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Roadcraft question - Ever been hit from behind?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by livingstonest, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. Been a weekend rider for awhile now and i'm starting to commute more and more.

    I've always read through these forums, magazine articles etc on how to continually improve roadcraft. And i've been applying these successfully. Even though i've been riding more and in times of heavier traffic i've had less and less close calls as time goes by(touch wood). This isn't due to better drivers around me but more my anticipation and early action to avoid the potential close call.

    Now when i ride i watch what's in front and what's on the side but rarely watch my rear. Would like to know does anyone continually scan their rear? Or is this an unnecessary action because the chances of being hit from behind is so rare? This does not include stopping at lights or occasional glances to check for tailgaters. Anyone ever been hit from rear whilst on the move?
  2. I keep a good eye on what's behind, mainly not for the reason you mentioned but so that, should I need to jump lanes to avoid a side-swiper or car pulling out etc, I am more aware of whether anything is around me including just behind me such that I might collide with it.
  3. Always watch your rear (in more ways than one) never know who's gunna runinto it :p
  4. On the serious side though, I always watch what is happening behind me when I stop, so many cagers just dont look
  5. I regularly watch was is happening behind me using both mirrors, occasionally as I'm coasting along, regularly as I'm coming to a stop, and all the time when I'm stopped and try to make time in an emergency stop. I've been tapped by a car from behind in the wet before so I am usually a bit more paranoid about been hit from behind when it's raining.
  6. If you're moving faster than the general flow it makes it less stressful.
  7. Just curious, what did they teach for your test?
    It’s amongst the rarest type of collisions for bikes (can’t find a reference right now). For an example, type “motorbike accident caught on police camera†in youtube.com.

    You should be using rear observation almost every time you alter speed or position. Your main options for rear observation are mirrors and the various types of shoulder checks. Don’t use shoulder checks when the hazardous picture ahead is so busy that no time should be spent looking behind. If you’re travelling at say 90Kmh then you’ve covered about 25 metres in the second it takes to look over your shoulder and return your eyes to forward view.

    In busy urban areas check your mirrors say every 7 to 10 seconds when safety permits. Doesn’t have to be a big thing…just a movement of the eyes. Have your mirrors positioned so each shows a slightly different view.

    You’ll find this stuff and a lot more in Dave Jones’ Not the Blue Book http://www.notthebluebook.co.uk/ and Phillip Coyne’s Roadcraft http://www.amazon.com/dp/011341143X/?tag=netrider-20
  8. I always try to keep an eye on my mirrors, but usually am much more concerned about what is behind me when I am stopped at traffic lights (been hit from behind on a number of occasions in my car).

    One of the things the instructor said on my learners course was to tap your brakes when stopped at an intersection - means that someone approaching from behind is much more likely to notice you because of the flashing red light.
  9. Yes when stopped I always watch my mirrors until someone is stopped behind me. Also 95% of the time when I'm stopped at an intersection whilst I'm watching those approaching from behind I tap my brake lights to ensure they see me (most important at night / if you're the only one on that lane). What are the chances you ask? If you read some reports you'll find about 30-40% of bike accidents involving other cars are cars running into the back of bikes at intersections. These statistics encourage me to lanesplit/filter so that I minimise exposure to that danger. Even if you split through a few cars, you're safer.
  10. I've been hit from behind at the lights. I had only just come to a stop (may have still been going < 5kmh), a taxi come around the bend behind me and wasn't looking at the road. The impact was at < 20kmh, so I kept the bike upright.
  11. All the time, even when driving. Keeping an eye on what's behind you lets you know exactly how much you can brake, or whether you should be looking to swerve to avoid anything in front. Also It also makes it far less likely to not notice a vehicle - since if you can't see a vehicle that was behind you before, and they haven't passed you, then it's safest to assume they're sitting right in your blindspot.
  12. I agree with the tap the brake light sentiment...when slowing for lights I give it at least 3 taps...or when stopped first in line at the lights with cars coming up behind I keep a close eye on the mirrors and give em a few quick taps then too... I find it tends to distract them and they stop applying makeup, talking on phone, eating cereal, etc...ec... and actually realise they need to stop.

    Also unless splitting I tend to sit in gear with a clear escape route until the car behind me has safely come to a stop...after nearly getting nailed from behind at about 60k's by a p plater and having to hammer it through a red light in an intersection I don't take any chances.
  13. I always glance at my mirrors to see what's happening behind me. Different situations dictate how often I do this.
    stationary at lights << very often
    mainstream traffic << often
    on a country road, little or no traffic << occassional
    Hot blonde driver behind me << constantly :p
  14. Used to do the same thing myself. This does it for me now though:
    http://www.comagination.com/bflasher.htm dead cheap and easy to fit. You can get 'em in Oz but they're a lot more expensive. http://safetysolutions.com.au/joomla/
  15. Rear-enders are the most common of all types of collisions, for all vehicle types including bikes. I seem to recall one or two recent deaths from them, too. It's very important to keep an eye on the mirror, even at rest, and try to stop in a location that gives you an escape route.

    It's also quite common for bikes to be hit from behind by other bikes, which doesn't help the cause, especially when it's someone you know. Happened to a work-mate of mine two weeks ago, and nearly happened to me the same day :shock:
  16. According to the classic (and dated :cry: ) Hurt Report* only around 5.5% of motorbike accidents are in the rear (5 to 7 o’clock range), whilst 77% (11 to 1 o’clock range) come from the front. A 2004 UK study** noted that around 70% of accidents are covered by right-of-way violations; losing control on bends; and manoeuvring, whilst only around 11% involved rear end shunts, and these were more likely bikes striking vehicles from the rear. Has anybody got any relevant Oz studies?

    * (I’m secondary referencing this from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Motorcycles, as I can’t find my Hurt Report)
    ** http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/research/rsrr/theme5/indepthstudyofmotorcycleacci4784?version=1
  17. my suspension guys been hit twice in the last 6 months

    one was a hit, one was a tap
  18. Of course the No.1 reason for looking in your mirrors - to make sure that isn't an unmarked Police car behind you :LOL:.
  19. This is great info guys.

    Just trying to improve my roadcraft and wanted to know how you all do it.

    Have been weighing up how much attention i should take from the front and apply to the back. Cause even if it is for a second that's one second where your not watching the front.

    Good point about tapping the brakes i'll try apply that.

    In regards to checking rear so incase you need to immediately change lanes that's probably something i wouldn't do simply because in an emergency i wouldn't be wanting to change lanes quickly and find someone in my blind spot.
  20. This is why you use your mirrors, which also shouldn't prevent you entirely from seeing what's going on in front. It's called, among other things, situational awareness. If you're keeping track of where vehicles around your were, are, and are likely to be, you're less likely to be caught out by one being where you didn't expect it to be.
    Obviously the denser the traffic and the greater the number of lanes the more difficult this is though - but I believe it is something that is taught to Police drivers/riders in most parts of the world.