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Senior Moment
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over and over again we hear of incidents where cars pull out in front of bikes. We know they do it, even though they shouldn't, so why do so many people ride like they are in a perfect world instead of expecting trouble?

At the risk of getting flamed (and this isn't aimed at anyone in particular), doesn't anyone think that we have some responsibility to avoid these sort of accidents rather than just blaming "idiot cagers"?

There are lots of factors that contribute to the problem:

Sometimes the car drivers may not look at all, but I suspect that's rare as most people have at least some sense of self preservation.

Often they may have a quick look but just not see a bike. Maybe because a bike is smaller than other vehicles, or coming up faster than expected, or hidden behind the car's A pillar.

Hi-viz and lights may give us the edge in some situations and are usfeul addition to our "armoury", but they can also give a false sense of security. We need to be constantly alert and notice junctions and driveways and modify our riding to suit.

If you can't see that a junction is clear, is it safe to assume that it is?
If you can see a car at a junction, is it safe to assume it's not going to pull out?
You've seen the car there, what can you do to be prepared if he does pull out?
On minor roads with lots of blind junctions, what is a safe speed?
Do you position youself on the road to give the best view for yourself and of yourself?

I haven't been riding long, but I'm not as invincible as I used to be and I take the risks pretty seriously. I have a young family, and that tends to focus the mind too. I've been watching other riders with interest this summer, and have repeatedly been appalled at the lack of thought and road sense that I've witnessed.

My view is that if we stopped blaming other people and took more responsibilty for our own safety then we'd all be a lot safer. I'm a great believer in not learning things the hard way (particularly on a bike!) and I reckon that a couple of days of "advanced" training would be a good investment for most riders.

Even that's not enough though.

Safety on a bike needs to start with the right attitude.

So what do you reckon?
 

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I will wash it I promise!
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2,022 Posts
fair point - and i think the more aware we are the better

still always good to whinge at others! :lol:

apparently it is something to do with shape recognition - people in cars look for things they percieve to be a threat i.e. big boxes (cars lorries) pedestrians and bikes and cycles seem to be ignored as not a threat!

harsh but all the better reason for us to keep a better lookout

after all it is our asses out there on the bikes!

Z

now someone go and answer my post about indicators!!!!!!!! :lol:
 

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Matron
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12,080 Posts
I would agree with you John, when I did a driving course with South Wales Police the first thing I was taught was to expect that other road users would do something unexpected, look ahead and anticipate hazards. Always expect the car at the junction to pull out and it won't be a surprise when it does. In fact the instructor told us that if you are involved in an accident the vast majority of the time you should take some responsibility.

It was one of the best courses I have done and I know I was in a car but the principles are transferrable to bikes. I think it is wise for any rider to undergo further advanced training.
 

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Gelände Straße
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Well said.

Like you say it's all very well blaming car drivers for not seeing us etc, but if you've left half your body attached to said car as you superman down the road in a shower of broken glass and sparks it's not really going to be much comfort that they were to blame.

I think anything we can do to improve our riding and protect ourselves further we should definitely do. I dont think any of us, no matter how long we've been riding should be complacent and feel that we can't learn more with each ride.

I've just been given the opportunity to go on a Bikesafe course through work and, while a lot of people gripe and moan about being told how to suck eggs by the Police (who are after all in many peoples eyes our arch enemy), I jumped at the chance. If I come away from that day 1% a better rider then it's time very well spent.

The fact is bikes are always going to be dangerous. After all, it's that buzz, that thrill that keeps us riding when we're all too aware of the dangers.

The responsibility for our own safety resides firmly with us, nobody else.
 

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Wing Commander
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According the judge at Bromley court I hit a motorcyclist in my car and it was not his fault. I was turning into a dedicated turning right lane when the motorcyclist, with no lights and wearing black leathers, came up the outside and overtook me about 10metres ahead of a right hand junction.
His foot hit my car, and did no damage (left black shoe polish on it). He veered across the road (luckily no oncoming traffic) and came to a stop.
The judge ruled that it didn't matter that he was not wearing a white helmet or hi-vis clothing, as recommended by the Highway Code and it didn't matter that he was crossing the white line chevrons when the Highway code says only to do so when it is safe. She also said it was Ok to overtake at right-hand turn junctions.
The judge ruled it was my fault and the total cost, including his solicitor who got half, was more than £7,000.
So no, there's absolutely no need for motorcyclist to take any precautions or behave sensibly, according to the law. Of course, if there had been anything coming in the opposite direction he'd be dead, so I ignore the judge, don't overtake at turnings, wear the right gear and behave sensibly. Many don't.
 

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If you assume all other road users are blind, deaf and stupid it's still surprising how many times they can do the unexpected.

I use these assumptions whether I am in a car, van or on a bike!

