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Discussion Starter #1
I know there have been many posts on this subject, but had a bit of a personal one this morning on my way in to work.

Exiting the interstate on to one of the notoriously dangerous interchanges in the area. South bound traffic exits to join a side street exit, 1/8-1/4 mile down these two lanes are joined by 2 lanes of Northbound traffic and another side side street. The right hand lane exits on to a side street, the remaining 3 lanes finish the overpass down a hill at a stoplight. Constant flux of traffic moving thru the lanes entering and exiting.

This morning exiting the South bound, just ahead of me a little GSX R is in the right hand lane, middle of his lane in a decent position, going normal speed (40 mph) for the time of day and location. next thing I see a car from the left hand lane changes lanes directly in to the bike. No signal or other indication or even brake lights as he kept driving down the street. Rider went down and rolled, bike slid a good 30+ ft.

I was able to get stopped and pulled off to the left shoulder as quick as i could to assess the rider and get help on the way. A few other drivers stopped and helped direct traffic thankfully. The rider was in pain, however he was able to walk himself in to the ambulance after they arrived. So thankful on that.

I stayed around to give a witness statement to the State Trooper, when a car pulled up behind the trooper's car. I was in shock and awe when it turned out to be the offending driver. His story was that when he felt someone hit him, he didn't deem it a safe location to stop and exchange information. While also admitting that he had saw the rider rolling down the street behind him. He even went so far as to show the officer where he had been 'hit'. Keep in mind that about 30 min had passed between the accident and his return.

As I am standing there in my gear, he tries to convince me that he had been hit. I corrected, well attempted to correct, him by making sure he knew that HE had hit someone.

I pondered on it throughout the day, that if I had been in the other riders position, what I might have saw or done differently to have a safer outcome. I honestly don't know there was anything he might have done different. The car was almost immediately beside him when he turned in to him. The dent was right under the front passenger door handle. it was morning, but still enough light for cars not to have headlights on.

Take a few moments during your ride to make sure your focus is on those around you while you are out there. It's up to us to make sure we make it home safe and sound unfortunately.
 

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Thanks for sharing this AlphaOmega. Glad the rider wasn’t hurt worse and you made a good witness.


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First I have to say thanks for being a true brother on 2 wheels and stopping to help. If we get the chance to meet up someday dinner is on me. One of the things that makes riding better is knowing we really do have a lot of people out there that are watching out for each other.

I have to assume the car was passing the rider when he crept over and hit him? Someone ended up in the other person's blind spot. If the MC rider was passing the car that is a risky move in the right lane, and I would be totally focused on the car to make sure it did not come over the line while passing on the right.

If the car rode up into the MC blind spot and then merged over and hit him, the rider would not see him coming. When riding in busy traffic there is so much going on in front of you its hard to keep track of who is behind you. I have also experienced this riding in twilight, watching out for deer, and all of a sudden there is a car on my tail that seemed to come out of nowhere. It was a police car on a call, and he did not turn on his flashing lights till he was right behind me.

One of the things covered in the MSF course is avoiding accident situations by reducing the number of risks you are exposing yourself to. I very seldom ride on interstate highways, and I avoid 4 lane roads if I can ride over a block and take a 2 lane road. Humans have a perceptual sense of awareness of who and what are around us, and it persists even when we cant see what is behind us. For example when you pass a car, you know there is car behind you now, even when you are not looking at it.

The more traffic you ride in, the more lanes of traffic, the more things your brain is trying to keep track of. After a certain point you cant do it, even subconsciously.

That's my primary suggestion: in a car you can drive in all kinds of traffic, and usually what you described would be a bent fender. On a motorcycle when you are in more than 2 lanes you have to be looking everywhere, all the time, which is exhausting.

My daily commute to work I could take the thruway. Ive done it a few times and its the fastest way.

I could take a route that is mostly a 4 lane road that branches out into 6 lanes at intersections, and several of those are also 4 lane roads. I go that way a few times a month if I have to stop at a store or bank on the way home.

Most of the time I'm on a two lane 35 to 45mph street the whole way. It takes 5 to 10 minutes longer depending on red lights and school buses.

Several times a year I ride my bicycle to work, half way on a canal path, most of the rest of the way on residential streets, and I only have to cross two risky intersections.

