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I was riding home late last night after having dinner with my brother in the city. Due to construction on my normal exit, I got off an exit earlier and decided to take the secondary roads home. At the stop light at the exit, another motorcyclist pulled up besides me and we acknowledged each other. He was riding a very fine looking HD. When the light turned green, we both took off in the same direction and stayed together for some time. He eventually pulled away from me and I lost sight of him as the road turned, dipped and rose. I was coming up a little hill into the a little village when I heard screeching tires and that unmistakable crashing thud that is so sickening. As I crested the hill, the saw that a car and the motorcycle had crashed into one another and the rider was nowhere to be seen. After stopping and doing a quick survey of the scene, I found the rider 20 feet down the road, behind the car, flat on his back and swearing like a sailor. He was in pain from his hip/leg area, but conscious and insisted in taking his helmet off.

After spending the next hour on the scene, helping the rider, talking to police and the driver of the car (who was absolutely freaking out) and making sure his bike was properly taken care of after he left for the hospital, it was readily apparent what had occurred. The rider had crested the hill and entered the intersection where the car (coming from the other direction) turned left and crossed into his lane. A very typical case of "I didn't see him" type of accident, compounded by a young driver (24) who was distracted by being lost in an unfamiliar area, the darkness of night and the motorcycle's single headlight. It was obvious that the motorcyclist saw what was unfolding quickly and he locked up the brakes in a 20'+ straight line skid. He impacted the car head on and was thrown off the motorcycle, hitting face first into the driver side A-pillar and windshield, then cartwheeling over the car and landing on his left hip/leg and sliding down the road. Interestingly, the motorcycle rider had a skull cap helmet in his saddlebags, but was wearing a full face helmet when he crashed. There is NO DOUBT in my mind, after looking at his helmet and the damage to the car, that the full face helmet saved him from a serious head injury or even death and affirms my decision to ride ATGATT....especially with a full face helmet, regardless of how "uncool" other riders think it is. The rider last night is alive and complaining today, because of the helmet and I would love to follow up to see if he ever uses his beanie again.

I left the scene, went home, woke up my wife and spent a good ten minutes in huge hug, before I could speak again. It is a sobering reminder of how fragile life is and how quickly things can change in an instant and have far-reaching impacts on many lives. Fortunately, the outcome last night was just about as good as it could be, with no loss of life and just a lot of busted up plastic, some road rash, bruises and possibly a broken bone or two.

So be safe out there, ride aware and defensively and always tell those people who you hold dear just how much you love them everyday. You may not get the a chance to tell them later.
 

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Glad to hear he survived.

I had an accident on my Gold Wing, long time ago,

and my full-faced helmet was demolished.

The sides were worn thin so that tells me that my ears would have been a gonner.


The face shield was crushed so no nose left?

The back was also worn thin so brains would have been on road?
 

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So glad it wasn't worse and the correct helmet was worn.

I hate night riding with a passion - even night driving in a cage....

And night machinery operation is even worse - driving a tractor around a field.....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So glad it wasn't worse and the correct helmet was worn.

I hate night riding with a passion - even night driving in a cage....

And night machinery operation is even worse - driving a tractor around a field.....
I'm not sure if the wife (a nurse) is gonna let me ride at night anymore. She's not a fan of the motorcycle to begin with, but this shock her up pretty badly.
 

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So glad it wasn't any worse.
When I'm riding at night , my eyes are always swinging side to side and up and down, looking for something that could take me out. I usually run just a tad slower also to give myself extra time to react.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm ordering more lights (both front and rear) for the bike TODAY. I don't care if I look like a Christmas tree coming down the road...I'm doing whatever I can to make sure I'm SEEN. (and still driving like I'm invisible and everyone is out to kill me).
 

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If they arent on the bike with you they are trying to kill you.

Thats what i was taught about cars on the road. Holds true
 

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Glad to hear the rider was OK.

Based on what you've told me, I would say there were a couple of things he likely did wrong. First, he left you and laid out a long skid mark, which leads me to believe he was out-riding his headlight. Second, he likely didn't anticipate the car turning left in front of him. Whenever I see a situation where a driver is likely to turn left in front of me, I come off the throttle a bit and prep to hit the clutch and brake. Finally, if he skidded that far, he likely hasn't been practicing emergency braking. On that topic, I'm kind of surprised the HD didn't have anti-lock brakes.

