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Just had an "off"

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Cruisee73, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Here I sit propped up with cushions and munching painkillers and wondering what I could have done to avoid the accident.

    Two days ago I was doing 60 in a 70 zone along a four-lane major road in Sydney. Little traffic as it was 11am on a Monday. I was in the right lane and under the limit as 200 metres before a car had pulled out infront of me in the left lane so i'd slowed down and moved to the right.

    As I approached an intersection, I had the green light and there was a stationary car facing me on the other side of the road waiting to turn across me. No problem. Until the driver decided as I got within 20 metres that she wanted to go and moved across infront of me. I started to brake hard and feel the back end moving around so i eased off and aimed to the extreme right of the lane hoping to get around her rear as she proceeded. At this point she saw me and stopped motionless across the lane. I couldnt go into oncoming traffic and didnt want to hit a motionless car so just hit the brakes and lay it down. This all took maybe 3 seconds.

    I took the impact on my right chest and shoulder and was up before the wheels stopped spinning. My priority was getting the bike off the road. My glasses had spun off and detonated so everything was fuzzy and there were drivers out trying to help. At no point was I fearful. I was shocked and i suppose embarrassed. We cleared the intersection and then the driver who caused it came over apologising and a bit shocky. I had to calm her and reassure her I was fine and asked her to move her car off the road.

    Hospital agreed with me I just had bruising etc but insisted on tests. All good. Signed myself out same day. Any smash you can walk away from etc...

    My bike has a huge dent on the tank, sc****s on the pipes and indicator and the right peg and brake lever. Just got called by assessor and they're writing it off. Such a shame.

    Cops were no sweat. Interesting how my shocky instinct was to not call the ambos or cops. We chatted and its fairly open and shut that I wasnt at fault.

    So while i know theres no percentage in wishing id left home 10 seconds earlier or later etc., I am wondering what lessons i can learn from this. Im alive and in one piece and no one else was hurt so Im essentially happy and relieved but I know the longer I stay off the road the more chance there is of getting gunshy as it were. Im gunna get another bike and get back out there as soon as im physically whole again. What can i do to increase my chances of avoiding or surviving an impact in the future?

    I wasnt wearing my gloves. I wont make that mistake again.
    I wasnt wearing my kevlar pants. I wont do that again.
    My kit and bike were all black. Would having a more colourful rig have helped? Cant hurt either way.
    I didnt have anything in my jacket pockets, I reckon if I did they would have smashed my ribs even worse.
    I had keys and mobiles in my pants pockets and although undamaged, their outlines shredded my pants. i think riding with as close to zero objects on my person may be desireable.
    I had a backpack with a bikelock and other things in it. if Id gone onto my back i can only assume they'd do me no good either.
    Perhaps gearsacks and panniers etc are a must for my next bike.
    I suppose thats another positive. I get to have another bike. Still on my L's so am limited but will enjoy deciding.

    Cheers All,

  2. Sounds like you were lucky to come away relatively unscathed mate. good to hear you're ok
  3. Ouch - glad to hear you are still in one piece.
  4. Sounds like a classic SMIDSY scenario.

    Have a read up on recognising when/how they are likely to occur and what you can do to avoid / been seen more easily

    Good to hear its only bruising, could have been worse. Any accident that you can get back on and learn from is better than the alternative
  5. Mate, great to hear you're reasonably all right. Sorry to hear about the bike, but as you said, chance to go out and try a different one.

    One thing you may want to consider in a similar situation is wobbling the bike a little approaching the intersection, in particular with a car waiting on the other side. This may make you a bit more visible in future.

    Hard to say if you could have done anything else differently, without having observed the situation. Trying to make eye contact with oncoming drivers helps. If that doesn't happen, be extra careful and prepared.
  6. +1 good to hear you're OK.

    I had a car changed lanes into me last year. I broke all the bones in my left hand when it hit the spot where the side mirror joins the door (the base of the b-pillar I think it's called). I was in heavily congested traffic on the Monash in Melbourne with nowhere to go except this guy's door and the arse end of the car in front.

