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Riders Vs Drivers and a general ramble about roadcraft

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Glekichi, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. I am quite new to riding real bikes but I do consider myself a fairly experienced driver for someone of my age. Got my licence here in Australia before moving to Japan where I worked as a courier truck driver for 5 years - commuting to that job on a 50cc scooter. I also drove, but not professionally, in the South Island of New Zealand for around 3 years when I lived there. I have also done more than my fair share of pushie riding on the roads of those three countries.

    As I've been riding for such a short period I haven't had my first SMIDSY (SMIJDBL =D>) yet, but I know it will happen.

    Christ - I even had someone pull out directly across my path at the very last second making a collision completely unavoidable IN THE BLOODY TRUCK!! Full emergency braking and I just clipped his rear quarter at 10km/h or so. This was only from about 30km/h but there was only 1-2 truck lengths when he pulled out almost underneath me it seemed! SMIDSY, he says in Japanese! Ha. He even came to a complete stop at the stop sign as required, so I don't know how he looked me in the eye and still didn't 'see' the truck, but had I not been fully alert I probably would have rammed the guy so hard I'd have near rolled him.

    Now, as bikes and being possibly the least visible vehicles on the road, obviously it is going to happen more to us that someone somehow misses seeing us, and obviously the consequences of an accident are going to be a lot greater for a rider.

    So ride defensively, etc., etc.

    But my real point is - thats how you should have been driving prior to riding anyway!

    It horrifies me to think of how I drove and rode in my teens / early 20s - not putting others into danger with my hooning, but putting myself into danger by relying on others to do the right thing.

    Its no good being in the right but still being in an accident - and the stakes are obviously higher when the body is on the line.
    But, noone taught me and I had to learn for myself - thankfully not the hard way. (Although I did highside the 50cc in the wet on my 2nd day riding it!! lol)

    We really need better training for drivers - although I don't know much about the current system - and the hazard perception test is a step in the right direction. But, can you teach common sense? Did any of the safety videos at the riding courses actually tell anyone something they didn't already know?

    Practical defensive driving courses are probably a lot more effective. Not just for the physical driving/riding skills, but to see and absorb the reality of what is taught in the classroom.

    How did you drive before you rode? Has it changed your awareness of other traffic?

    Now I just need the riding skills so that I can make the bike do exactly what I need it to!

  2. I jumped straight in the deep end getting a bike at 18. I've been riding everyday for almost 2 years now with no crashes and i still don't have a car license. I definitely notice a lack of awareness on the drivers part when im in the car with friends/family and I can never just relax lol
  3. I was talking about this with someone yesterday.

    When I got my license in NZ many years ago it was based on 6 months learner license, 18 month restricted. You could get the learner license period down to 3 months by obtaining a certificate of competency from a registered driving school, and the restricted period down to 9 months by undertaking a defensive driving course.

    Plenty of people took advantage of this as the restricted license didn't let you drive after 10:30 at night and limited your ability to carry passengers.

    We rely on quantity, rather than quality, when it comes to driver training. We happily allow parents to teach their kids bad habits and we have built a system that continues to cater to the lowest common denominator, treating a license as something everybody should have.

    You see it daily in every lane change, it's usually not even a near miss, you see them glance at their mirror, wobble all over the road if they do manage a head check, slow down and start hinting that they're about to move, flash the indicator twice if you're lucky. This sort of driving doesn't even strike us as abnormal any more, it's just the "standard".

    I was reading a great article the other day that pointed out far more accidents are caused by driver inattention and poor driver skills than by speed. Speed is just a convenient scapegoat upon which a revenue generation platform can be built, effective qualitative measures have always been difficult to implement.

    So long as driver training is undertaken primarily by Mr I DriveMyCommodoreReallyWell Dad and Mrs I BrakeForCornersInMyCamry Mum, we're stuck with incompetence, inattention and apathy.
    • Like Like x 4
  4. Th only difference between driving now and driving 24 years ago when I got my license is that the roads are more congested - thats it nothing more - everything else is still the same

    drivers both new and experienced have not changed at all

    There was hooning etc etc 25 years ago as well

    The new drivers these days get the short end of this stick with licensing

    I had my L plates for 3 months and then as soon as I turned 17 I did the driving test - passed and had a full license ( ACT )
  5. Ah yes, i remember driving before i had a bike license...

