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Whose fault is it?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by StRider, May 22, 2008.

  1. The rider himself

  2. Other drivers

    0 vote(s)
  1. I was talking to a new rider recently, and his partner. Good guy, I think he has his head screwed on right and should be OK. Anyhow we're talking about safe riding etc and his partner came out with the typical comment:

    It's not him I'm worried about, it's the other idiots on the road.

    So I'm curious to know how other riders feel about this. My own opinion is that it's bull$hit for the most part; 90% of accidents (IMHO, no statistics just experience) are either entirely the fault of the rider, or could have been prevented by the rider. Of course it is possible that a driver won't see you and will hit you, but usually it's the rider that has gone too fast through a bend, or did something silly, or failed to recognise that he has placed himself in a dangerous situation.

    (To clarify, I am focussing on males. I believe that 'generally' women are more sensible)

    Anyhow, why is it that it's always the other 'guy' who's the idiot? From his perspective, the 'other guy' is you ... :roll:
  2. because it's better on our own ego's if we have someone else to blame, i fully agree with you, and there is actually a thread on here with regards to a rider dropping it on a round about, where the rider mentioned that he thought the cage was going to come out but did nothing to actually prevent his own accident
  3. There are a lot of idiots on the road, but your own safety is your responsibilty. You can't expect other road users to be on the lookout for you. They're too busy looking out for number 1, themselves.

    Breaking down your 90% at fault statement could start debate. If an accident occurs because someone has cut you off, merged into you, braked suddenly or run into you, these situations can most of the time be avoided, had the rider be paying attention to his/her surroundings.

    I've had 3 offs in my riding years. First one I hit a pedestrian. Yes, I could have avoided that one. Second time I low sided in the Natio. Again, could have been avoided had I not been travelling so fast. But I'll live with that. Third was recently. Negotiating a right hand turn with 2 turn lanes and a car on my right went directly across my path and into me. No chance of me avoiding that one.

    I do agree with you though Strider. Although these idiot road users exist, it is entirely our responsibility to avoid them at all costs.

    My vote: the rider himself
  4. If you assume it's at least partially your own fault, you're more likely to learn from the experience.

    "There was nothing I could do" is, in most cases, a cop out and untrue. As I get older and more experienced, I find that not only do I make fewer potentially lethal mistakes, but I also find myself less frequently in situations where the mistakes of others are likely to kill me.

    I take the view that, even if the incident (whether bad moment or actual crash) was someone else's "fault", I still kick myself for failing to anticipate it and allowing the situation to develop.

    If the worst does come to the worst, if you're still on the bike and the tyres have still got traction, there is always something you can do.
  5. i wholeheartedly agree ST. the other one that gets me is the "diesel on road" "leaf litter on shoulder" etc. etc. that somehow exonerates the rider....
    if we can learn that when we f*ck up, to understand that we simply f*cked up, we will become better riders.
    the vast majority of motorcycle incidents are of single vehicle accident type. there is only one person in control of the vehicle, and if they come off, they f*cked up.
  6. (To clarify, I am focussing on males. I believe that 'generally' women are more sensible)

    And poof.. there goes the stereotype -edit- i mean the magic and smoke one, good ol censoring

    From my short time of riding, it seems like almost any accident can be avoided, no matter what you're on/in

    It's just when the unavoidable happens (even if it's 10%, that's a lot) riders don't have a metal surrounding to protect them from what's coming next
  7. With the pathetic rider training required to obtain a licence, riders are by far their own worst enemies imho, purely due to a severe lack of education.
  8. We too easily blame someone else, I agree completely, st!

    That's why I take the usual "I dropped the bike", or "Someone pulled out on me.." threads with a grain of salt. Every accident I've ever had had at least a component of my fault about it.

    I must disagree with joel in principle, though; three bikes have been written off on Macquarie Pass in the last year, all travelling below the posted limit, all caused by diesel spills from trucks. Not to mention a dozen or more near-misses.
  9. I've had 4 accidents on bikes over 25yrs. In every single on of them, if I'd changed just one thing, the accident wouldn't have happened. In 2 of them, there were pretty good extenuating circumstances, but it merely moved the blame dial a little towards the other way.

    I've had 2 car accidents. One I lacked the skills to drive around a problem and the other one, a driver just drove into the side of me at a roundabout (his window was misted up - got me angry that one!).

    My dad, bless him, said to me (whilst recovering from a bike accident) that it's only an accident if your only contribution to it was waking up in the morning..charming!!
  10. I voted for the rider.

    You should always be riding with the frame of mind that everyone is out to kill you. Sadly sometimes thats what it is like. If your riding along thinking that car is going to stop, they must have seen me. That is when your in trouble.

