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Old 11-05-2020, 01:29 PM   #1
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couple notes on my crash

I recently had my first moto crash. I somehow escaped any serious injury after broadsiding a car and flying ~50-100 feet.

A left turner pulled out from a side road across my path. He was trying to piggyback behind another car in front of him who barely cleared me; that one probably saw me but the second one probably didn't have a clear view and just glanced at the cars behind me.

One factor here was that I was a little bit distracted from having filtered at the previous light and paying attention to a slightly aggressive car. I don't think I've ever consciously thought about this distraction aspect of filtering so that's one thing I thought I could remind people about here.

But I think a more fundamental issue was not ensuring that I was in the right mindset when setting out that day. Filtering on this kind of road with side streets and such was never going to matter... there were no fun curves, no point in trying to do anything here except chill and cruise.

The other small advice I am thinking about is composing your mind before a ride (or drive). You may be distracted or impatient. Going through a specific checklist before riding has not been a ritual for me. If I had a "mental check" on such a list I think I probably would not have crashed there.

Just taking a moment to focus and prioritize in general may help, but since left turners are so common it may also make sense to specifically think about that before every ride and in a more general way. I mean not only looking out for specific left turners but remembering that they are more likely on certain kinds of roads.

And the third thing I'll mention is that those roads are likely to be near your house where you may have a false sense of confidence.

Oh and about gear: A* textile non-mesh jacket kind of did the job but I got small spots of road rash where holes wore through. I didn't expect that at this speed and will stick with leather. I was in casual jeans which allowed a bruised knee and scrapes. Gauntlet gloves and A* SMX boots were perfect.

Adding a couple other thoughts: I didn't use high beams and will consider it, but I don't think it would have mattered here. One other thought is I stayed upright when I hit the car which helped me launch over it instead of into it. I did have ABS which may have helped although I barely had time to brake at all. I was still lucky not to go into a lamp post or the curb.

Last edited by unhinged; 11-05-2020 at 01:58 PM.. Reason: add the gear bit
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Old 11-05-2020, 02:02 PM   #2
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Minor injuries with flight... lucky!

I assume this was daylight and the high beam thing was for additional safety.

You mentioned the textile jacket had some holes, but you did not estimate your speed. Always interested in feedback on textiles in crashes.

Glad you are alright.
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Old 11-05-2020, 02:27 PM   #3
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Minor injuries with flight... lucky!

I assume this was daylight and the high beam thing was for additional safety.

You mentioned the textile jacket had some holes, but you did not estimate your speed. Always interested in feedback on textiles in crashes.

Glad you are alright.
Thanks. Yeah this was broad daylight. The speed limit was 40 mph. I don't want to discuss my case too much but it was obviously too high for "assume they're trying to kill you". But I also feel like I wouldn't trust the textile at freeway speeds. The small rashes I did get are maybe no big deal, but I don't the textile was much more convenient than my leather. This was a A* GP Plus R and has a pretty light/thin feel to it. (If it didn't, then even less reason to pick it.)

I had switched this year to a less-visible helmet, so I'm going to switch back to a high viz. The RF-1200 did its job.

Last edited by unhinged; 11-05-2020 at 02:35 PM..
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Old 11-05-2020, 02:32 PM   #4
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Depending on how recent you might still have injuries and soreness that haven’t come to the surface - a landing and slide...damn glad you’re not seriously hurt or worse. Good analysis - I personally do a walk around ritual - check all the lights, look for anything amiss (and also put myself in “I’m riding” mode). Never ride angry or fatigued given the choice.
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Old 11-05-2020, 02:40 PM   #5
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Depending on how recent you might still have injuries and soreness that haven’t come to the surface - a landing and slide...damn glad you’re not seriously hurt or worse. Good analysis - I personally do a walk around ritual - check all the lights, look for anything amiss (and also put myself in “I’m riding” mode). Never ride angry or fatigued given the choice.
Yeah... nothing broke and I didn't get worse the next day, but I was a little worried about my knee. I am 99% sure I didn't black out but may have had a bit of brain spin/shaking. I do have random flashbacks of being a human missile.

Oh and I'll probably never wear regular jeans again, at least not without forcing myself to ride like a bicycle.
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Old 11-05-2020, 03:51 PM   #6
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I think Statistics say that most accidents happen within 5 miles of your residence.

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Old 11-05-2020, 03:52 PM   #7
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Well, not necessarily YOUR residence. Don't want you getting blamed for accidents near by. Lol

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Old 11-05-2020, 04:00 PM   #8
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Glad you're OK!

I'd say that the crash was likely because of the filtering/aggressive car situation. I notice that whenever I have a close call/interaction/whatever, another always seems to follow! That's too often to be coincidence, at least for me. My guess is that you were little distracted and on familiar territory, so you had your guard down. We all do it. You just got unlucky.
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Old 11-05-2020, 04:17 PM   #9
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So if the exact same situation presented itself again, would you be able to avoid crashing into the car next time?

You said the car pulled out from a side road. Was it on the left or the right?

