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Old 09-20-2017, 08:10 AM   #1
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Lanesplitting rider killed

http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/...173996416.html

This came up as an RIP thread meaning RIP in the title.

Still some folks don't get that means keep it respectful. Families google search these things and the arm chair quarterbacking does not belong in those threads. We have suspended one member for it.

This thread is not for discussion on policy. If you want to discuss policy take it to Website / Geekspeak. This thread is for analysis of the accident.

Thank you.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:21 AM   #2
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With the speed delta of 45mph I was expecting the standard "car changed lanes and rider went down" scenario.

But it seems like the rider didn't even enter the gap but slammed into the car on his left as he tried to enter the gap at a 45mph delta.

At 65mph one small movement by the rider when entering a narrow gap can have fatal consequences as in this scenario.

RIP rider.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:47 PM   #3
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It's amazing how just the smallest touch of a bike at speed to anything solid and not moving in exactly the same direction and speed will cause the bike to careen in a different direction. I've seen numerous moto crash videos where this occurs, the slightest tap and the bike is under a truck with a crushed rider even at relatively low speeds. This learning has me now avoiding any splitting near trucks unless they are completely stopped and the truck driver has acknowledged my presence in his mirror...I wave to them to let them know I'm about to split.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:06 PM   #4
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Just physics.

The big delta is the key to calamity. Sometimes that is the difference between other vehicles in lane 1 & 2. One of the most dangerous times IMO.

The 10-15 delta makes perfect sense, but when lane 1 is going 40 and 2 is going 5mph the delta can be a quiet killer. Road smarts are earned.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NeilInPacifica View Post
It's amazing how just the smallest touch of a bike at speed to anything solid and not moving in exactly the same direction and speed will cause the bike to careen in a different direction. I've seen numerous moto crash videos where this occurs, the slightest tap and the bike is under a truck with a crushed rider even at relatively low speeds. This learning has me now avoiding any splitting near trucks unless they are completely stopped and the truck driver has acknowledged my presence in his mirror...I wave to them to let them know I'm about to split.
I've been riding in CA for 35 years now. I generally lanesplit at least once on every ride. Over the past 10 years I've decided that I will never split past a tractor-trailer, semi truck, or anything else with large exposed undercarriage. Never. I make no exceptions to this. A mistake near these vehicles is much more likely to cause serious injury or death. I don't care if the driver 'sees' me or not. Never.

CA:
Rider appears to be traveling too fast.
Splitting at the place where traffic first builds up is very risky. Drivers are more likely to jump lanes as they approach the traffic jam. Wait a few seconds, let the cars bunch up and eliminate the gaps. Let the drivers get used to the traffic before splitting.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:53 PM   #6
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Big rigs are a nightmare waiting to happen. Even filtering next to them is dangerous. I am a confident splitter yet, like Enchanter hesitate to split near those big ass wheels that will kill us without a moment of silence.

Situational awareness should always include those huge ass big rig wheels and the lack of observation that rides with them. Ever since I saw that one vid where a filtering rider just fell over and was ......by them I avoid them at all costs.

The cost is usually a minute or two. Not much to get home safe really.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:57 AM   #7
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It's very hairy splitting next to trucks, and I'll probably avoid doing so in the future.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:01 PM   #8
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To further emphasize the danger of splitting next to a big rig: More than half the 107 lane-splitter deaths since 2004 by my unofficial count [1] have involved large trucks. Some have involved TWO trucks and others trucks in construction-narrowed lanes. This is by far the deadliest lane-splitting crash scenario.

In fact, there was another one today in the Cajon Pass (San Bernardino County). According to CHP Sergeant Joseph Corney: "The motorcycle was splitting traffic on southbound 15, south of Oak Hill (Road), when it collided into the rear of a passenger car in the No. 1 lane. The motorcycle careened off the car to the right and collided with a big rig and was subsequently run over by the big rig."

Today's was the 14th California lane-splitter death of 2017, which equals the full-year totals of both 2015 and 2016.


[1] I collect news stories of fatal motorcycle crashes in California that come to my attention via Google, Bing, and Yahoo news searches. I count lane-splitting crashes only when so described by an official source, such as the CHP officer in today's story.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:04 PM   #9
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Dan.

In your opinion if all riders adhered to the guideline delta would we see a reduction??
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:47 PM   #10
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Dan.

In your opinion if all riders adhered to the guideline delta would we see a reduction??
I think the delta is only part of it. Sure, there are crashes that could have been prevented just by a reasonable delta. This one (Fresno) possibly, and the one on 880 in San Jose that Enchanter posted a video of in a Crash Analysis thread. But there are situations where the delta isn't as important. When both lanes are bumper-to-bumper and no one can change lanes, a higher delta is possible. So I see it as a more general problem in situational awareness.