Only written off 2 vehicles and had one overnighter in hospital so far!

:cry:
 

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Need Constant Supervision
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I take particular care at junctions after being taken off my bike standing still at one :shock: Was filtering past stationary traffic and always slow or stop at junctions to make sure there is not cars coming from the sides. Came past this van and saw a woman pulling out of a junction on my left. I stopped with more than ample space for her to pass in front of me, she however was looking to her left for oncoming traffic and promptly drove into me whilst I was standing still in the correct lane well legal. I had no where to go and did the sensible thing by jumping of my foot pegs on impact diving onto her car bonnet leaving a nice big imprint of my 13,5 stone :lol:

Would you believe it that she tried to sue me for wreckless driving afterwards :!: :?: :!: The case got thrown out before it even started after I wrote a nice letter to her insurance with a copy of my witnesses on the scene stating that my back is starting to hurt and think my bike might be bend. Last time I heard anything from them. Had two close calls the last three years with cars making sudden right or u-turns in front of me. If traffic is stationary you need to take extra care because people get stressed and do stupid things.
 

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Maverick said:
I take particular care at junctions after being taken off my bike standing still at one :shock: Was filtering past stationary traffic and always slow or stop at junctions to make sure there is not cars coming from the sides. Came past this van and saw a woman pulling out of a junction on my left. I stopped with more than ample space for her to pass in front of me, she however was looking to her left for oncoming traffic and promptly drove into me whilst I was standing still in the correct lane well legal. I had no where to go and did the sensible thing by jumping of my foot pegs on impact diving onto her car bonnet leaving a nice big imprint of my 13,5 stone :lol:
quote]

I did exactly the same thing when I got whacked 2 years ago. Leaping off the pegs saved my legs being crushed by a car driven by a lady who didn't bother to signal a left turn. Said she just never got in the habit. Nice.

I just ride like every car driver is an idiot, out to get me or just plain careless. I also keep one eye on the car. the other on the driver. If I can't see his/her face looking in my direction, brakes are at the ready.
 

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Bloody furriner
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Maverick said:
If traffic is stationary you need to take extra care because people get stressed and do stupid things.
...Like opening doors to clear out ashtrays (which in itself ought to be a shooting offense ;-)).

I ride like I'm dressed in hi-viz lime yellow with a big red bullseye on my chest and back which every single car is aiming for.

So far my luck with cages has been pretty good. The only thing I've hit is a dog that suddenly ran straight under my front wheel.

Owner legally at fault, and I stuffed up by not noticing that the dog wasn't on a leash. I'd already slowed down for the girl with the dog, but had I seen that it had no leash on then I'd have slowed down a lot further.

And, perhaps the most difficult lesson to swallow: When a collision with a dog is unavoidable, the best thing to do is gas it. Which I didn't. (Result: Igor the FrankenDommie, and me somewhat shaken and bruised.)

But shit can happen in an awful hurry with nothing at all you can do about it. That's tough, but also not unique to riding bikes, so I don't worry about it. The link is a story from someone I know, so even though I don't worry about it, it did make me think for a bit.
 

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Kymmy accepts no responsibility for this blondes c
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think in reality there are just as many crap bikers as car drivers and truckers, however human nature is to always blame someone else!

Another issue seams to be peoples increasingly need to be everywhere sooner, just yesterday we followed an artic (44tonnes) taking a 8 mile short cut though the villages which are all 7.5 tonne weight limit, what was worse he was speeding all the time and then one idiot car driver who had followed the truck decided to overtake on a blind brow which was on a corner of the road... total f~cking madness by both drivers.. :twisted: i should also say that both the car and truck were overtaken by a guy on a bin'dit at warp 9 across the hatching only minutes earlier!!! :shock: :shock:
 

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Well said, John. I'm impressed that so many others have supported you too. There are times when I ride with the attitude that "I have right of way", but that would be no comfort if I got seriously injured. If we genuinely believe cage drivers are unobservant/careless/thick, we should factor that into our riding!

Whealie, you don't half attract trouble mate! The way you tell it you were really hard done by. Overtaking on the approach to a junction should have been a no-no regardless. And overtaking in a dedicated right-turn lane, across the chevrons and so on should have sewn up your case. You must have had the only biker-friendly judge in the UK!
 

