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Safety Share for the Day

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by canuck1969, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. All,

    Came across this accident today on the way to work 2 minutes from my house. Was actually going to take the bike but decided at the last minute to take the car. Weird....but that is not the point of my post. It is a reminder to be aware of your surroundings, both as a car driver and as a motorcycle rider when it comes to managing intersections.


    I know this intersection very well. Not 100% sure what happened but have a very good idea based on the pictures, personal experience riding this intersection, and what I saw driving past it this morning.

    Involved car driving south in the turning lane waiting to turn left. Cars lined up in the opposite turning lane going north waiting to turn left and the motorcycle going north through the intersection in the left lane closest to the cars waiting to turn. Involved south bound turning car can't see past the cars across from him turn left and proceeds to turn in front of the motorcycle. Hit the car in the front right corner.

    Car never saw the bike as they were not over far enough to see past the row of stopped cars and bike most likely never saw the car turning as the same row of cars was obstructing his view.

    Take away this situation.......

    As a car driver, always move over left as far as you can to see past the cars waiting to turn the opposite direction. They call it a "S Turn" maneuver. Look it up if you are not familiar. Come out into the intersection and position the car to the left of the one in the opposite direction and turn your wheels slightly right to wait for traffic to clear so you can turn. Allows you to see what is coming and if you are rear ended waiting you will not be pushed into on coming traffic.


    As the motorcycle rider in this situation, move to the far right lane if you can. If you cannot, move over as far right as you can in your lane and see if there is a car turning left and slow down. If you can see them chances are higher they can see you. Every KPH/MPH reduces the collision impact considerably and also gives you more time to stop if needed and to look. If you still can't see, keep slowing down until you can. If you see someone turning stay far right, cover the brake, allow a car beside you to go ahead if you can and do the SMIDSY maneuver (Sorry Mate I Didn't See You). Another one to look up if not familiar. Weave back and forth a little in your lane. This now makes you a moving object that someone coming towards you can see. Seems like a lot, but all take a fraction of a second to do. It will become muscle memory after a while and I promise will save your butt one day. It has mine.

    Last safety share is has to do with red lights. This goes for car or rider. When sitting at a red light and the light turns green, LOOK...LOOK....LOOK both ways first before you take your foot off the brake. Make sure all cars are stopping. I can't tell you how many times this has saved me in the car and on the bike from being nailed by somebody not paying attention and either blowing the red light or running the yellow a little too late. I had this ingrained in my head when many years ago we were out for a walk with the family and waiting to cross an intersection. Cross light turn to walk and my two young kids started to walk towards the road, pulled them back by the scruff of their necks as a car blowing the red light caught the corner of my eye, weaved to avoid another car and brushed the side of the end of the sidewalk. If I had not looked, that would have been the end of both of my kids. From that day I never proceed on a green without looking.

    All I ask you all to do is pay attention to your surroundings and don't assume the other guy is looking out for you, because chances are they are not. I teach my kids to be defensive drivers and they used to say "Well, the other car should not have done that" and my response is always, "Your right, problem is you are now dead right".

    Have a great weekend and riding season everyone and please take care.

    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  2. chunts

    chunts XS650 Enthusiast

    Constant vigilance. I saw a crazy thing the other day that could have been a serious bummer for me if I had been half a block further up the road. I was on a narrow "arterial" I drive frequently. It's a very dense, highly residential area with a lot of tree cover so there are often kids and joggers etc crossing the road a lot, couple of schools around, not a great place to drive fast even on the main road. Lots of side streets cross that are narrow, basically one-lane with parked cars packed on both sides and stop signs at the arterial. No walk signals or anything so again it's common for people to come out of nowhere and just start crossing.

    Noticed a car coming up the side street from my right and figured it would stop at the sign. Then realize the car is actually hauling ass, going way way too fast for that side street, and then completely blows the stop sign and rips across the arterial right in front of me. Didn't slow down at all. The side streets are mostly all narrow uncontrolled intersections usually with small traffic circles. If you were going down one and don't know the area, you might not expect to run into a main street or expect to see a stop sign, but easily could just have been a complete idiot who didn't care. Point is you really can never trust that people are going to be even reasonably predictable.
    Moabite, grizld1, canuck1969 and 2 others like this.
  3. Ride like you are invisible and everyone is trying to kill you. Unfortunately not to far from the truth.
    Moabite, gggGary, GLJ and 3 others like this.
  4. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Great points Joe and thanks for sharing!

    As I ride, I constantly look ahead and try to assess what I see in terms of the cars, what they are doing and what they look like (type, age, maintenance, cleanliness etc.) and the people in them (number, age, what they are doing etc.) along with the time of day and location - and then I apply some judgement/intuition about what sort of situation I am probably approaching - and if I don't like it, i simply pull over and stop and wait for things to clarify.

    I have done that countless times over the past 45 years of riding and driving small sports cars and about 5-8 times, something stupid has happened which I got to observe from the safety of the side of the road.

    Each of those messes could have involved me.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
    grizld1, gggGary, Jim and 2 others like this.
  5. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

    That one would fall under the category of don't outrun your vision. Usually it's on curves but could be anywhere.
    Even when I have a green light I slow down as much as I need to (or can) and look left and right. I remember a VW Beetle full of laughing, howling college girls flying downhill through a red light, and the driver kept engaging the starter to make a grinding sound. Wasn't some mistake -- they didn't care. Keep clear of idiots.
    canuck1969 and gggGary like this.

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