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Old 01-28-2009, 07:34 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by 4tuneit1 View Post
I do the wiggle-swerve about 10-12 carlengths back from the left turner. As i approach i decrease the severity of the wiggle...and usually time it so that i have enough space to make any adjustment if he/she comes out with braking or emergency manuevering.


This method...works. More riders should be using it along with riding with high beam on during daylight, just dont get complacent.
Pardon me........but that's dumb. The only thing you said that makes sense is the high beam/complacency thing.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:00 PM   #32
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Pardon me........but that's dumb. The only thing you said that makes sense is the high beam/complacency thing.

How is it "dumb"? :| Next time use constructive criticism and expound on your thoughts about the technique or problems as you see, and refrain from making "dumb"ed down replies that helps NOBODY here but your own sense of enlightenment.

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Old 01-29-2009, 08:47 AM   #33
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I don't think a lot of riders are clear on the concept of "shaking" your bike.
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:17 AM   #34
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To repeat the advice given by the riding instructor in Bike:
I observed a smooth, gentle, single, zigzag motion, at any point along the line, created a rapid edge movement against the background and destroyed the motion camouflage. Drivers' eyes snapped towards me and they froze the movement I swept left to right and back again.
The action he's describing puts the motorcycle into motion across the driver's visual field, so it's not merely a stationary point in the background but a moving object that demands attention. It's not a rapid oscillation.

But this isn't something you can worry about once you get close enough that the vehicle is an immediate threat. At that point, forget about making yourself seen and worry about one thing: whether it's going to enter your path and force you to take emergency action. You have already moved laterally to put some space cushion between you and it. You've slowed down. And you're covering the brake. Now, watch the front wheel for rotation--which is easier to spot than the initial motion of the vehicle itself--and be ready to take evasive action.
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:50 PM   #35
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Another variation

A crash between a motorcycle and a left-turning vehicle is usually the fault of the driver involved. But to survive, a rider must be able to prevent crashes even when he has the legal right of way. And to prevent them, he must understand how they happen. Here's a slightly different variation on the left-turner crash that's worth remembering.

At the intersection seen in the attached pic, a motorcylist was westbound, turning right. As he entered northbound traffic, he collided with a vehicle turning eastbound to northbound.

The news article doesn't provide a lot of details, so it's unclear whether interference occurred when the right-turning rider drifted into the #1 lane or the left-turning driver drifted into the #2 lane. That could be an important distinction if a court case follows, but for the purpose of prevention, the lesson is simple: time your turn to avoid any potential conflict.

Assume that left-turning vehicles won't stay in the left lane, and approach the turn slowly enough that you have options. If you can complete the turn before opposing vehicles, do it. Make the turn and accelerate to stay out of the way. But if they're going to beat you to the northbound roadway, slow or even stop to let them complete the turn first. The one thing you don't want to do is to enter the northbound lanes at the same time as a left-turning vehicle.

When you read about a crash between a motorcycle and a left-turning car, the image that probably comes to mind is of a motorcycle going straight, in full view of an oncoming driver who turns left across the rider's path leaving him no time to take evasive action. And your reaction, naturally, is outrage. But that simple description applies to many different kinds of crashes, some nearly inevitable given the situation, but others easily preventable by the rider even if not his fault. The more you can learn about how these crashes occur, the better your chances of avoiding them.
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:37 PM   #36
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Last Sunday I rode at a good clip up Wildcat Canyon Rd. in the Berkeley hills. It was a marvelously sunny day, almost noonish, and the road was dry. As I rounded the bend that would take me past Inspiration Point, I slowed down. There's a parking lot on the right. And sure enough, I saw a silver Prius hesitate as it nosed towards WCR. The driver saw me coming, stopped for another second but then scooted right across the road and in front of me to make his left turn. As I braked within a foot or two of his driver's door, he smiled and threw up a wave.

I've his maneuver on video. But my VIO POV.1 110º wide angle lens doesn't give my actual viewing of the incident any justice.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:24 AM   #37
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I'm never on the gas as I approach an intersection. if there is a car in the opposite left turn lane I flash my high beams continuously (or alternate b/t high and low). I have yet had one person define that as a signal for them to go in front of me. I have ridden over 100k miles.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:09 PM   #38
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I don't really worry about being seen by other drivers. I just assume that nobody see's me and I ride accordingly. If you ride like everyone on the road is a blind idiot....it's pretty easy to stay out of trouble on a motorcycle. You can see better, acclerate faster, swerve quicker and fit through smaller spaces . Sure it might help if you take precations to be seen but staying focused and riding defensively is the key to being safe.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:50 PM   #39
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I don't really worry about being seen by other drivers. I just assume that nobody see's me and I ride accordingly.
I agree that the more important half of see and be seen is the see part.

If you're using speed and position to see potential threats before they can become actual threats, your actions will also make it easier to be seen. But whether they do see you or not is less important if you see them first. If they do see you, it's a bonus because there's less chance they'll cross your path, forcing you into an emergency maneuver.