    I was ****ing shit at it.

    When i got a nicer car, i became better at it, but still not very good. I always had experience on the pushy commuting in traffic which probably put me above most people my age bracket in terms of awareness, but i cringe to think how i drove then compared to now...

    Now i've been riding for nearly 3 years, and driving, and cycling too, i notice when i drive i'm actually a lot more into it and responsive than when i first started as i try and keep myself interested in it by paying unnecessary attention to what i'm doing - excessive head checks, mirror checks, playing with engine braking, timing lights, attempting to never come to a complete stop, and other mind games.

    in conclusion, i'm better now because i'm so bored with it.
  6. I tend to disagree. I've seen a noticeable decline in driving over the last 4-5 years in Melbourne but I'm not sure if I'd blame new drivers. Majority of offenders seem to be foreign. Its nothing to do with racism, just differences in standards of driving from one country to another with the major issue relating to the fact that foreigners are not required to redo their license locally if they are students or have not migrated permanently. This means amongst other things, that the majority don't know how to drive with trams. Having driven in most parts of the world, I can attest first hand to how the driving quality in different countries varies with Australia being among the higher in standards. In some countries, people don't even move across lanes if they intend turning, they just turn when they get to the intersection. Taxi's are some of the more dangerous players I encounter in Melbourne. They stop anywhere, anytime, whether they are legally entitled to or not. They do unexpected illegal u-turns, and you generally just learn to expect them to do the dumbest possible shit. It never surprises me when I see news about them giving points over to friends because I can't imagine some of the drivers keeping their licenses longer than a month with the way they drive. I've reported drivers for doing a Melbourne to Airport trip speaking on their phone the entire way to a girlfriend without a hands free kit while speeding and he actually had the gall to get annoyed with me when I asked him to get off his phone.

    I think that foreigners should be forced to sit a local learners test if they intend staying in Aus longer than a holiday just to ensure they are aware of the local road rules at a minimum.
  7. If there is a decline in driving standards, I blame increased congestion, stress and resulting aggression. More and more traffic jams, speed humps, speed cameras, roundabouts... by the time people are done with their morning commute they are ready to kill each other and their day has only begun! You see that's the case if you go to a country town - people are a lot more relaxed and drive accordingly. They might still be inattentive, but at least they are not trying to run each other off the road.
  8. maybe so. the problem now though is that all the middle aged and older drivers are still acting like they are the only vehicle on the road. and these are the mums and dads training the younger generation.
  9. Incompetence and aggression are two different beasts. Both have increased but I don't think one is as a result of the other or visa versa.
  10. There is no respect on the roads these days. People dont move over to let you merge, people wont pull into the left lane to let you pass.

    The otherday I got caught behind a fucktard on a cruiser doing 95kmh in the highway in the right lane whilst I was in my cage. The cocksucker had plenty of opportunities to move over to let me pass, but the knob just stayed there. I dont care what form of transport you are in, shit like that deserves a punch in the face, and people wonder why we have road rage. Cant say I blame people for tailgating idiots like that.
  11. I no longer just stare at the car in front of me, i look through their windows to see and anticipate obstacles, I look at where I want to go during turns, and far more cautious.

    Some days driving the car scares the F out of me. I feel like im boxed in the road with nowhere to go and the gap seems very small.
  12. So why would incompetence just increase for no particular reason? Cars are easier to drive than ever, and while you might think the licence tests are still a joke, they are much tougher now than ever before (I just had to literally drive around the block once without hitting anything to get mine... ah, those were the days!)

    If standards of driving really are slipping (and I agree that they are) then there must be some reason for that and I guess it is deeper than a sudden influx of incompetent foreigners. Historically we've had many waves of migration from countries where people can't drive for s**t, there's nothing new about that.
  13. I know plenty of drivers who are incompetent and/or have no consideration for other drivers but are not aggressive including some pensioners.

    Incompetence could be for any number of reasons. I.e. Too lazy, couldn't be bothered kind of attitude of some people.

