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Not a near miss - full on collision

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by ChrisM, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. hi all, I realise this is for near misses, and that mine was an actual accident but couldn't think of a better place for it.

    i was on my way to work on 26th feb on my usual route and alert as usual, i consider myself a very cautious rider and always expect people to do me wrong, I'm very quick thinking and acting which has saved me dozens of times because i was anticipating what ended up happening and was either changing lanes away or already braking and completely missed what would have otherwise ended badly.

    Now to the crash, i was heading along a main street that has a few side streets (where cars usually shoot out, so i did my usual checks) and it then comes to a cross road, with the side street having a stop sign for each side, and clear path for the main road.

    There is an uphill section and a slight crest before you reach it but there is ample time for those at the stop signs to see you if they pay attention. I came up towards it and glanced left, saw some cars stopped, turned my head to the right and saw cars stopped there, turned my head back to the left to ensure those cars were STILL stopped and that's when it all went bad.

    The first car on the right didn't see me or the lady in the car behind me and pulled out like .00001 of a sec after i'd looked right at him, so as i panned back to look straight i saw a flash of white colour infront of me about 3m away. Didn't even have time to look and see it was a car but my mind went at a million miles an hour, something like this...

    crap there's something there, where did it come from, never mind that i need to try breaking, oh crap i'm going to hit....

    that all went through my mind as i grabbed the front brakes, and for some reason I lean the bike slightly leftwards so it didn't hit standing directly upright - which saved me going over the roof or through the side windows. I hit the car so hard it was pushed sideways into the opposite lane. Somehow in the carnage the bike smashed into the rear half and i was flung into the front half of it and caved in the whole side of his (as i later found out) 2003 holden astra which had to be towed away.

    The driver never saw me, never saw the lady behind me who told the police i was doing the speed limit and she had been following me for a minute or so, and that this car has just pulled out of nowhere and she said the rider (me) had nowhere to go as he was almost IN the intersection when the car pulled across. The poor lady thought I was dead because of how hard I hit it and was then dragged leftwards into the side street by the cars momentum, landing hard on the road about 3 - 4m from the bike, and the fact i didn't move the whole time.

    I guess some might say if i just used peripheral vision I might have seen him a fraction of a second earlier and been able to open the throttle and lean left and get around him, or brake hard. It's hard for me because I have short sightedness and need glasses full time, so when i do look with P.V its not through my lenses and anything more than 1 foot from my face is blurry, so i do need to use the head movement, which i found also let drivers see you looking.

    As you can guess, with about 3m (not an exaggeration on my part, actual eye witness reports of where I was when i looked back and he crossed the lane) there wasn't much speed washed off and it was a 60 zone so i hit it hard.

    The left handlebar is bent flat against the fuel tank, and the right one is rotated forwards about 45 degrees and bent, the forks are bent and the headlight / gauge cluster area is obliterated. It was an 06 SV650 (naked) with a rather loud pipe you could hear coming a few hundred meters away even from infront, had only 12,000km on it and now its a write-off.

    On to my injuries, I am probably lucky this is all - because I am getting married in 2 days.

    Left arm had the distal radius (main bone thumb side of arm) broken up into the wrist itself on a big sweeping arc. I was told it was a fairly bad break in terms of size and location but lucky for me it wasn't a compound fracture (no punching the skin). It had to be operated on and now has a fairly long metal plate and 4 screws.

    Right wrist had the pisiform bone in the wrist itself broken. What I've read on this one is "this carpal bone is rare to fracture. Often pisiform fractures are with associated injuries - distal radius, hamate, or triquetrum. The mechanism of injury is usually by a direct blow to the palm when the wrist is dorsiflexed pulling the pisiform against the triquetrum." So yeah the handlebar trying to go backwards against my hand when it stopped suddenly did that. This injury results in a loss of grip strength and some localised pain.

    My knees were both cut (only wore trousers) and something (peg?) pushed between my shin and the dri-rider boots and cut the boot from the inside out (didn't cut all the way through to the outside) and put a cut about 5cm long, 1cm wide and right down to the bone on my right leg.

    The Joe Rocket jacket I had on doesn't have any visible marks ( textile, not leather, has the back plate and elbow / shoulder armor) and did its job wonderfully. The Shoei TZ helmet has some road marks all across it, the visor is broken away from the left side mount and there are gouge marks all over the visor itself from when i was sliding across the road face down watching the bitumen under me. The helmet however is broken pretty bad on the inside infront of the chin, and above the forehead. It did it's job and I'm still here so no complaining in regards to that investment.

    Now I just have another few weeks or months of hand physio ahead of me, and trying to get rid of all this bruising and muscle pain, but i know it could have been worse.

    I've made the decision not to ride again, but not out of fear. I know there are only so many things you can control on the road and you need to be 100% aware all the time - yet this still happened even with the level of care and attention I gave every time i rode, so I don't want to put my wife and family through this sort of thing again. I will look back on my 5 years on 2 wheels and the freedom and fun it brought with a smile, I dont regret a moment of it, but i'll always have these physical scars (wrist about 3" long, leg, both knees) to remind me of how it all came to an end.

    Stay alert, stay safe and enjoy your ride.


    (yes this took me AGES to type with one finger)
  2. Sounds like you're lucky not to have been injured more seriously. Sorry to read about the collision.

    Good luck in your future mate. Congrats on the nuptials.
  3. Holy crap ChrisM!

    First off - hope the wedding goes off well for you.

    Secondly - heal up mate :) sounds like it's going to take some time and hope it goes well too.