The problem in many left-turn crashes isn't just that the driver doesn't see the motorcycle, it's also that the rider doesn't see the car. That's the case when terrain intervenes--cresting a hill to find that a car began a left turn before you could see it--and when a particularly large vehicle intervenes.

Many riding tactics serve both purposes.
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:25 PM   #40
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The horn isn't used as often or as widely in America as it is used overseas. +1 on horn usage...

Ride a moto in london and develop quickly or painfully... It's even worse in asiatic countries I bet
You are quite right ... there's non-stop horning in some Asian countries. It's the standard way of communicating presence. Here, many people consider horns to be rude in normal situations since they are hardly used.

OP - thanks for the post!

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Old 04-08-2009, 07:45 AM   #41
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(So far) I've had good luck with the following:

1) Highbeam on during the day.

2) Wiggle/swerve to attract attention.

3) Stay with same-direction cars through intersections/left-turn-situations where possible.

4) Remain cognizant of what oncoming traffic sees, especially in bad lighting situations; if I can see my shadow (sun behind me), I figure they can't see me.

5) Remember that everyone and everything is out there to kill me.

And I've still had folks left-turn me.

(Also, where I grew up flashing one's lights meant that you were giving the other driver the right-of-way, so I've never done that unless I meant to stop or yield.)
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:25 AM   #42
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(So far) I've had good luck with the following:

1) Highbeam on during the day.

2) Wiggle/swerve to attract attention.

3) Stay with same-direction cars through intersections/left-turn-situations where possible.

4) Remain cognizant of what oncoming traffic sees, especially in bad lighting situations; if I can see my shadow (sun behind me), I figure they can't see me.

5) Remember that everyone and everything is out there to kill me.

And I've still had folks left-turn me.


When someone turns in front of you in spite of your best efforts, it's still possible to prevent a crash by putting yourself out of reach. See the thread Crashproof. Cliff Notes version: Cover the brake, slow down, and put space cushion between yourself and the threat.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:31 AM   #43
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When someone turns in front of you in spite of your best efforts, it's still possible to prevent a crash by putting yourself out of reach. See the thread Crashproof. Cliff Notes version: Cover the brake, slow down, and put space cushion between yourself and the threat.

Exactly It's what you do to prevent the paths intersecting, the avoidance, that gets the job done that you can count on.

Flashing lights and horn honking and wiggles? Hey if it makes you feel it's effective. But... that's assuming the other vehicle's driver is somewhat rational and normal in attention span.

I saw a full sized fire truck coming down the street, All lights flashing, Horn blaring (anyone never hear those fire truck horns blare?), and yet a lady pulls out of a side street, right in front of this fire truck.

Anyone think their bike is more visable than a full sized fire truck?


If you as a biker, have the intense focus of attention to everything possible, to act on clues like the other vehicles wheel moves, and what the driver is doing with their eyes and head, and surface condition on the road. And the body moves your going to make to command your bikes path, I think it's safe to say you have a full plate, you don't have extra brain cells to work on Wiggle or honk. But... maybe you can prove me wrong
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:28 AM   #44
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The best way is to adjust your speed and position so you can avoid basically anything a car could do. Relying on visibility etc is not the way to go.

In the last week I've seen two incidents that go to show that you can't assume that people aren't just blind or stupid. In one, I was driving home and turning left on a green arrow, looking at a car that was indicating to turn right coming from the other direction (so we wanted the same lane). He had stopped, and I was driving a bright red SUV with headlights on, right in front of him. He of course waited until I was 20 feet from him before trying to turn right in front of me, then stopping in the intersection half way through his turn, forcing me and traffic behind me to stop in the intersection.

Really, just absolutely stupid.

A few days later, at the same intersection, I watched a woman make an illegal left turn in front of an AMBULANCE. There was no collision because ambulance drivers are trained to approach all intersections carefully assuming someone will do something stupid and often they're right.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:29 PM   #45
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The best way is to adjust your speed and position so you can avoid basically anything a car could do. Relying on visibility etc is not the way to go.
I would argue that action taken to see and be seen is "best" because when successful--i.e., when you ensure that you can see all potential threats and you make it as easy as possible for them to see you--it eliminates the need for an emergency maneuver to avoid a crash. Because maximum braking or swerving is a risk in itself, it's best that the incursion never occurs.

And it usually works. When position and speed give drivers who could threaten you an adequate view--clear enough and for a long enough time--they very seldom cross your path.

But when they do, you need to be prepared with speed and position that make it possible to evade the incursion. So, in that instance, tactics to make a crash avoidable with good emergency maneuvers become "best".

So you need both. Adopt see and be seen tactics to minimize incursions. But also adopt the Crashproof tactics to improve your chances of evading an incursion if it does occur. The former alone won't prevent all crashes, nor will the latter. And while employing both sets of tactics will prevent more crashes than either one alone, even that can't prevent all crashes, because some just can't be prevented.
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