In my unpublished, 3500-word Lane Splitting Guide (yeah, it's a bit tedious ), I emphasize:
  1. Attitude. Accept an increase in some risks in order to reduce others and to save time. Accept the leisurely approach to driving of most other road users. Accept that you're putting yourself in spots where you won't be seen.

  2. Know the common crash scenarios. Know how lane-splitting crashes happen, and be on high alert when you identify a high-risk situation.

  3. Know the high-danger road situations. A careless lane change is a common cause of freeway lane splitting crashes. Where do drivers change lanes? Where flows converge or diverge. Where a merge lane ends. At an exit-only lane. Where there is a big lane-to-lane speed delta. When there's a disabled vehicle. Where a car-pool lane begins or ends. Etc., etc.

  4. Know the non-freeway splitting dangers. When traffic is bumper-to-bumper, you're protected from crossing hazards. But as you clear the adjacent traffic, watch for peds, bicyclists, and vehicles crossing your path.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:22 PM   #11
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Great post.

Thank you.
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:02 PM   #12
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Things I watch out for when lanesplitting / filtering:
  • Big rigs
  • Anything with a trailer
  • Work trucks
  • Work trucks with wide beds that obscure the mirrors
  • Lifted trucks with wheels sticking out excessively from the wheel wells (may impact driver's perception of vehicle width and drift over into you)
  • Cars that pinball off the lane markers (sometimes you can see someone several cars ahead who's clearly not paying the most attention or are just really bad drivers)

A pet peeve of mine is the people who swerve sharply onto the shoulder at the last minute to give you room. Like, I appreciate your concern, but it tells me that you clearly didn't see me at first, you overreacted, and now you're driving on the shoulder...where there's frequently debris, which you are now kicking up, and if there's something ahead of you on the shoulder that I don't see (ie, a bumper or something from a previous accident), I don't know that you won't swerve BACK towards me equally suddenly. Those people I make a habit of gunning it past if I can, or not passing at all until I'm sure it's clear. I've also had someone in the left lane swerve onto the shoulder almost entirely to where their right wheels were just barely in the lane, and someone in the #2 lane took that as an invitation to move over into the gap. So either way...when I see someone driving on the shoulder...I give them a wide berth. It also tells me they have no depth perspective, because 9 times out of 10 it's someone in a Nissan Leaf, Mini Cooper, Prius, or other tiny car that barely takes up half a lane to begin with.
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:16 PM   #13
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Lanesplitting is a dangerous activity. In particular for a new rider with little experience with commute traffic.

There are so many subtle things to be aware of. So many situations to be aware of.

If you click Features (one of the blue tabs at the top of this page) you will find a document with my advice. It is only advice, but it is better than the guidelines IMO as far as identifying dangerous situations.

Please remember... I have ridden for almost 50 years and my opinion can be too agressive for a new rider. It is still worth a peek.
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Old 09-24-2017, 04:10 PM   #14
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While I agree with DataDan that delta speed wont solve everything, it certainly will help riders learn to see all the other dangers while gaining experience IMO. I cringe when I think of newer riders and their situational awareness splitting at high deltas.

I had been splitting for a couple of decades when I finally had my lanesplitting crash in the westbound maize of 24/580/80 approaching the bay bridge. Being late to a Saturday BBQ in the city, I was rushed and paid the price going through the rear window of a Honda Civic sedan. While the CHP found the driver at fault, I no doubt contributed SIGNIFICANTLY to the crash with my higher than average delta.

Even highly aware drivers arent going to see more than a few cars back in slow moving bumper to bumper traffic. So even if the driver had looked before trying to change lanes, he might not have seen me.

At the delta I was travelling, there was no way I could come to a stop or avoid the collision when I recognized what was happening a few car lengths ahead of me. There was no out other than trying slow before impact. I rolled into the rear corner of the car doing a stoppy, flew over his trunk at impact, and into the rear window.

My take away from my own crash was.... no matter how skilled or experienced a rider you are, splitting at high delta speeds is merely a crapshoot or luck. Had I been riding at closer to the "guideline" I may have been able to brake to a complete stop or at worst had a light love tap with the cars rear fender.

Just my experience, others may vary, take it with a grain of salt.
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Old 10-01-2017, 09:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budman View Post
Just physics.

The big delta is the key to calamity. Sometimes that is the difference between other vehicles in lane 1 & 2. One of the most dangerous times IMO.

The 10-15 delta makes perfect sense, but when lane 1 is going 40 and 2 is going 5mph the delta can be a quiet killer. Road smarts are earned.
When 1 is going 40 and 2 is going nowhere near the speed of 1, I'll suck it up and just ride at 40. I have a good buddy who will split at any delta and it fucking worries me.
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