    Anyway, I felt much in the same way you did, trying to figure out what I could do (slash have done) to stop that happening again. Could I have been in a better spot in the lane? Should I have been going slower? Could I have been more visible somehow?

    I had 6 months to think about all of that, being bikeless, and my hand was still healing left me with a bit of time on my hands ... hand. I did quite a bit of reading on here and in books. In the end I decided the best thing to do was to make everything I do smoother, and in traffic especially, much more predictable. Reg Pridmore has a book called Smooth Riding, and this is probably where it started for me. I took that, with more from the Twist of the Wrist books and a bunch of other places, and when I got on my new steed, I started work.

    I'm now pretty happy with everything have been doing and still am doing. I can always improve further, but I'm happier and more comfortable over-all.

    My tip, smooth is the key, but finding how to do that is work you have to do yourself. I used my "time off" to find out how others do it, then got back on and figured out which bits work for me.
  7. My best advice is to wear protection at all times....even in hot weather and in time, experience and gut instinct become a very good line of defence.No shortcuts I'm afraid. Regards high vis....mate if they don't look they will never see you even if your dressed like Bozo the clown.

  8. The advice I've been given by trainers is never do this.
    You haven't crashed until you've actually crashed.
    But if you throw it away then you've guaranteed an off

    There may well have been time to stop before the car if you'd kept on the brakes.
    Did the bike slide into the car? If not it's practically certain that there was room. They stop much faster on their wheels than on their sides.

    Even if you can't get it stopped... you'll hit at a slower speed.
    And getting flung onto a bonnet or boot is likely to be better for you than sliding into the side of a car, or worse.. under the wheels of one that's still moving.
  9. Firstly - good to hear you are ok and got to walk away.

    As to what you could have done differently, only you have the detail to answer that, but here are a few things to think about;-

    - At 60kph your possible stopping distance was well under 20 meters, if you had the brakes setup, were prepared and able to execute an emergency stop.
    - When your lane was blocked, could you have come off the brakes and swerved to the left to avoid the car?
    - Did you have space to buffer back across into the left lane as you approached the intersection?
    - Did you lay the bike down deliberately, or did it go down because you stayed hard on the brakes as you tried to turn to the right?
    - You already know about abrasion resistant gear (gloves, pants, etc)
    - Think about impact protection for your new gear, would some more armour have reduced the damage to your chest and shoulder?
    - Keeping your pockets empty of sharp things is a good idea
    - Use a little coin purse to keep the small change under control
    - Keys are either in the ignition, or in a key pouch
    - Use the belly pockets on your jacket in preference to hip pockets for cell phones, wallets, etc...your belly is soft and won't grind them against the road.
    - Bright, reflective gear might help at night but your most visible attribute is the headlight on the front of the bike
    - Remember that eyes detect movement more easily than bright colour, if you are heading directly towards someone at an intersection then there is very little relative motion....moving within the lane, or changing lanes will create movement that is harder to miss.
    - Don't put anything in a backpack that you aren't prepared to land on...you will break it, or it will break you.

    Good luck with the pain killers....don't forget to mix them up with some anti-inflammatories - Voltaren is your friend
    • Like Like x 1
  10. For those that know my opinion of ATGATT this may seem like an about face, but I agree with Gumby. Until you have a lot more experience wear some safety gear. Once you have more experience you can then make up your mind as to how much safety gear to wear and when to wear it.

    In my experience the colour of your gear or your bike makes very little difference. If the fuckers aren't looking they aren't going to see you.
  11. Glad to hear you're ok mate. I agree tho that staying on the brakes may have been a better option that putting it down. As for the all black clothing, does your bike have a hard wired head light on? I assume so. If she can't see a bright headlight coming at her, what makes you think she'll see you with coloured clothing on?
  12. What colour is the bike? If it is black as well then the black gear makes one big solid shape eg. much more visible than a hodge-podge of small bits.
    If they dont look they will hit anything, dont give them the excuse you were at fault in anyway for not wearing the current fashion in hi-vis.
    smidsy manouver and practice hard braking, back-wheel lifting hard braking. And if all that doesnt matter make sure you hit the bastard while still upright so there is no doubt that it is a two vehicle accident with them at fault.