    Just like you see plenty of people parking in handicapped parkings. Too lazy and inconsiderate to think of others. Doesn't mean they're aggressive, most will back down if you confront them about it.

    On the issue of foreigners, you could argue that in the past, taxi drivers had better local knowledge. Now most are working students who couldn't get from the airport to the city without a sat nav. I don't think its necessarily the waves of migration, most migrants have to redo their license within 3 months of arriving. Students and foreign works who don't intend staying don't and can drive on their home license for as long as they want.
  14. Exactly. people don't DRIVE their cars any more. They engage D, switch on the cruise control, activate the lane departure warning and just AIM it down the road whilst doing all the 101 other things in their life that are so important they can't wait until they're parked.

    The other thing is a societal change. IMO we're a much more selfish society now than twenty years ago which manifests itself in many ways, including not giving a **** about the impact your actions have on anyone else. How many times have we seen the idiot who'se made the mistake get angry at the victim rather than acknowledge and apologise for their actions.
  15. Its not incompetence.

    Drivers have learnt that if they speed, they will be photographed by some sneaky hidden camera, loose demerit points and have to pay a fine.

    But when it comes to tail gating, pulling out in front of somebody, merging and others, there is no road side camera that will ping them for those offenses.

    This is why you see all these bad driving habits. Drivers have learnt what they can and can't get away with on the roads and drive accordingly, so nobody speeds but you see drivers tailgating, don't merge, don't give way, don't indicate to change lanes and so on.

    When was the last time you heard of somebody getting a ticket for tailgating or failure to give way compared to getting a speeding fine in the mail from a revenue raising road side camera?
  16. Everybody's first car should be an old car.

    My first car is a '67 Mk II Cortina - shoulder checks and being aware of your surroundings become second nature pretty quickly when you don't have side mirrors and only a relatively small field of view through the rear vision mirror. My second car is '75 Kingswood... only one side view mirror (on the right) and the rear view mirror - once again, shoulder checks and being aware of whats around you are the only way to survive (especially in the size of a car like the Kinga).

    Driving old cars makes you plan ahead - brakes are not their strong suit. Same for any sort of slow maneuvering - no power steering is a killer.

    Bottom line is - these old cars have provided me with a lot of lessons (and a lot of fun along the way), which set me up well when it came to getting on a bike.
  17. c'mon guys...the more you focus on other peoples driving the more frustrating it will be out there on the road for you, i know i have been there.

    just relax & expect anything to happen at any time. the golden rule is not to let it get to you & not to 'engage' with other drivers....stay away from fuctards either through speed or tactic.

    you are an a motorcycle either get out of there or pull over....

    this kind of thread is getting tiring, there are 90 year old grannies driving, 18 year olds who just got their P's & now "HAVE THE POWER", stressed tradesman & workers who had a bad day, wannabe gangster, wannabe shumachers....blah, blah,blah

    trust me, if you relax & expect the unexpected & move on when it does happen you will avoid a whole lot of shit on the road & a whole lot of stress
  18. Fair enough POPEYE!

    To be honest this thread has taken a totally different path to what I had intended, but that's the nature of these forums I guess.

    What I wanted to write before I got sidetracked and started rambling was that all those things you have mentioned apply whether you are in a car, bus, truck, or on a bike. 99% of the drivers out there are fine but there will always be a few to watch out for.

    While we're here, though, I might add that my wife is one of those bloody asian drivers!
    I swear they export the worst and keep the okay ones - because she is terrible! (but getting better with my input [i.e. yelling and/or screaming])

    Bloody Asian Driver
  19. I can say becoming a rider has definitely made me a better driver for sure. I'm on my 3rd and last year of P's now and have had be riding licence for 18 months, i drove like an idoit before then.

    I'm amazed that i didn't have any accidents, loose any points/license or hurt anyone. I thought testing the cars limits at every sharp bend and roundabout was the cool thing to do, As soon as i started riding on the road i shocked my-self, the people i was mostly swearing and getting frustrated at while riding was exactly like me and i immediately stopped driving like an egomaniac and kept that s*** off the roads.

    Now i'm nearly band from being a passenger in my friends cars as I'm always on there ass about their driving habits...