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Whealie said:
According the judge at Bromley court I hit a motorcyclist in my car and it was not his fault. I was turning into a dedicated turning right lane when the motorcyclist, with no lights and wearing black leathers, came up the outside and overtook me about 10metres ahead of a right hand junction.
His foot hit my car, and did no damage (left black shoe polish on it). He veered across the road (luckily no oncoming traffic) and came to a stop.
The judge ruled that it didn't matter that he was not wearing a white helmet or hi-vis clothing, as recommended by the Highway Code and it didn't matter that he was crossing the white line chevrons when the Highway code says only to do so when it is safe. She also said it was Ok to overtake at right-hand turn junctions.
The judge ruled it was my fault and the total cost, including his solicitor who got half, was more than £7,000.
So no, there's absolutely no need for motorcyclist to take any precautions or behave sensibly, according to the law. Of course, if there had been anything coming in the opposite direction he'd be dead, so I ignore the judge, don't overtake at turnings, wear the right gear and behave sensibly. Many don't.
I'm confused. No damage to your car and if he never came off and wasn't hurt......why did it end up in court?
 

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Wing Commander
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I'm confused. No damage to your car and if he never came off and wasn't hurt......why did it end up in court?
Because he made a claim. My view was had there been any damage to my car I would have made a claim as it was his fault. My insurer backed me. The judge didn't like my barrister so we lost.
 

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Whealie said:
I'm confused. No damage to your car and if he never came off and wasn't hurt......why did it end up in court?
Because he made a claim. My view was had there been any damage to my car I would have made a claim as it was his fault. My insurer backed me. The judge didn't like my barrister so we lost.
Bloody hell! What did he claim for? A stubbed toe? Mental anguish?
 

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Whealie said:
The judge ruled that it didn't matter that he was not wearing a white helmet or hi-vis clothing, as recommended by the Highway Code
No, there's no law saying that a biker has to ride around looking like a giant canary with an egg on his/her head. Yes, everything else he did was reckless and stupid, but by saying that he was reckless because of what he was wearing, then you might as well call at every motorcycle dealership and tell them they too are irresponible for selling black leathers and dark coloured helmets. Or what about tell all cruiser riders (especially biker gangs) that they're being stupid for wearing black leathers? And by the way, I wear black clothing and a black helmet on my bike! :twisted:
 

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absolutely John.........
We can all make a contribution to our own safety, so many of the people I know are reluctant to do as simple a thing as sounding their horn when they see someone looking the other way.
When I was getting my first bike a fella who used to hang around the bike shop said as I was trying on a helmet "spend more on the inside of the head than the outside" meaning, of course, that your brain is probably the most valuable safety feature you can get.
 
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I've said this before, but in my opinion 'An accident is a failure of observation'. (as is a speeding fine, BTW)

Totally agree John, The only 'offs' I've suffered were completely down to me. Twice from riding like a clown, and once for not avoiding the gravel patch I suspected would be around the bend (the lane I was riding on was splattered with the stuff) cos I was travelling too fast for the conditions :oops:

I Have had countless neer misses mind, Cars pulling out of junctions, changing lanes whilst I've bee filtering, pedestrians running out between cars etc, etc, etc.

Witnessed a nasty accident involving a car pulling out on a biker with disasterous effects. :cry: Yep, the car definately pulled into the bikes lane without seeing him, but I have to say, the resultant smash was all down to the biker. What do you expect when your doing Mach 3 in a residental 30MPH area???
:shock:
 

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Complete Member
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Like Taz I wear black leathers, however if a driver can't see you on something the size of an AT with those two big lights burning 60W a piece then he ain't fricken lookin'

Problem is half the time they aint lookin and I discovered many years ago that you have to look out for yourself and assume everyone on the road (bike, car, truck and even cyclists) is a complete and utter moron and they all want to kill you, when you get that hard metallic taste in your mouth it's already too late :shock:

Be Prepared, they're out there :shock: :shock: :shock:
 

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assume everyone on the road (bike, car, truck and even cyclists) is a complete and utter moron and they all want to kill you
I have to disagree with this.
I've heard it said since I started using the roads as a child and I think it's a dangerous attitude to take; it removes the possibilty that someone else can just make a mistake, as you can.
More importantly it makes you automatically superior to everyone and gives you less of a chance to improve your own riding/driving because nothing is your fault.
 

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ignore the vain
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Oldest saying in the book I didn't see him officer :!:

Survival on the road is about keeping your eyes open but there are times when you just cant avoid people had a lorry pull out on me yesterday looked left but not right at me luckily I was looking for eye contact hence saved myself some hurt. And the lorry drivers response to continue looking like a gormless bas--rd.
If your reading this by chance the tit in the brown lorry in trevor yesterday hand your licence in and go work in a cheese factory :!:

Again car drivers should ride a bike for a year to learn about observation when I was taking my driving test I got told off for checknig my blind spot :shock: So right from the beginning they are told not to look for other vechicles :shock: .
Which brings about the question of noisy exhusts if you can hear it you will look for it why do police cars have sirens argue that with a mp saved my life a few times. Took my stock can off after a woman and 3 kids walked out infront of me never happened after fitting my remus!

Blah blah blah could go on all day :!:
 
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