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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks:

I've been riding about 2.5 years now and had my first near accident yesterday. Country road, clear conditions, two lane road, 55 mph. A pickup truck coming from the other direction suddenly and without signal turned across my lane to go into a private driveway and I almost T-boned him.

It was absurd that he turned at that time. I don't know how I stopped in time without hitting him and without going down. I saw him staring at his cell phone as he completed the turn -- it was in his right hand that was on the steering wheel. The only explanation I have that he would make that turn is that he didn't see me (which is nuts -- I ride a Chieftain (fairly big bike) and always have all three of my front lights on) because he was glued to his phone.

I'm simultaneously angry, shaken, grateful, and more humble and aware.

I'm not saying anything you don't know, but the scary thing is there is nothing any of us can do to prevent idiots like this from driving like this; we just have to be vigilant. (Maybe there are small things I can do to improve visibility; my dad used to ride BMWs for years and wore florescent safety vests). I'm going for a ride this morning to try to prevent getting "afraid of the ball" to use an old little league baseball expression.

I love riding and need it as a release but something like this puts a whole lot of things into focus. I don't know what I expect any of you to write back...how do you shake off something like that? Does it make you consider giving up riding (which I don't want to do)? Would love you hear from some of you folks who have been riding awhile and have perspective on something like this...

Thank you. Ride safely.
 

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Unfortunately there is nothing you can do but be aware and drive safely yourself. Not long ago I had a guy at an intersection (he had a stop sign I did not) he looked dead at me then slowly pull out into my lane to make a left into a long line of stopped traffic that he could not merge into, so his car is in my lane. I just went around him and kept going. Fortunately I saw exactly what he was going to do, so I had time to react.
 

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Took you 2.5 years to encounter a deadly left turner? At least you were able to avoid contact. But...., it will happen again. How fast were you running? The only defense for this type of situation I know of is to ride slower. Of course, if you were already riding pretty slow then there isn't anything else I can suggest--just stay alert and be prepared.
 

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This may sound kind of ignorant and I apologize in advance because it is not meant that way. If that is how you feel after one close call, you probably shouldn't be riding. It's going to happen time and time again. By nature, what we do is more dangerous then some other modes of transportation. Hell, I have close calls in my car all the time too, I don't consider not driving! I don't even give close calls a second thought. You can't. I've been riding for over 40 years, you will have many close calls and you will learn from each one of them. First thing you need to learn, is to expect the unexpected. If there is a car coming at you and there is a place to turn, assume they are going to turn and act appropriately. That's all you can do.

Rob
 

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It sounds like you did exactly what needed to be done. I’m on a Roadmaster so the same front visibility as your Chieftan. I’ve been turned in to, switched lanes on, opposite direction passing cars forcing me onto the shoulder so many times. I also ride with all my lights on and I have extra lights up front.

People just aren’t wired to look for motorcycles. Generally it’s truly an accident so there’s no point in getting upset. I’ve had a guy intentionally drive like an asshole and nearly hit me several times even after I put distance between him and I. That got my blood boiling.

You can accessorize your bike by adding an air horn and lights and wear brightly colored gear to make sure you’re more visible. You still have to ride defensively and keep your mind in the game.

As far as giving up riding… never. It is a part of my life to the point where I can’t imagine me not riding. Just like a poster above said that we don’t give up driving when we have a close call, why would you quit riding?
 

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Hi glad you came out of it unscathed but I have to agree with KYJoe chances are it will happen again I got brought down by a taxi not looking when he was turning and I have been riding defensively ever since leaving bigger gaps and treating everyone like they are trying to knock me off . As for hi-vis jackets etc if they can't see a 40 foot articulated truck on the highway chances are they won't see a green vest, enjoy your ride at the speed you feel comfortable with and stay safe.
 