    And glad your not hurt, thats the main thing.
  13. sounds like you were a bit too indecisive to me. if youve got the time to brake, ease off, then aim for the right of the car i think you would have been better with pure emergency braking. im assuming you ride a cruiser but you should still be using the front brake alot
    glad to hear your not banged up too bad though
  14. I would of headbutt her.
  15. Mate seriously bad luck hey. I mean that in the nicest possible way.
    Yup a very experienced rider can pull a bike up in less than ten meters @60.
    You did ok mate and you survived. Coulda woulda and shoulda are all gone now.
    I have had exactly the same thing happen. I tried to get around but ground the bike out trying to get it to turn harder. Maybe I could have braked and lessened the impact. I would still have hit them though.
    So yeah you did good. You did pick her up as your mian hazzard.
    You did something, you did more than something. You moved over, braked and hoped she would have kept going. Going left you would have been going with her and what's the point of that.
    Most will just hit the brakes where they are when they see you because that's what cagers do.
    Ha ha exactly the same thing .. funny that.
    You can walk out the front now and hold up a finger infront of your eyes. That will be enough to take out a whole car at not that much of a distance. So A light or sin=gnal pole has you blocked for some time at the right angle. Not sticking up for the cager just stating the facts.
  16. Get a strap to strap the bag to the pillion seat.

    And practice your e braking. I still do it monthly and have been riding on the road since 1995.
  17. Good you're not too badly hurt. Takes a while to get confidence back though.
    If the back was moving you locked the rear? Might want to work on your braking technique before you get back on the road.
    As others have said you scrub off more speed with the bike upright than laying it down.
    I was told early on not to have anything in my pockets that I didn't want inside me.
    The thing many of us worry most about is what happened to you. Happens so easily.
    Read any roadcraft books? There are a few around.

  18. Yeah, you want hi-vis I guess. If I saw a rider approaching me in a set of these, I'd think twice about knocking 'em off the bike.

    • Like Like x 1
  19. Glad you're not too injured and seeking advice. You'll get lots here, from experienced and not so experienced. My advice is not to listen much to noobs like me LOL.

    Having said that, I'm surprised no one has mentioned that you need to anticipate the likely hazzards. Like all the time. What's likely to hurt me in this situation? What about the intersection coming up? etc etc. Just riding along with brain switched off is not a good idea. Like when you wrote "no problem" - well yeah there is a potential problem that requres some action. Always have a plan for the 'what ifs' - even better have 2 or 3 plans. 'what if she pulls out?; what if she stops half way etc etc. Hard to do. Takes practice. It is necessary, you see it recommended here a lot. So it probably is worth doing.

    Also, try washing off a bit more speed in this sort of situation. Also set up your brakes. Check your mirrors in case you need to e-brake. I agree with some other stuff written too.

    There's a good case for practising e-brakes daily when you start out. I don't do that so I'll just say do them as often as you can.

    I vote for nothing in your pockets and no backpack, but others moight think that a bit extreme. I don't think atgatt is the most important thing here, but of course it can help a bit in these sort of incidents. Better to avoid them altogether, though.
  20. glad to hear you're ok, bike's replaceable, have you seen the pics Takamii posted after his off and what coins did to his kevlars?
    Anyhow as above, coulda woulda shoulda etc, saftey gear number one!! I wear an orange safety vest, young women behind the wheel are farkin lethal, every day I read young woman this n that.. their heads must be up there clackers... Maybe ride with high beam on?? If they wont see a normal headlight then high beam it, I had a beemer cruiser with slighty adjusted headlight, got complained at once by a yobbo driver, said it was blinding, I asked him 'so did you see me behind you' he said 'only when I looked' what can I say... good to hear you're ok!!