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SMIDSYs - What you can do to avoid them.

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by smileedude, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Coming off another thread.

    There have been several threads popping up in the near misses lately where the rider describes their poor road craft and then describes how they nearly got SMIDSYd. There is a whole lot of huffing and puffing about what an asshole the driver is. People no longer stop and think how they could have avoided the accident or near miss.

    So lets simplify things. There are two causes of a SMIDSY. The first which has hogged a bit too much limelight recently is that a car didn't see us. Great, let's do everything we can to let drivers know their blindness is killing us. But this is putting our lives in other peoples hands. And getting angry and posting about it to other riders is not going to change driver behavior. Educating drivers about the dangers they pose is one thing we as a group need to continue trying to achieve. But at the same time let's not forget what we can do.

    The second cause of SMIDSY we have a lot more control of. How could you have avoided the accident? How could you have become more visible to the driver? What could you have done to escape a driver failing to give way?

    Recognize potential SMIDSY situations before they occur.
    Plan your escape routes.
    And don't take your presence for granted.
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    That post raises a great point. Despite the TAC advertisement showing a rider just flying into oncoming traffic, it kind of is up to us to reduce some of the risks.

    When I did my provisional course a few years back now, something that I found interesting the instructor said was this, "If you are concentrating, I mean really concentrating, and not riding like a knob, nearly every type of collision on a motorcycle can be avoided"
  3. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    Or to put it another way... it doesn't matter who is at fault. You're the one who will suffer.

    Sure, you shouldn't have to worry about people not looking properly. Yes it's their fault if they don't

    But you're a fool if you don't plan for it to happen anyway and do everything you can to protect yourself
  4. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

  5. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    Great message, one that get lost sometimes. =D>
  6. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    Thanks for starting the thread smileedude, that's an interesting choice of wording in your thread title. I don't want to derail the thread in it's fledgling stage but I think I'll come back to it later.

    Just one thing I'll bring to your attention right now...

    ...you've only put one side of the discussion forward. I know you're brighter than that and can see the other side, you're doing yourself and your thread a disservice if you don't show the other side, and you're at risk of blinding people to the full issue if you don't. You have the option of waiting for someone else to introduce it to the discussion, but don't be surprised if your thread gets high jacked by an agenda.
  7. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    Stay with me – this is about to get cyclical!

    The recent advocacy surrounding the first cause of SMIDSY you mention was born out of your second cause receiving exclusive attention to the exclusion of the first by the TAC, VicRoads et al.

    The current focus is to simply encourage a fresh platform for reducing injury and death on the roads. Once a turn-of-phrase promoting driver awareness resonates with as much familiarity as “Motorcyclists, it’s down to you” I’ve no doubt the thrust of your argument will rise to the fore again.
    • Like Like x 4
  8. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    I thought this covered the other side fairly well?
    The thread wont last very long if I give all the answers out will it? I want to give the message that there is a lot a rider can do to avoid a SMIDSY and should stop thinking of them as inevitable. Everyone here wants to lower the risks of SMIDSY so I am more than happy to take suggestions on how I could improve this thread for that goal.
  9. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    If I can just add, by not highlighting the other side, the reason the other side has been prolific on here is being missed...

    Let me put it another way... Riders and Drivers both have a 100% responsibility for avoiding collisions. That is... If a driver doesn't look, moves and the rider can avoid the accident then they are both 100% wrong for not avoiding it. If the rider avoids it, they have done the right thing, but the driver is 100% wrong and should be prosecuted. The problem with being good at road craft, and promoting it alone, is that it sends the message to bad drivers that "its ok if you don't look, because we will compensate".

    At the same time, it also annoys me when riders don't ride appropriately to avoid SMIDSYs. I am firmly planted in both camps. Half the problem is that bad riders, often blame bad drivers. Bad drivers, often blame.... well anything but themselves.