When I'm riding, I'm watching for anybody who can invade my space and if they're moving I'm hitting the brakes. If they're stopped at the side getting ready to cross my path, I look at the front wheels. If they're rotating even the tiniest bit then the car is a threat and I don't give them the chance to cross my path. I've written a bit about this sometime in the past year or two.

I still wear textile more often than leather, and I know that it is more likely to wear through in one or two spots. The last time I crashed (2003) there was about four square inches at my hip that ended up with some road rash due to wear-through of my First Gear textile riding pants (over Levi's). Everything else was covered in leather, which held up well.
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Old 11-05-2020, 04:36 PM   #10
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Glad you are relatively OK!!!!

I agree about mental stuff. I know a lot of people ride to clear their mind. When I am riding, my mind is already clear. If I feel my mind is wandering, I will say "I am on the bike" a few times, and I will focus on the feel of the bike, the seat, the air, the sounds, etc. .

. . . and that grounds me in the present.

Another thing I do is shake out my arms and shoulders and head from time to time to make sure I am not tensing up. Just that action is also centering.

Another thing I do, and you probably do this too is I don't look at any one thing. And this one is hard to put into words, but I try to sense movement that is not normal or expected.

I have serious PTSD for certain reasons. It's normally a drawback, but for motorcycle riding - it's really helped me because I am hyper aware of everything around me.
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Old 11-05-2020, 05:06 PM   #11
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I guess I should reiterate I think the most direct “cause” was this guy recklessly driving. What I saw was suddenly a train of two cars pulling straight across my path from the right, like the second one was attached to the first. That one never slowed to look and I can tell his view was partly blocked by hedges/tree, esp. to #1 lane.

So the high beams/hi viz comments are probably irrelevant to this case. There may have been some sun glare behind me.

What I think could have been different was riding slower and with other cars instead of “beating them” in this kind of road. I was probably faster than I would have been because I let a car affect my riding for the conditions. But the whole thing kind of starts with my mental state. The car had nothing to lose and there was nothing to win. I also ignored a vague subconscious discomfort at the filtering.

It could still have happened. I don’t know if I would have slowed significantly just because a car was sitting there.

I feel like I was inches from death on this so kind of beating myself up. I did get a bit of neck soreness which hopefully is nothing.
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Old 11-05-2020, 06:18 PM   #12
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Now would be a great time to get the book Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough, and study it carefully. He goes over a bunch of scenarios where people have crashed and explains how to avoid crashing yourself in similar circumstances. After your experience you should be more receptive to the lessons that the book teaches. That book has done more to make me a safer rider than any other, and I've read more than half a dozen books on the subject.
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Old 11-06-2020, 04:54 PM   #13
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Now would be a great time to get the book Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough, and study it carefully. He goes over a bunch of scenarios where people have crashed and explains how to avoid crashing yourself in similar circumstances. After your experience you should be more receptive to the lessons that the book teaches. That book has done more to make me a safer rider than any other, and I've read more than half a dozen books on the subject.
+1 on that book!!!

Also - even though I have had accidents that were clearly the other person's fault, I still mentally think about what I could have done differently. That beings the locus of control back to me. In other words, by thinking that way - I get more control over my own reality.

I once met a person who had been in multiple car accidents. Sometimes they would even get in two car accidents on the same trip! It was some large number. Every accident was the "other person's fault."

By thinking this way - they (1) were not willing to be introspective, and (2) gave up control over their own reality.

They also had a lot of other life problems, with each problem being "the other person's fault."

Meeting that person taught me to own my problems. My problems are my fault. Even if I don't directly cause them, I can learn from them, and learn how to avoid them in the future.
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Old 11-10-2020, 01:45 PM   #14
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I recently had my first moto crash. I somehow escaped any serious injury after broadsiding a car and flying ~50-100 feet..
First of all, glad you’re ok. Sounds like quite a scary one.

Second, kudos to you for calling it what it is: a crash! That means you accept your part in the thing happening, and you (hopefully) understand why calling it an accident is not helpful.

And last, great job posting up about it and working on identifying what went wrong, and some strategies to prevent it happening in the future. Great stuff!

One question I had as I was trying to envision what happened was what size road was this? You said you were filtering - so splitting lanes on a four lane road, between two lanes of vehicles that were all going in same direction?
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:39 PM   #15
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One question I had as I was trying to envision what happened was what size road was this? You said you were filtering - so splitting lanes on a four lane road, between two lanes of vehicles that were all going in same direction?
It's a divided road with three lanes per side plus turning lanes. The filtering was moving up to a red light between cars in the #1 and #2 lanes at the last intersection. The crash was at the next road with no light, but a break in the center divider.

Sorry I didn't lay out all the detail, I'll come back eventually with the google maps and such.

It seems I did get a concussion. The side of the head where I hit the ground first felt wonky for several days, feeling the brain inside the skull, but seems to be subsiding. (I have a doctor.) I ended up ~100 feet down the road from the intersection but I don't know how much of that was in the air or on the ground.

It's hard to recall all the details. I probably got on the brakes from the first car cutting it close. I ripped the rear bumper off the second car which probably helped with the impact and means it was a near escape. I don't think I made steering inputs (and don't think there was a place to go). I don't recall ABS pulsing.
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