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Just this September my wife and I were riding Logan Pass in Utah and came around a curve in the road, a definite 'No Passing" for either direction portion of the road and some a&&hole was fully in my lane passing a car. I moved to the white line of the road and had about 6" of pavement left just to avoid an impact, I think the truck following this guy honked I guess so I wouldn't have to. Had I been a car or truck we would have had a head on as he was still in my lane as we passed one another.
As others have posted, you always have to ride defensively, the idiots are everywhere. As I was told years ago, " Ride like you're invisible and have no rights".
Don't let this get you down and try not to let this scare you off riding but sadly it will happen again.
 

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Folks:

I've been riding about 2.5 years now and had my first near accident yesterday. Country road, clear conditions, two lane road, 55 mph. A pickup truck coming from the other direction suddenly and without signal turned across my lane to go into a private driveway and I almost T-boned him.

It was absurd that he turned at that time. I don't know how I stopped in time without hitting him and without going down. I saw him staring at his cell phone as he completed the turn -- it was in his right hand that was on the steering wheel. The only explanation I have that he would make that turn is that he didn't see me (which is nuts -- I ride a Chieftain (fairly big bike) and always have all three of my front lights on) because he was glued to his phone.

I'm simultaneously angry, shaken, grateful, and more humble and aware.

I'm not saying anything you don't know, but the scary thing is there is nothing any of us can do to prevent idiots like this from driving like this; we just have to be vigilant. (Maybe there are small things I can do to improve visibility; my dad used to ride BMWs for years and wore florescent safety vests). I'm going for a ride this morning to try to prevent getting "afraid of the ball" to use an old little league baseball expression.

I love riding and need it as a release but something like this puts a whole lot of things into focus. I don't know what I expect any of you to write back...how do you shake off something like that? Does it make you consider giving up riding (which I don't want to do)? Would love you hear from some of you folks who have been riding awhile and have perspective on something like this...

Thank you. Ride safely.
Go to custom dynamics and get TrueBeam lights(headlight+Driving) $800, Super spot LED Haigway Bar lights $400 and True beam directional $200. Eveyone will see you coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All good advice. I appreciate you guys chiming in. You're right...this part of riding and will happen again, to all of us, and the best we can do is minimize the risk.
 

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Folks:

I've been riding about 2.5 years now and had my first near accident yesterday. Country road, clear conditions, two lane road, 55 mph. A pickup truck coming from the other direction suddenly and without signal turned across my lane to go into a private driveway and I almost T-boned him.

It was absurd that he turned at that time. I don't know how I stopped in time without hitting him and without going down. I saw him staring at his cell phone as he completed the turn -- it was in his right hand that was on the steering wheel. The only explanation I have that he would make that turn is that he didn't see me (which is nuts -- I ride a Chieftain (fairly big bike) and always have all three of my front lights on) because he was glued to his phone.

I'm simultaneously angry, shaken, grateful, and more humble and aware.

I'm not saying anything you don't know, but the scary thing is there is nothing any of us can do to prevent idiots like this from driving like this; we just have to be vigilant. (Maybe there are small things I can do to improve visibility; my dad used to ride BMWs for years and wore florescent safety vests). I'm going for a ride this morning to try to prevent getting "afraid of the ball" to use an old little league baseball expression.

I love riding and need it as a release but something like this puts a whole lot of things into focus. I don't know what I expect any of you to write back...how do you shake off something like that? Does it make you consider giving up riding (which I don't want to do)? Would love you hear from some of you folks who have been riding awhile and have perspective on something like this...

Thank you. Ride safely.
I ride with 2 primary rules that have helped me survive over 55 years of riding.
1. When riding, I am invisible to others.
2. If they do see me, they will try something stupid to kill me.
 