    My beef is that very few drivers appreciate or respect riders who make it easier for themselves to be seen and don't show respect. They just expect the riders to compensate for their own flaws whereas they should be thankful that through good roadcraft, some of us make their lives easier. Good road craft can't be legislated - but it most certainly should be promoted as a respectful and courteous thing to do.

    Its like the cyclist I saw in a video on ACA where a driver pulled out, and he just kept riding straight into the car at an intersection. The car should have been fined for failing to give way and the cyclist should have been fined with failing to avoid an accident.
    • Like Like x 4
  10. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    A prudent rider will never trust any other road user who is in a position to SMIDSY them.

    However we need to be focused and on message:
    It is not acceptable to clean up a vulnerable road user and then claim you did not see them.
    It just not on.
    It's illegal.
    It doesn't need to happen.
    Blaming the victim is wrong.
    Saying the victim should be more careful is passing the buck.
    In a SMIDSY incident the driver is the only one at fault.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    I like to think of the sides as defensive and offensive. Both on the same team and both important. But lets not break new ground into educating drivers about what they can do while forgetting what we can do. The newer riders are coming on here and seeing the focus on the drivers, but forgetting that earlier message.

    I don't want to stop the driver education movement. You guys are doing a fantastic job. I intend this as a reminder to riders to not forget that it's their life and they cant rely on drivers seeing them.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    It was almost like he wanted to crash into the car (while wearing a GoPro style camera), Blind Freddy could see the car wasn't going to stop and he never even tried to change direction to miss it once it did stop.

    Target fixation perhaps.
  13. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    Adprom, I think you've summed it up nicely. Agree that we shouldn't lose sight of what we can do.

    But there is still a problem. I accept what you argue as the ideal, but in the real world, "...did everything humanly possible to avoid an accident" can so easily be translated into "...failed to avoid an accident", especially when it is viewed as contributory negligence.

    We DO need to compensate for bad driving, but we should never agree to compensation being an EXCUSE for bad driving.
    • Like Like x 5
  14. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    Almost every experienced rider knows that it cuts both ways. The hysterical learners you see whinging about their daily scare either learn this truth, and learn how to avoid smidsys as best they can, or they give riding up or get made to give it up.

    I've avoided every single smidsy that's ever come my way, and I live in the inner-city in the area most saturated with international students with purchased licenses - it's mad here! But I don't fool myself: alongside my skill, there's also luck. And I say luck, precisely because part of possessing high-level awareness and predictive-analysis as I ride, includes recognising situations where there'd not be much that I could do. There's a lot of skill, and a lot of hoping/praying/sweating.... Now, if more of these drivers could perhaps check what's happening on the street before they pulled on to it at speed (what a radical idea!), then I might need less luck-coupons...
    • Like Like x 3
  15. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    Maybe this needed to go in the learners section.
  16. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    Moron fixation. Blind freddy could have also changed directions.
  17. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    Sure, there are specific examples such as the one I cited whereby there was a clear, apparent and obvious method to avoid the accident and the rider chose not to. In many cases, there isn't a clear method. If there was a brick wall there, I bet he would have braked, or swerved. But it was a car so.....
  18. #18 AngryAnt, Feb 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015


    I rarely get merged into now as I know where to ride relative to cars in other lanes... When it does happen I avoid the vehicle and continue on my merry way. Occasionally the driver looks at me with a "where did you come from?" expression.
  19. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault

    Hear, hear.
  20. Re: SMIDSYs - The driver isn't the only one at fault


    Maybe I'm being pedantic but this could have been written a little different as it reminded me too much of the TAC it's up to us campaign.

    I would have written it more like this.
    Although riders are doing no wrong, they need to think of the extra road craft as motorcyclists needed to avoid an accident or near miss.

    Remember SMIDSY means riders are not at fault and the push is to shove in the faces of drivers and authorities that SMIDSY should no longer be used as an excuse.

    Of course all riders still need to train and be prepared for SMIDSY and having a thread like is great because SMIDSY will always be a part of riding...

    But we still need to work towards the public knowing the term SMIDSY as well as they know that in Aus we drive on the left...
    • Like Like x 1