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SMIDSY – an issue of perception?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by timrt1200, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. I’m not convinced SMIDSY is from people not seeing us. I believe it comes down to us being a smaller object in the drivers’ eyes (even with lights on) and therefore going slower. Why do I say this? A little while ago I was in my car needing to pull out into traffic, looked right saw a truck coming, and thought to myself, no I’ll wait it’s going to fast for me to safely pull out, looked left, nothing there, looked right again, the truck was closer, but I realized I could have easily made it. I think the truck being big it appears as if it is going faster. In this case my judgement was off, (normally I consider it pretty darn good, can’t remember last time I had a close call). As cars are the most numerable vehicle on the road our speed judging abilities are best suited to cars. What I do now if I see somebody has the potential to turn into my path is to quickly flash them....make them think twice (no guaranties, always prepared for dangerous driving).


  2. They could read the quick flash as a signal from you to them, letting them know you have seen them and so they think it is acceptable to pull out on you.

    Just a thought.
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  3. The first sentence is a bit of a quasi-oxymoron.

    There are things we can do to improve the chances of being seen or heard to be seen. But if a driver doesn't look, a driver doesn't look, it's our job to predict that and be out of an impact zone.

    How would that not be the driver's fault for not looking?
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  4. Basically if you're not looking for something you aren't going to see it.
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  5. Yep, correct, that's why you should always do a little weave as you approach a situation. It corrects the perception issue. Though that's only part of it.

    You have to remember SMIDSY is not only a motorcycle issue. Cars SMIDSY cars and even trucks. Riders SMIDSY too. Pretty well every multi-vehicle car accident that isn't a rear-ending is a SMIDSY. You may have read today about the Ulysses riders getting crashed into. They would have had the visual impact of a truck coming down. It's not just size. People don't look, people have brain farts, people push the wrong peddle, people completely zone out and drive like zombies.
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  6. Crazy move as Slow Coach said - an open invitation for them to pull across in front of you.
    Set up, weave around in your lane to show movement if you feel it necessary, but don't flash whatever you do.

  7. Yes it is an oxymoron, not unlike military intelligence...What I didn't describe very well was....I believe we are seen (most of the time - you cant say when my headlights are on that you cant see me)....but due to our size...the driver thinks we are either going slower or are further away than their "normal judgement"

  8. After my post a few weeks ago when I got SMIDSY pulled-out-on, I've started to move a lot more in my lane when approaching a potential situation. Noticed it helps greatly so thank you for the tip!

    Ahhh gotcha!

    Yes, definitely agree - our size makes it a LOT harder to perceive our speed accurately from another vehicle, particularly when coming from front on.
  9. SO how do people crash into emergency vehicles when they have lights and sirens going? People do say I did not see you. Ok, depends on your definition of seeing. Yes the eyes may well see it but the brain does not register it.
  10. The definition of seeing etc has been done to death in another thread which included some RAF research data etc.
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  11. good point even though I've yet to have an issues flashing...methinks weaving will assist in the drivers' perception of me.

    I have no idea on that one...the amount of times I've seen drivers not pull over...or are going to turn right....and don't want to miss there turn. But you raised an interesting point "definition of seeing"..... do we only perceive what is in our "safe field of vision"?

    Thx......will look for.....still a newbie
  12. Until I came onto net rider I'd never heard the term SMIDSY. But saying that I can only recall two possible SMIDSYs in over 30 years or riding, both at night and incident free.

    It doesn't matter if they see me or not, if I see them then I can work with that and avoid or brake if needed.

    I tend to be a little pro-active when I go to the city and sometimes use cars and trucks (especially) as buffers if it looks like some one hasn't seen me. A trip to the city for us usually means a combined pleasure/shopping trip so 9/10 times we have the trailer which limits the choices you can make to avoid things.
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  13. You mean this one Smee?

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  14. #15 robsalvv, Aug 13, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
    Well seen. The factor you're raising is known as the "time of arrival illusion". It's one of the causes of SMIDSY type prangs but not an actual SMIDSY as you point out... There are a few causes for SMIDSY's.

    Definitely go the weaving but don't assume you've been seen. Set up for them coming out anyway.

    You might wanna google The invisible Gorilla experiment too.
  15. mate of mine flashed to let someone know they were there. guy pulled out thinking he was letting him in. my mate ended up on the median strip of the m5. i asked him why he would flash, he had the same mindset as you.
  16. There is a big difference between didnt look and looked but didnt see you. What i have noticed is that some of you are silent. When I am on the freeway in peak and you come from behind you get there very quickly and very quietly. I look in my mirror, head check, indicate and start thinking about changing lanes - you werent there and now you are.

    A harley or Ducati i can hear and i dont move until i can see whats making the noise.

    When i ride to work i ride in the slower traffic at high revs and make plenty of noise and dont seem get as many people merging on me. Just my observation.

    My Tip. Do everything under power. Passing someone, changing lanes...dont putt around waiting for morons to hit you.
  17. I don't like it. As mentioned some drivers take it as a signal that you're letting them go ahead (it's actually written into the UK highway code as such). The waggle seems safer, or sound your horn (big aftermarket airhorn :sneaky: ) if they don't look like stopping.
  18. I agree, flashing them is "go ahead". No question. I would be adjusting my speed and position to make sure i get through without incident, dont worry about correcting anyone.

    I do turn my head and look directly at people to let them know i can see them, it catches people's attention and i can continue to concentrate on the road and riding.
  19. How old is your copy of the highway code?
    My version says you only flash your lights to let someone know you are there - not to signal they can move out.
    I'm not contradicting you, just interested to know if it has finally been changed to reflect real world driving experiences.