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Old 04-08-2009, 02:14 PM   #46
sliverstorm
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Originally Posted by Cheyenne View Post
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After all, once you've slowed down, you get to accelerate again, so no harm done, right? ...
Brilliant! I don't mind slowing myself, but that's a great way to put it to convince the stalwarts
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:33 PM   #47
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I'm a big advocate of being seen. All my jackets are red, white, black, and reflective. This seems to increase my visibility. However, I recently wore my mesh jacket that's mostly black in the front with red on the sides. I was pulled in front of (right of way violated) FOUR times in one day. That comes from about 5 months of zero violations of my right of way with my other two jackets. That dramatic increase could not have been attributed simply to chance. I'm not so sure I'll ever wear that jacket again.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:56 PM   #48
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I'm a big advocate of being seen. All my jackets are red, white, black, and reflective. This seems to increase my visibility. However, I recently wore my mesh jacket that's mostly black in the front with red on the sides. I was pulled in front of (right of way violated) FOUR times in one day. That comes from about 5 months of zero violations of my right of way with my other two jackets. That dramatic increase could not have been attributed simply to chance. I'm not so sure I'll ever wear that jacket again.
This is a picture from a review on ADVRider of the suit that I wear:



I don't get many people drifting into my lane.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:42 PM   #49
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My whole bike is close to that color (Kawi Green).

One day while I was gassing up at a station, a lady got out of her SUV and came over.

Said.... I like that color, I can see it coming....


Since then I've added some Fluorescent Orange to contrast with the Green, and look trick as well
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:07 PM   #50
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I flash my headlight off and on if I think there is any chance of an "incident", and slow down as well.
I do the same - flash the brights, weave a little, and honk on the horn if the driver appears to be looking the other direction. Making sure we have enough time to do these means slowing down around traffic. Great post, OP!
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:00 PM   #51
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In an earlier post in this thread, See and Be Seen--Part III, I wrote:
In Palo Alto, a motorcyclist tried to bypass stopped traffic on University Avenue by riding in the bicycle lane. Again, a driver opened a gap for an oncoming left-turner, who collided with the motorcyclist. This kind of crash can also happen while splitting lanes in city traffic. When stopped traffic leaves an intersection open (as the law requires), a lane-splitter who pops out suddenly from between the stopped lanes can be flattened by a crossing vehicle whose driver didn't see the rider until it was too late.
A nearly identical crash appeared in the news today from Tampa, FL:
Motorcyclist critically injured after driving in bicycle lane

A 24-year-old Spring Hill man was in critical condition today after authorities said he wrecked while driving his motorcycle in a bicycle lane on Fletcher Avenue.

[The rider was on] his 2006 Suzuki just before 3:30 p.m. when he started driving in the bicycle lane after he saw a line of cars stopped near Avalon Heights Boulevard, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Meanwhile, [a driver] was stopped on Fletcher Avenue, waiting to make a left turn onto Avalon. When a gap opened in traffic, [the driver] turned onto Avalon, and [the] motorcycle hit the front corner of the SUV.
Once again, we see how motorcycle hit by left-turner isn't always as straightforward as the simplest description makes it seem.

As I wrote in the earlier post: "You're a cheetah in a herd of hippos. Sure, you're faster than they are, but speed isn't going to save you when you're surrounded." You're also smaller than they are, and able to fit into narrow spaces. But when you do, you put yourself where you're not expected to be. So it's up to you to look out for them, because they sure aren't going to see you.
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:30 PM   #52
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When you're facing the threat of another vehicle attempting to cross your path, your #1 priority is dealing with the threat. (Though I suppose there are cases where another threat is more immediate. Any examples?)

If you've read this thread, you know pretty much what I think the proper tactics are for dealing with a left-turner:
  1. Position yourself to best see the threat.
  2. Use position and speed to make it as easy as possible for the threat to see you. This is no guarantee, but it solves the problem 9 times out of 10.
  3. Cover the brake, slow down, and move away from the threat to improve your chances of avoiding a crash if the vehicle does turn.
A Louisiana rider was killed yesterday when he chose the wrong time to pass another vehicle, ignoring the immediate threat he faced from a left-turner.
The rider was traveling east on Hooper Road at 6:30 p.m., and the pickup was headed west on Hooper Road.