How much risk you expose yourself to is one of the things you do have control over.
 

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It's always an eye opener when I hear stories like this. I leave at 5am for work so traffic is light and only 25 minutes going 17 miles. I go down to Interstate 10 and can easily criuse 70 plus. Now coming home at 5pm is totally different. The interstate is dead stop so I take a different route home. It's still 17 miles but took 57 minutes today which is normal. I would say at least 5 times a day on the way home a car either comes into my lane, pull out infront of me, ride my tail, etc. I've learned to stay on high alert at all times. Knock on wood, I've been extremely lucky concidering the traffic I'm in. Yes, it's great the rider was able to walk away from this one. Everyone stay safe out there. Remember that spring brings out more bikes and cagers are not used to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
KCW, you are right, it's about an accepted risk.
I have seen and almost been involved in a few dinger's at that interchange in my truck, so I am always on edge going through there. To the point I have done like you said, and gone miles out of the way on slower routes to bypass it.
From my angle, with both vehicles in their own lanes (the bike in the center of his), the car changed lanes quite quickly. Not sure if he didn't look or just assumed he had it clear, or looked and didn't see anything.
But yeah, puts a little pucker factor in there when you are that close to it.
 

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Les reminded me of how often I have to evade someone else and maneuver out of harms way.

I don't remember from AlphaOmega's previous discussions, but if you have not taken a MSF riding course, its well worth the money. People that already have their license can take one of the advance-skill courses.

I only took the beginners course, and we spent a lot of time practicing swerving to avoid obstacles, panic stopping, stopping on curves, riding over 2x4s and pot holes at speed, and the full countersteering/controlling your bike instantly when you need to turn right now.

The other thing you will get from the course is a new level of confidence, and that is very important when you need to avoid an accident. In that instant of situation recognition, instead of being hit with panic and adrenaline, you do what you need to do to avoid a collision, calmly and exactly, because you have been practicing that move every day that you ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Bevo
It was a weird miss match of gear. Which is why it stayed in my mind. He had a decent tactile type jacket on, not sure if there was any armor in it or not. Full face helmet, which was good because it got scuffed pretty good, but stayed intact. The odd ball out was he was wearing sweat pants. They got chewed up a bit, but I expect road rash was to a minimum since he rolled more than slid.

KCW, I don't think I had mentioned it before, but I did do the basic course a few years back. It was done well enough that even someone with quite a bit of riding experience (I only had a few years on the road at the time) would gain from it. I have a few friends and guys at work who have talked about getting a bike this year or next. First words out of my mouth are Where, Cost, and benefits of the MSF. I haven't looked in to the advanced offerings in the area, but may be something to do for the fall time, or even going through the course again with a friend as a refresher.
 

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I was wondering what gear the rider was wearing too, since he went rolling down the pavement instead of sliding.

One thing that will make you tumble is the urgent sense that you need to stand up quickly and get off the road, many people try to stand up while they are still sliding, and that makes you roll or tumble.

just read your reply to bevo, sweat pants and hoodies will snag on the pavement and make you tumble.
 

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... I pondered on it throughout the day, that if I had been in the other riders position, what I might have saw or done differently to have a safer outcome. ...
There is nothing you can really do when someone is traveling next to you and without warning decides to change lanes and occupy your spot in your lane. It's like standing next to someone in an elevator and he decides out of the blue to punch you in the face... there's nothing you could have done to prevent that.
 

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You are correct, if someone pulls up alongside you and then pulls into your lane you may not see them coming.

One of the things I avoid is riding side by side with another vehicle any longer than necessary. If Im going to pass someone I speed up and get past them quickly.

And if someone is passing me, and we are cruise-locked at the same speed, I back off and let them go, then speed back up. People seem to have an attention span of about 10 seconds, so if they are not clear of you within that span of time, they will forget that they just freaking passed you and you are still there!

My wife will creep up on an 18 wheeler on the thruway, get right along side the back wheels of the trailer, and just sit there in the left lane, because she has the cruise control on and now both vehicles are going the same speed. It makes me extremely uncomfortable, but if I say anything she gets upset: "I KNOW HOW TO DRIVE!"

Yes, you know how to drive, but maybe that other guy doesnt. I dont say anything, I just close my eyes.
 
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