    Well done typing this up :)
  4. Heal up quick mate
  5. Damn, you're lucky to be typing at ALL. Hope you heal fully, in body and in spirit.
  6. Ouch man, that's a pretty brutal hit. Glad to hear you're going to heal up though. Your thoughts before the hit pretty much mirrored mine except I thought ""Car might turn, oop she's going, can i make it... no, gonna hit, brace..." then as I hit and went over her bonnet I thought "Yes new bike" and once I hit the ground I thought "Gosh that hurt, now get up and show everybody how well you can take a hit". Needless to say I was unable to stand and instead got a bunch of people and paramedics to attend.

    Anyway, heal up quick, sad to hear you're leaving bikes but its understandable for the family, I had the same thought after I got taken out but I don't have a wife or kids to worry about so I think I just put it to the back of my mind.

    Sometimes, you just can't factor in everything...

    Good luck to ya mate
  7. Good to hear you survived.
    Good luck in Marriage....Seriously, Congrats.

    As many do, I understand you letting go of the bike.

    When I go out for a Days ride, I always make sure I give my two youngens a massive cuddle and tell them I love em 'cause you never know.
    I have my 1.2.3 Rule.

    Come home in 1 piece, on 2 wheels, to my Wife (1) + 2 kids. = 3.
    The day I can't do all three of those is the day I'll let go. (Depending on severity)

    All the best for the future Chris.
    Hope you stick around for the Funnies though.

  8. Makes my 3 fractured ribs from last week's episode look pretty paltry by comparison.
  9. Reading this I almost had flash backs to my own incident and well understand the flood of thoughts and emotions that you have encountered. You'll sort through them in due time.
    I also feel for you in regards to the broken arm as my own is still in the healing process even after three and a half months.
    The silver lining is of course that you are here to tell the tale, to hold those dear to you and stand at the alter with your bride and say "I do". My deepest and most sincere wishes for today, for your wedding and for the rest of your days.
  10. good effort, but zeddicus still wins. sorry mate
  11. sorry to hear, hope you heal well and quick. andcongratulations on getting hitched have a great day
  12. That's a terrible collision. Good luck healing and with the wedding.
  13. Well written and best of luck with the Missus and the healing.

    ps, you wont need good fist grip now anyways...Ha Ha!!

    Hope you return at some stage. I gave the bikes up for 5 years, bat am a rider through and through. My wife just got sick of me saying, "nice day for a ride" whenever some bikes went past on a good day.

  14. The fact the at-fault driver didn't see even the car behind you says to me they didn't look at all. Drivers (myself included!) tend to notice things large enough to be a threat. On the other hand, the thought that anyone could be stupid enough to fail to look for cross traffic in a situation where they /never/ have right of way, is scary.

    What happened w/ the at-fault driver? You don't mention what he was charged with, if anything?

    Also you mention a 'broken' helmet at forehead and chin guard. I don't suppose you have pics of it? I'd be curious to see what the chin guard damage was compared to my own Shoei TZ-R, given the different nature of our impacts.

    Good job on still being with us. I understand your choice to give up two wheels, but I hope you reconsider at some point in the future.

    Best of luck!
  15. Haven't heard yet, surely he'll have to be charged with something.

    Wow yours are totaled compared to mine, mine is mostly on the inside around the mouth area, and around the inside of the forehead airducts.

    let's try some pics...


    bent forks, demolished front

    left handlebar pinned against tank (sv has flat bars)

    more bent goodness

    x-ray, note right side forearm bone broken on a big sweep up near the wrist, and in the side on bit the bones dont line up that way either:



    sorry for those on slow connections :(
  16. more that didn't fit in last post

    inside helmet, doesn't show real well but broken thru

    inside around air ducts, broken across between them and fractured elsewhere

    little bit of road grindage where I slid face down
  17. Wow! Thankfully the carnage was restricted, largely speaking, to the replaceable items such as bike and helmet although it doesn't make it any easier to look at. Interesting to see your x-rays and gain an understanding of your injury compared to my own, thank you.
    Continued wishes with your recovery.
  18. well last i spoke with QBE insurance, they still have yet to get admission of fault from the car driver...... so they are still witholding my $500 excess - even though the police report has him as saying he didn't see me and pulled away from the stop sign then got hammered.

    as an aside, for anyone insured with QBE, they keep all of the money from cancelling the rego on your bike. I was about 5 months into a 12 month rego and insurance policy and they terminate both and keep it all. This might be fairly standard, i wouldn't know - just thought i'd put it out there as an FYI.

    Saw my hand physio again today, she says i am about 4 weeks into a 12 week treatment / recovery timeframe for hands. Saw my general physio guy late last week and he isn't happy with the speed (or lack thereof) of recovery with some stuff that isn't right with my upper back. I wake up with pain in my shoulders every morning, despite having a rather new mattress that has been matched to me with one of those things where you lay on the bed with sensors to measure your weight distribution etc - so something is still wrong with my back.
  19. Know exactly what you mean with QBE holding onto the excess as the same thing has happened to me so I must say a huge thank you for reminding us to get onto them now that the other party has accepted liability - took the driver about 86 of the allowed 90 days to do so. My wife used to work in insurance and she'll be making the phone call so I'll try and post our results and any tips we can offer.
    Continued wishes for you recovery.
  20. I'd be interested in the argument they give for retaining the rego and insurance money. I could just about accept retaining the insurance money if you are still technically liable and they've cancelled the policy, but can't think of any reason they can legally retain the rego refund.

    sorry to hear you're not healing a quickly as hoped - fingers crossed.