Witnesses at the scene said the pickup driver attempted to turn left into a private drive as the motorcycle moved into the right eastbound lane of Hooper Road in an attempt to pass another eastbound vehicle.

The motorcycle hit the right side of the pickup in the right eastbound lane.
As the motorcycle was passing, the view between the pickup driver and rider would have been blocked by the vehicle being passed, so neither could see the other clearly. While the passed vehicle was far enough away for the pickup to turn safely, the motorcycle's speed made it a threat the driver didn't perceive. He couldn't judge the motorcycle's speed because the view was blocked and it was accelerating. And, the rider's speed made it much more difficult to avoid a crash once the incursion happened.

Mind your priorities. The pass can wait until you've resolved the immediate threat.
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Old 04-04-2010, 05:59 PM   #53
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Plan B

"See and be seen" doesn't always work. But you can still avoid a crash if you've prepared for an incursion by putting yourself out of reach of the vehicle threatening to pull out in front of you.

When threatened by a car about to turn left in front of you, Plan A is to see and be seen--make sure you have a clear view to the other vehicle, and give its driver the best opportunity to see you. This usually prevents an incursion, but a truly clueless driver could still pull out in front of you. At that point you might think your best chance is a lucky impact and good protective gear. Not to disparage the value of luck and gear, but you still may be able to avoid the crash. Enter Plan B.

Zones of defense

Approaching an intersection where a vehicle waits to cross your path, but still some distance away, you are in a safe area. If it begins to turn, you can avoid a crash by applying the brakes. Call this the "braking zone". Much closer to the intersection you enter another safe area. Here a collision is impossible because your speed will carry you through before the car can reach you, since it must accelerate from a dead stop. Call this the "pass-thru zone". Between those two zones is where you are in danger. Call this the "vulnerable zone". If the car begins to move when you're here, you can't stop before reaching the collision point and you can't clear the intersection ahead of the car. The strategy behind Plan B is to reduce or eliminate the vulnerable zone.

The braking zone is determined by your speed, your reaction, and your braking skill. Going slower, reacting quicker, and braking more effectively enable you to get closer to the intersection and still be able to brake to a stop before reaching the collision point.

The pass-thru zone is determined by your speed, the other vehicle's acceleration, and its distance from the collision point. The farther it is laterally from your path, the longer it will take to reach the collision point, and the farther you can be from the intersection and still be able to cross ahead of it.

Significantly, the pass-thru zone grows as you move laterally away from the threatening vehicle while the braking zone remains at the same distance regardless of your lateral position. So by moving away from the threat, the vulnerable zone shrinks--sometimes to nothing. This was discovered by James Ouellet, one of Hurt's collaborators, who called it:
A ridiculously simple collision avoidance strategy: When faced with a potential right-of-way threat ahead, the motorcycle rider should move away laterally from the threat. That is, move to the right for a left-turning car or one crossing from the left. Or, move to the left for a car threatening from the right.
Plan B for the 1Rider A-Team

So here it is, Plan B. Execute it along with Plan A. Use position and speed to see and be seen, but also prepare for not being seen.
  1. Practice braking. You don't need MotoGP skill to ride safely on the street, but you do need to be able to apply the brakes quickly, smoothly, and confidently in an emergency without locking them up. Less braking distance results in less exposure.

  2. Cover the brake. This is the easiest adjustment you can make to reduce vulnerability when another vehicle threatens to cross your path. You decrease reaction time by a half-second or so because you don't have to move your fingers from the throttle to the brake, and that's a half-second less exposure.

  3. Slow down by 10. That's how David Hough puts it in Proficient Motorcycling. Because stopping distance decreases a lot with a small drop in speed, slowing down by even 10mph will reduce your exposure.

  4. Move away from the threat. Shift one lane to the right when facing an oncoming left-turner or one lane to the left when a vehicle is crossing from the right--or even just the width of your own lane if that's all that's available. This will add as much as 1 second to the car's time of arrival at the collision point, and that's 1 second farther away you can be and still be able to cross ahead of it.

By simultaneously trying to make yourself seen by the other driver and putting yourself out of reach in case he doesn't see you, you've got most bases covered.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:52 AM   #54
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See and Be Seen--Part III (continued)

In post #26 of this thread, "See and Be Seen--Part III", I described the danger of riding next to a lane of stopped traffic with a gap that permits a vehicle to cross your path. In the Training thread 30 second video: Identify the impending hazard? bmer97 links this video, which illustrates the situation far better than words can:



youtu.be/<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/M4sSaj4jF4Y&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/M4sSaj4jF4Y&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>


In my earlier post, I recommended tactics for riding next to slow traffic to protect yourself from an unseen threat crossing through a gap:
  • Keep the speed difference down.

