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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the most dangerous situations a motorcycle will ever be in is when they come across cars making left-hand turns.

It seems simple enough, but these collisions make up 42% of all accidents that involve a motorcycle and another vehicle.

Why don't they see us? And how do we fix this?........ Any Ideas?
 

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One method I've heard of which I sometimes remember to use is to weave within your lane, swerve the bike right and left a bit within your lane as you approach a car at an intersection that could pull out in front of you. It gives side to side action to our headlight, "waking them up" to the fact that a vehicle is indeed coming toward them.

(32) One Of The (Many) Possible Reasons Car Drivers Do Not See Motorcycles... | StromTrooper

I have also installed inexpensive LED running lights on my Vstrom engine guard to add two very bright lights to the front of the bike. I'm looking for some lights to put on the front of the C90. It has the OEM engine guard with the angled sides, so I'm not sure what lights or brackets I'll use that won't look bad. Something like this.

Font Automotive tire Screenshot Automotive wheel system Circle
 

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There are several reasons why they don't see us, but #1 is simply that their brains and eyes are looking for objects at least as large as an automobile, and anything smaller tends to get filtered out. We do not in fact see what we believe we are seeing; rather, the brain takes bits of information scanned in by the eyes and fills in the blanks to form a picture, and we do this all day long. It's an efficient system that overall works pretty well -- but it ain't perfect.

What to do about it? It is very simple, really -- ALWAYS assume that fellow getting ready to turn in front of you DOES NOT SEE YOU, and act accordingly. As long as you do that, he'll never nail you.

Whenever I hear a rider complaining about the number of close calls he's having, my advice is always the same -- pay more attention to your own driving. YOU are always at least half of the equation in any potential accident. RIGHT OF WAY is a legal concept, not a reality, and YOU NEVER HAVE IT, regardless of what you're riding/driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Number 1 Cause of Motorcycle Accidents

The most common cause of motorcycle accidents, is the failure of other motorists on the road to detect and recognize motorcycles on the road.

Not reckless riding. Not drunk riding. Not lane splitting. Not road conditions. Just the same old excuse. I never saw him, and I don't know why.
 
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One method I've heard of which I sometimes remember to use is to weave within your lane, swerve the bike right and left a bit within your lane as you approach a car at an intersection that could pull out in front of you. It gives side to side action to our headlight, "waking them up" to the fact that a vehicle is indeed coming toward them.
I got pulled over by a state trooper on Highway 91, right before the Route 9 merge for this.
Everyone was slowing down for a van that was in the breakdown lane. State troop was behind the van. It was practically a parking lot, cars were still swerving, aggressively vying for first place, anything to get ahead of the traffic caused by rubberneckers who had never seen a van on the side of the road before.

I was slaloming, occupying my entire lane, cycling the RPM. Not revving the engine, but I'd slalom in one direction, lose all my momentum, and have to blip the throttle when turning to slalom the other way. Please remember I'm in damn near bumper to bumper traffic. I wasn't rev bombing or acting like an idiot and there was no where to go. The state trooper pulled up behind me and lit me up. License and registration, blah blah. He said do you know why I pulled you over? I said no clue, I didn't deviate from my own lane, I certainly wasn't speeding... he cut me off to say "I can't let you do that in front of all these people, do you know what they'd think of me? I ride too, I get it."

Connecticut is supposed to have a no chase for motorcycles but I'd rather stand by ACAB.
No chase for motorcycles, and he pulled me over because he thought I was damaging his reputation or emasculating him. Fantastic job, Connecticut.
 
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They have a term for this... SMIDSY... Sorry, Man, I Didn't See You

Swerving in the lane can give the other driver that you are about to turn yourself. Flashing your lights at them is considered a "go ahead" message in a lot of locations. As has been said, you can't do anything to control the other driver, so the best you can do is prepare yourself.

Pay attention to what's going on. If you see a vehicle that may be wanting to turn in front of you, just assume they will. Go ahead and cover the brake and plan out your reaction.
 

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On our DL test for a car, there is actually a question on some of the test and it is asked, "Why do motorcycles weave back and forth in their own lane?" and the answer is, ladies and gentleman, "TO BE MORE VISABLE TO OTHER DRIVERS!!!!!!!" I is the ONLY motorcycle question I know of for an Oklahoma drivers test. AND, there is only ONE, two sentence paragraph in the study manual about a motorcycle.
 

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I have almost been hit twice in my life by drivers making a left turn in front of me. Both time I could see the oncoming drivers face and they were both looking left at the parking lot entrance they intended to get to.
Once was in the 1980s in Berwyn, IL as I was riding in the right lane on a 4 lane blvd populated with strip malls. Heavy traffic and 30 MPH speen. An 18 wheeler was following me at a reasonable distance. The guy must have felt a need to make the turn quick due to the volume of traffic. I went through emergency braking. So did the Semi behind me. He laid on the horn and I could see the trailer sliding off the crown in the road and banging against the curb. I turned in the next drive to have a word with the driver of that car, just in time to see the trucker who had hopped out and was pounding on the guys driver side window. All I could add were a few choice words about his carelessness.

The second time was similar in PA, except some lady was apparently late for church and was having some tunnel vision to get into the parking lot in an intersection. One of the pedestrians across the street actually put their hands over their eyes. I had stopped a few feet from where the car went by. A few choice words later ... the driver said they didn't even see me.

However you ride, pay attention to others. Attract attention to yourself. Keep the motion side to side or wear hi-vis, or blink lights. All can work.
 

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I have to agree with a lot of the problem being pre-conceived expectation on the part of the other motorist. He/she didn't expect a vehicle to be there.

The time that BearBait was struck by a left-turning driver, and given the old "I never saw you" line, he was driving a Subaru Outback (thank God).

If it can happen with cars, it damn sure can happen with bikes.

I have encountered this "invisibility" in a traffic roundabout. Saw the wheels of the SUV weren't stopping to yield the right of way, and I had to do emergency braking -- while the driver was looking straight AT ME. Finally she woke up and jammed on her brakes, too. Once we both were stopped completely, about 5 feet apart, and traffic was backing up behind us, her face showed the horrified realization of what she had nearly done.

By the way, I was wearing the same high-viz gear that day that you see in my signature picture. High-viz helps, but it's a tool in the toolbox, not the ultimate answer.

Watch the wheels of the other vehicle, and if they aren't slowing down enough, take action to protect yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I see this, and other atrocities, happen a lot with elderly drivers. I truly believe, you should have to pass a yearly, vision and driving test, after age 75.
 

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I don't look at a drivers eyes, I watch their front wheels...if they start to move, I brake, if they don't I feel they see me but still proceed w/caution...and for those who ride in areas where many have put their mc's up for the year, keep in mind folks in those areas are not expecting to see a mc on the road. And for safety sakes, keep a safety vest in your saddlebag when riding in a conjested area, put it on and give them a reason to see you better. Ride safe all and remember to never assume they see you.
 

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and not to go off the topic but just came back from visiting my son in San Diego where lane splitting is the norm...like the idea but not crazy at the way many of the mc riders ride at a high speed when using this allowable practice...personally would like to see the left shoulder used for mcs to proceed but then car owners would I'm sure object.
 
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