    As riders we are required to hold higher level skill sets than other road users. We are on our own out there with no cage to protect us. So its every man/woman/child for themselves.

    However in saying that sometimes there is just nothing that could be done to avoid an accident. And sometimes we just get it wrong.
  11. I believe the statistic is 40% of motorcycle accidents are single vechile. Thats off the top of my head from reading it somewhere around the net. I'm happy to be corrected on that if someone wants to go find the stat.

    I'd also like to add that I believe whatever the real figure is I think it would actually be lower than the official stat. How many times do you hear of bikes getting hit/cutoff by cars then the cars just driving off without even stopping, sometimes not even realizing what has happened.

    Basically every accident is avoidable with the aid of hindsight. Problem is hindsight is never there when you really need it...
  12. Sorry but have to disagree. I think 100% can be avoided but sadly due to human nature that probably won’t happen. In a perfect world you should know that there is a potential for an accident and take appropriate action. 8-
    Sav, you say that you had no chance of avoiding that one but if you had set up a buffer just in case he/she doesn't see you, continues straight ahead etc, then maybe you may have avoided the accident. :-w I know that’s easy to say with hindsight. As I’ve said before, it’s not a perfect world. :)
  13. No such thing as a road accident - only road crashes which in 99% of the time could have been avoided.
  14. yes, poor wording on my part.
    the stats are (or were at printing)
    39% SVA
    37% Other road users fault
    24% Riders fault, however, involving other vehicle.

    so, i guess when it is narrowed down, the majority is SVA, but it's not as simplistic as that. and there is not much in it between SVA & other road users.
    what is interesting is that 63% is (assumed) rider error.
    so who is our worst enemy? ourselves.

    i know what you mean to paul (to hornet600) but when we break it down to bare bones, if you are on a heavy vehicle route, and it is wet, diesel on the road is inevitable. it shouldnt be there, but naivety wont stop you from going down. all we can do is ride cautiously in sub-par conditions and try our best.
  15. Situation was that there was no cars present as I went through the light. The vehicle came from behind me. But yes, I could have avoided that one too, had i stayed at home and wrapped myself in cotton wool.
  16. Well, I said 90% as a 'figure of speech', meaning the greater majority. It could well be that it is 80% ....

    Sadly there will always be the times where you just can't do anything, like:

    - Diesel on the road on a bend. Nothing you can do, you'll probably go down
    - Truck runs over you from behind while you're stopped at the lights
    - Drunk driver cuts right in front of you

    Fortunately these events are relatively rare, and more fate (or unfortunate chances) than anything else.
  17. Yes, but there are also all those SVAs where there are no independent witnesses, the bike is still mobile and the rider still capable of riding (ie, a good proportion of enthusiasm induced lowsides for instance), that don't get reported.

    I agree the figures need to be approached with caution, but it cuts both ways.

    As for diesel on the road, I find WA at least to be pleasantly free of it compared to my UK experience. Over there, one of the advantages of an open face lid was that, given good luck and the wind in the right direction, you could smell a diesel spill before you hit it. Although that, in itself could be a rather pants wetting moment if you were well cranked over with no available run off when you caught the whiff :shock: .
  18. I find it quite disturbing that cagers, truckies etc are being considered as "THE OTHER DRIVER". I have been riding for about 7 months now and I have only had 2 close calls with cars and 1 with a truck. By far the most number of incidences was with other bikes. Morons lane splitting at 100kph or weaving in and out of traffic on the freeway thinking there is a gap between cars when in fact a bike is there. Because bikes have such a small footprint on the road they are just as hard to see by other riders as they are to car/truck drivers. All road users are the "other driver".
  19. I agree with the majority here - a lot of the time the rider could/should have behaved differently.

    With my (extremely rare, thankfully) near misses, once the adrenaline's worn off I try to revisit the event in my head and see what I did wrong.

    Usually it's a lapse in my own roadcraft - riding deep in a blindspot, or passing through someone's blindspot while overtaking. I've only had maybe fifteen merged-into or cut-off near misses in total in the last two-and-a-bit years. Only four of those can I stand up and proudly say with certainty "I did everything 'right'".

    Edit: Those numbers sound scarier than they should be. It's a bit less hairy if I say, "In 50,000km" rather than "In two years".
  20. Pity there's no "all of the above" option on the poll.
    Certainly riders are a danger to themselves and need to be constantly aware of what they're doing to avoid a crash. Unfortunately it seems like riders have to work extra hard to compensate for the complete lack of attention (and skill) of many drivers on the road.
    If everyone paid more attention to what they were doing, and took accountability for their actions, the roads would be a much safer place for all. Of course that's never going to happen, not with drivers being constantly fed the message that as long as they're sober, and below the speed limit, then it can't possibly be their fault if they hit something/one either.