  • Create a space cushion between you and the slower traffic.

  • Look beyond the adjacent lane to anticipate incursions.
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:33 PM   #55
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Obstructed sightline--another variation

The description, "motorcycle collides with left-turning vehicle", often oversimplifies a crash for which it isn't quite as easy to assign responsibility as it first seems. The apparent culprit, a clueless cager who is presumed to have been yakking on the phone or noshing on a Big Mac, is sometimes even an innocent victim.

For example, look at a recent crash in South Carolina. A rider is westbound (away from the Google camera van in the pic below), using the median to pass slower westbound traffic. At the intersection ahead, an SUV pulls out to turn left from where the dark car is seen stopped in the photo. Because the motorcycle is initially hidden by other westbound cars--and because the driver doesn't expect to see someone driving in the median--she pulls out in front of the motorcycle, the motorcycle hits the SUV, and the rider is killed.

Click image for larger version

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If your early training was like mine, you got the impression that a typical bike-vs-left-turner crash occurs with the motorcycle in full view of the driver, but is unseen due to distraction or carelessness. If that were true, conspicuity measures such as bright clothing and headlight modulators would be the most important preventive tactics to adopt.

But, in fact, many of these crashes happen because the driver and rider couldn't see each other until the collision was inevitable. Terrain, trees and shrubbery, or, as in this example, other vehicles blocked the line of sight. And that changes the tactics a rider must adopt. While conspicuity measures are important, this thread advocates a primary strategy of see and be seen: Make sure you can clearly see vehicles that may threaten you. And, adjust position and speed to make yourself visible to other drivers.
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Last edited by DataDan; 07-01-2011 at 10:38 AM.. Reason: experimenting with the attach tag
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Old 06-19-2010, 04:37 PM   #56
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Nice thread.

Here are some tips:
1. Modulating Headlight in traffic increases visibility along with hi-vis helmet/gear.
2. Always cover your front brake
3. Assume the oncoming traffic will cross in front of you, even if they see you!
4. Ride at a speed where you can stop if the worst happens.
5. Newbies: travel along grease/oil free zones of your lane.
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:21 AM   #57
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in this video, where do you "recommend" riding? looking at this. in this coming up to the "intersection" i would ride on the left like this guy did. avoiding someone who wants to get in the open lane, and going up to the SUV pulling out catches my eye as a possible " 2 lane turner"

and in thsi situation my height(to see over cars) would not come into play. i am not even sure the honda was in the left lane when they made that turn, it may have been in the right lane.

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Old 06-20-2010, 07:13 AM   #58
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in this video, where do you "recommend" riding? looking at this. in this coming up to the "intersection" i would ride on the left like this guy did. avoiding someone who wants to get in the open lane, and going up to the SUV pulling out catches my eye as a possible " 2 lane turner"

and in thsi situation my height(to see over cars) would not come into play. i am not even sure the honda was in the left lane when they made that turn, it may have been in the right lane.
I think the Honda that turned in front of the motorcycle started from the left lane. Because the center turn lane had been packed solid, the driver couldn't get in to make the turn. Only when traffic began to move and one driver left a gap was the Honda able to cross.

In this situation I would be in the center of the lane. Because an incursion could come from either side, I would just slow down (as the rider in the video did) and stay in the middle to get best view possible (which isn't very good in any case) to potential threats from both left and right.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:47 PM   #59
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The thing about that video as opposed to what I mostly fear with left-turners; it's not that the car didn't see the motorcyclist. It's actually the exact opposite. The problem was that the car driver couldn't see the motorcyclist. That scenario could just as easily have been a 2 car accident as a 1 car 1 motorcycle accident.

In a situation like that you do everything mentioned above. But it's different from when you're alone in a lane, clear line of sight, and a car wants to turn left in front of you.
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:00 AM   #60
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Also, be careful of large cars parked immediately on your right before an intersection. You wont be able to see the left turner, and the left turner will not be able to see you. Most left turners will just pull on the presumption that what they can not see will not harm them.
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