matter of someone doing a u-turn in front of me when I'm over the speed limit. The usual situation is one particular taxi rank in the CBD where they pull out without indicating to make a u-turn across two lanes of traffic. Normally I'm probably only doing about 40 along that stretch (sometimes even less) and I'm always covering my brakes and actively watching. Now I'm used to this and I'm watching for it but it happens very frequently but I'm so accustomed to it I react instinctively. Someone who didn't know about this paricular rank mcould easily be caught.

    I did see a car t-bone a cab in that same place though. The car couldn't have done anything about it. He was doing less than 20 km/hr and the cab turned out before the car could brake.

    A problem that I have about this whole debate is that (while I agree with the concept) it begins to remove responsibility from the other vehicle. The TAC adverts saying that riders have to watch out for other vehicles might be quite true - unfortunately the message that comes across is not that we need to watch out for other vehicles doing stupid things - but rather that other vehicles can do stupid things and if there are consequences it's our fault - a big difference.
  17. And that is very true, too. But, to play the devil's advocate for a moment, the other side of the coin is that we are vastly over-represented when it comes to accident statistics. Since our law-makers only understand things that can be quantified, boiled down to a set of digestible numbers, if you like, from where they are sitting, we need to be protected from ourselves.

    Also, the debate highlights an arrogance on our behalf that others may find hard to swallow. Reading the things that we say about car drivers would lead most to the conclusion that we think we are vastly better and more skilled operators than any cars drivers on the road. In fact, there are probably a higher proportion of more skilled car drivers than there are motorcyclists, if the truth could be known.

    And yes, I know that we have to submit to and pass a higher standard of testing in order to be able to ride on the road, but to simply assume that all motorcyclists are skilled and all car drivers are idiots, doesn't reflect well upon us in the eyes of the people who feel that it is their bailiwick to look after us.
  18. Having recently gone through getting my various licences I was stunned at how easy it was and how little it prepared me for riding on the road and while we may be held to a more rigorous standard than cars (I'd say barely), I don't think it's near rigorous enough. During the L's exams 1 person failed the practical out of 12 - but 3 of those that passed (and it's undeniable that they did according to the rules, it wasn't just lax adjudicators) should NOT have been allowed on the road, my girlfriend included. A 5 minute video clip telling us that we are responsible for looking after ourselves, with scenarios that barely resemble day to day riding and rolling around a skidpan at < 20kph for a few hours then you're out on the road, whether you can barely balance the bike or are Rossi reincarnate. Any wonder there are so many riders that can't tell the difference between SMIDSY and you...
  19. [​IMG]

  20. Thanks for that, I didn't realise that there was an emoticon for that. My education has been furthered!!!