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I've said for years there's an epidemic of stupidity in America. Probably all around the world due to "technology". Cell phones are great but also deadly in the hands of an idiot. Kind of like firearms. You have to expect stupid people to to the wrong thing when riding. It's the only way to survive. It's gotten to where I hate to even attend a concert because of all the morons with their stupid "smart phones" holding them up making videos. Totally ruins it for everybody who just wants to watch the dang show! OK.....rant over :)
 

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Folks:

I've been riding about 2.5 years now and had my first near accident yesterday. Country road, clear conditions, two lane road, 55 mph. A pickup truck coming from the other direction suddenly and without signal turned across my lane to go into a private driveway and I almost T-boned him.

It was absurd that he turned at that time. I don't know how I stopped in time without hitting him and without going down. I saw him staring at his cell phone as he completed the turn -- it was in his right hand that was on the steering wheel. The only explanation I have that he would make that turn is that he didn't see me (which is nuts -- I ride a Chieftain (fairly big bike) and always have all three of my front lights on) because he was glued to his phone.

I'm simultaneously angry, shaken, grateful, and more humble and aware.

I'm not saying anything you don't know, but the scary thing is there is nothing any of us can do to prevent idiots like this from driving like this; we just have to be vigilant. (Maybe there are small things I can do to improve visibility; my dad used to ride BMWs for years and wore florescent safety vests). I'm going for a ride this morning to try to prevent getting "afraid of the ball" to use an old little league baseball expression.

I love riding and need it as a release but something like this puts a whole lot of things into focus. I don't know what I expect any of you to write back...how do you shake off something like that? Does it make you consider giving up riding (which I don't want to do)? Would love you hear from some of you folks who have been riding awhile and have perspective on something like this...

Thank you. Ride safely.
Glad your alright,and survived to tell the tale!
I have been riding (on the street) for over 50 years,I have been fortunate to avoid many accidents..I have even been struck on my clutch lever by a mini van's door mirror who was coming at me head on in my lane! It was a woman who apparently was distracted by something and she kept coming farther and farther into my lane,and I keep moving to my right,flicking high beam,low beam switch to catch her attention.I was leading 11 other bikes that day,and most behind me had to move right to avoid her.I didnt turn around and catch her-not sure what I would've said or done at that moment as I was carrying...Everyone was surprised how calm I was during and after the event.I just said shrugged it off and said cooler heads prevail.
 

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@Miki6
Getting 2.5 yrs under your belt before encountering your first Oh $hit moment, is probably bad because, in my opinion, it leads a new rider to a certain level of laxness. I guarantee you will be hyper vigilent now.
My first time was about '75. There have been a few more since. The most recent was last weekend when a deer I didn't see made a mad dash across the country road in front of me. My riding buddy later looked over at me at a red light and asked "Do you need stop?" The next day, I will be damned if another one didn't do the same thing. But, I saw him first. So, no biggie.
My wife's initiation was a less than a year into riding, when a US Mail truck pulled out in front of her. I thought it was going to be a mess, but she managed to dodge around the back bumper. Lucky for her, the guy in big 4WD truck behind the Mail truck saw it coming and stopped giving her an out. It took several discussions over the following weeks to get her nerves under control.

Today, we both agree, it is amazing how much detail a rider's brain can process in a matter of milliseconds. At an intersection - how many cars? Are they stopped? Can you see the lug nuts moving? Which way are the wheels pointing? Do you see the driver's eyes? Are those eyes looking at you? Are they focused? Is their a phone present? Is the road wet? Is there a bunch of gravel in the intersection? On, and on.
 

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I've had several such events over the 51 years of riding motorcycles. I must admit antilock brakes have been the best thing to come along since disc brakes. It used to be very common to lock up the rear wheel in a panic stop situation with the bike getting sideways. I have to say that drivers have gotten worse and the bad ones more plentiful than back in the old days.
 

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"Today, we both agree, it is amazing how much detail a rider's brain can process in a matter of milliseconds. At an intersection - how many cars? Are they stopped? Can you see the lug nuts moving? Which way are the wheels pointing? Do you see the driver's eyes? Are those eyes looking at you? Are they focused? Is their a phone present? Is the road wet? Is there a bunch of gravel in the intersection? On, and on."

