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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-20-2010, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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A Yahoo member went down recently. A car at a T intersection simply pulled out right in front of him. Luckily he was wearing gear and a helmet (which it seems he does not usually do)
Although I bellieve he overbraked due to suddenly seeing his life pass before his eyes, he did ask if there were any suggestions or idea on how this could have been avoided. Here is a repost of my reply, I though it might be usefull to others:

The first thing to do when approaching and intersection, be it a "T", a four-way , stop signed or traffic lighted, is to SLOW DOWN. I really can not stress how important this is. Most accidents, small to fatal, occour at intersections. So even if you have a green light and all seems well...you should still slow down before reaching the intersection. Slower speeds give you more time to survey the area, ponder alternatives if something bad develops, and gives you more time to react if they do. Many just "cover" their brake lever, which means squat, because if something does happen, you still have to react, and because you are moving faster (you did not brake yet) you will soak up alot of real estate before the bike even begins to slow down....which can make the difference between life ....and death.

You should actually brake in 2 stages, once a good distance before you even get near the intersection, and once again a bit before entering. In between that time you should change your lane position , going from the right to the far left. (If more than one lane ...you should change lanes to the far left lane before you begin any braking.)
Basicly you see an intersection coming up, you move to the right side of the left lane, (changing lanes if need be).... Then you slow down a bit, lightly braking - this is to let the car/truck/whatever behind you see your brake lights go on and get them to slow down themselves. You then QUICKLY move from the right part of the lane to the far left part of the lane, and brake again. I have done this for years for several of the following reasons, and just this last year read about another good reason which I will list last.

1. You are moving your self as far from the road to the right as you can. If a car pulls out this gives you time and distance to react.

2. You now have the best view of what oncoming traffic there is...this can be very usefull to know .....as you can ride the bike into the oncoming lane (if there is no traffic present) as a possible escape.
3. If there is a lane next to you on the right, this can allow that big heavy car to your right to run through the intersection first, effectively blocking any danger on the right from you.

4. The car behind you that may not have slowed down when you first did, will now, as they will interpet your sudden move to the left and hitting your brakes as either you seeing something in the road they can not see or something going wrong. It is just natural reaction for a car to hit their brakes when they see the vehicle ahead of them do the same. The sudden move and brake lights do help wake up those not really paying attention This is good because if someting does go wrong, the last thing you want is to be run over by the car behind you.

5. By being on the far left of a single lane road, your arc to make a sudden right turn is larger, letting you do so at a greater speed than if you were nearer the curb. This is one of the options many do not even think about--- just turn right instead of hitting the car pulling out. If you have SLOWED DOWN, it's pretty easy.
6. It has been shown that making sudden moves from one side of a lane to the other greatly increases you odds of being noticed by drivers ahead of you. Just like waving a torch back and forth, it is hard to not notice a headlight moving suddenly at right angles to the expected direction of travel.

I had not thought of this last one until I saw a video this year explaining the concept of weaving back and forth quickly on your bike when approaching an intersection.

I really believe the asswipe that pulled out on Roy was not being a jerk...he simply did not see the bike.....making the same failing many drivers before him have done. It is ALWAYS a good idea to expect any car on your right to pull out in front of you just as it is ALWAYS a good idea to assume the car waiting to turn left in front of you does not see you.

Roy, I was not there and can not make any comments on what you did or did not do wrong, but you should have seen the car on the right and expected it to do what it did. Making yourself more visable, and increasing your time frame by distance and speed are the two biggest things you can do to avoid eating asphalt.

Lastly it is always a real good idea to practice "panic" stops. Usually folks "lay it down" by braking too hard and skidding out...... or by braking too hard and trying to turn at the same time. Practicing braking hard and braking hard then turning, are the two most helpfull skills one needs to help avoid accidents.

Although I believe it is difficult to get yourself to truely "panic" while doing so, I still think you end up with at least some knowledge of the limits your bike can be put to.

There is an old Biker saying that simply states "Trust the Bike". It can get you out of many bad situations if you believe that it can. Motorcycles are small , quick and very nimble vehicles. Learn to use that as an advantage....a car or truck violating your space will usually leave large areas around itself that only someone on a bike can get through, study where these are and how they can be exploited if needed. Try to remember that grabbing the brakes is perhaps just one option when confronted with danger. You should always be analyzing possible escapes routes for every percieved possiblility.

They do say 'the best defense is a good offence,'..
KM

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 12:55 PM
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+1
Practicing at hard braking and knowing my escape routes have kept me in the green in a pair of "that could have been really bad" moments just in the past few months

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 01:48 PM
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x2 i totaled my 82 maxim by over braking and laying the bike down when a school bus pulled out in front me.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 03:03 PM
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X3. David Hough, in his book Proficient Motorcycling" says that by slowing down just 10 mph from typical city traffic speeds of 30 to 40 mph, and covering the brake, we can cut our stopping distance in half.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 05:50 PM
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This is all good, especially slowing down early. I would add that I try to never be the first vehicle entering the intersection. Let other traffic run interference. In urban, multilane riding, this is usually possible. Obviously it doen't work on backstreet or rural 2 lane.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vulcanjoe View Post
x2 i totaled my 82 maxim by over braking and laying the bike down when a school bus pulled out in front me.
School busses must be funny that way. Within a month of buying my '02 one pulled out in front of me and I went down from grabbing too much front brake.
Busted off the driverside footpeg, that's why my '02 is called Pegleg

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 09:39 AM
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Holy crap! There's a problem with school buses!? I can immediately think of a couple things wrong with this, the first being: its a frickin SCHOOL BUS!!!! Forget bikes, if it hits anything its going to total it! The second being: don't these people drive for a living? Shouldn't they be at least a little better at it than most?

If I'm following cars through an intersection and I see someone up ahead in oncoming traffic with their left turn signal on, I move over to the far right side of the lane and creep up on the car in front of me. Not too close obviously but kind of using the car as a blocker. In that situation the shoulder becomes my escape route.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 11:03 AM
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School bus drivers are semi professional in Ohio. It is a second job for most of them. They are on a tight schedule and everybody cuts them off in traffic. So they feel a little antagonistic about traffic. Plus they are big, yellow, and have the law on their side, so many of them bully their way through traffic.
I wish they were required to load only on side streets or in parking lots.


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