Not trying to denigrate the HD rider, I just believe that a good analysis if accidents like this help to serve as learning experiences for the future. Sadly, that's the only value of an accident, learning from it, so if you don't learn something, all you do is lose.

Ride safe guys, and think about this type of stuff before you put a puddin' bowl on your head just so you're legal.
 

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Riding around here is tough at night, too many deer.
I have a friend die on August 29th on his motorcycle. He was in the Texas hill country, near Kerrville, riding with his son, both on their own HD ultras. My friend, Mike, was in front when a deer ran out, he swerved to miss the deer and went down. His son was able to get stopped safely. He said his dad rolled on the pavement and came to a stop on his side, when he got to him he wasn't responding. He and the first responders tried CPR for 20-30 minutes and couldn't revive him. Mike was a member of my CMA chapter and a Patriot Guard Rider. BTW, what an amazing service those guys provide!!

I sure feel for Mike's son, Bobby, he had to ride back to Dallas alone after witnessing that (about a 5 hr ride with no stops)

Please be careful when you ride at night, keep an eye out for deer. In Mike's case, it was around 4pm, so it sure wasn't dark yet.
 

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I may have a video ready in the near future - two instances of deer running across the road in front of me. One was much closer to me than the other.

Just today, driving down the street there was a young guy on an older Honda (CBR, I think) in the left lane. The big SUV in front of me swerve halfway into the left hand lane, seeing the bike at the last second before returning to its lane. Almost saw an ugly accident a few feet in front of me. Rider had on a full face helmet, shorts, t-shirt and sneakers.
 

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glad for the most part the rider survived...me...hate hills...crests on hills and as much as I love the twisites, always ride far right anticipating someones going to be crossing the center line either riding too fast, not paying attention or just whatever...have to assume the extra helmet in his bag is just that,,an extra helmet and one that fits in his bag just so that someone else who may ride w/him will have one to wear...hope he makes out all right and you keep this experience in your thoughts when you ride as a reminder how quickly things can go wrong. Ride safe out there.
 

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I am getting near the age when I should stop night riding. As reaction times slow, the speed you ride at at night has to get lower and lower.

I have ridden (and raced off-road) at night since I was 13. I recommend you drop that speed 5 miles from the posted speed limit. I may be slow, but I'm in front of you...

If you choose to ride at night and don't wear/have some reflective material you are making a big mistake. Also, I am normally a proponent of any good quality helmet. At night I recommend you put on a game face; a full face helmet, this also eliminates the huge insect bat and bird strikes that cause crashes. If you see a deer, stop or slow to a minimum, if there is one there are more. Use a triangle light set-up 3 lights in a triangle pattern at all times at night. It is a proven car stopper.

I am still comfortable riding at night (probably another 5 years) but my speeds have lowered and I am uber careful of deer strikes and cagers.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I was able to follow up with the Police department and the hospital. The rider will be OK. Deep bone bruising and road rash on the hip and leg, a sprained wrist and he was out in 24hours. The bike didn't make out as well and is a total loss. Tweaked frame and forks. So was the car that hit him, due to the repair cost vs value ratio. The rider has my info, but I haven't heard back from him yet. Wish him and the driver the best and I'm sure it's not something anyone will soon forget.

Ride Safe and Often (and I'm now going to add Aware)
 

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Regarding deer, every once in awhile, I find myself riding home late at night from a catering gig on the FM roads here, Farm to Market and RR roads, Ranch Roads. At various points on the one hour ride home, I'm out there alone with no other vehicle traffic. I remember one stretch where I came upon a ranch truck and he waved me around him. I stayed back and made sure he knew I wanted him in front of me as long as possible. I feel safer with another vehicle leading the way. With no vehicles, I honk my horn along a straight road where it seems no deer are visible, and as soon as I do, eyes up on both sides of the road appear. Freaks me out every time. My pipes are debaffled and I think it helps a lot.
 
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