^^^That right there^^^ That's exactly the way you need to be thinking and looking when riding a MC. The more aware you are of your surroundings the better off you will be. Being aware of your surroundings will eventually be 2nd nature, or should be, kind of like muscle memory for the brain. For me, having been on two wheels on and off for 50ish years it's automatic, even when driving my truck. Be safe...
 

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Glad it turned out ok. Most of us have been there.
I was stationed in the middle of LA. in 1974 and had a guy with a big Town and Country station wagon full of kids waiting to turn left, (he was in the opposite lane coming towards me) with his signal on and I thought we had both made eye contact.
I was doing about 45mph on a new 1974 Honda 750Four and when I got about 30 feet away from him he starts to turn. No way I was about to stop and I purposely layed it down. It just seemed like instinct or something but that's what I did. Well as you can guess his response was "I didn't see you!"
My headlight was on. Bright red helmet.
The bike ended up UNDER that station wagon (tore up his car pretty bad too) but nobody in the car got hurt. I got some road rash pretty bad, but I was young and it healed fast.
Since then when I approach a situation like that my mind is looking for a pre-determined escape route. If there are no viable escape routes I slow down to a speed where I know I can stop.
If that upsets the person waiting to turn left so be it.
Also drivers coming from side roads that seem to blitz stop signs really pisses me off because you then have to commit to the brake as you don't know if they are going to run it or if that's just the stupid way they drive.
When people come to a stop and look left and right their mind is looking for something 8 feet wide coming down that road ...we only make a slice a third of that size (I don't care if we have all lights going, bright red clothing, waving orange flags whatever) and sometimes we just really don't register in their mind. Especially in the daytime.
I think it is way more dangerous riding today simply because drivers have way more distractions (cell phones, texting etc.) both to the car drivers and US.
All the new things on our bikes can distract us easily. I know I have caught myself messing with the RC at times when I probably should have been more focused on the road so now I wait to make any changes to it when I am stopped.
I know a lot of you young cats (and kittens...lol) seem to think this is just an old guy talking and you have no problem multi-tasking as you ride (we all thought we were Superman back in the day too) but please take some advice from some of us old guys and lets all watch out for the dangers out there in this changed riding environment.
Live to ride another day!
 

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How you do you rationalize it? You don't. That shouldn't be your goal. You should learn from it.

First of all, recognize that there are no guarantees in life. None. There is no such thing as a safe activity. Even sitting on your couch - do it too much and you gain weight, get out of shape, and end up with a heart attack with a bag of cheetos sitting on your gut. So decide what makes you happy and do it. If you're like me, that's motorcycling, and you want to do it for as long as possible. So while you accept that some day the odds may just be stacked too heavily against you, you do your best to stack them in your favor.

I had a close call about a year and a half ago. Guy didn't see me, merged into my lane, I rode as far over as I could and braked as hard as I could. Stayed upright, no contact. What did I take away from that? Don't set yourself up to be pinched like that. Know the drivers' blinds spots and stay out of them. Watch for other cars that may do something that makes the cars nearest you adjust their plans.

Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute. You should be doing this during every yard you ride. Not every mile, every yard.

The lesson from your story? It's a known fact that vehicles turning left are one of the biggest hazards on the road. See someone who might be turning left, and pay extra attention to them. Slow down a bit just in case. Adjust your lane position so if they do make a dumb decision at the last minute, you've got as many options as possible.

That's what I take away from experiences like this.
 

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Don't let this get you down and try not to let this scare you off riding but sadly it will happen again.
This sums up what I was going to say. You are no longer a virgin ~~ and you are a bit wiser, a bit more alert, and a bunch more experienced. You will spend more milliseconds looking at oncoming drivers to read those signs that they are slowing, that they may be distracted by a cell phone, that their wheels may be turning.

You are a better, more experienced rider than you were. Which will help you thrive and enjoy this wonderful sport even more ~~ and survive.
 
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