Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Still needs a life.
Joined
·
12,619 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My accident in California on my group's Spring Break ride has given me a whole new perspective on accident avoidance/survival techniques.

I have absolutely no memory of my accident, which is not uncommon. Other than the observations of the accident scene made by my fellow riders (who did not witness the accident), I have no idea what caused the accident and whether or not I reacted appropriately. The fact that I survived to be able to sit here and type this message tells me that I was very fortunate and probably did something right.

When I was undergoing training at the FBI Academy many moons ago, we were told that in times of stress, especially life threatening stress, we will react by doing the last thing on our minds or what we have been trained to do. Based on this and my accident, I think the best we can do to develop accident avoidance/survival techniques is to train and practise so that these techniques become automatic.

Constant training and practise can be done for some techniques, such as simultaneous hand and foot braking or counter steering. Other techniques, such as pushing off on your bike to vault over a car you are about to T-bone, can be difficult to train for.

As we are developing accident avoidance/survival techniques, I thnk we should look for those that are simple, require a minimum of thinking and analysis, and can be developed through training.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
One of the more dominate things that has stuck in my tiny little mind over the years, is to "be prepared for an accident". If your first reaction when something happens is a to rapidly inhale or sit up sharply (or both), you've lost the edge (or inititive). You have lost a big chunk of reaction time and distance.

Plan on it happening and have a backup Plan B or C as well. There aren't that many alternatives, slow down, speed up, go left or go right. We are a product of our environment. If most of your riding is out in the country where you're more concerned with road surface or small animals, you'll become proficient at avoiding it/them. If you're commuting in heavy traffic, you're more aware of cars/drivers and the things they do. Be aware of the situation and plan to avoid it. Easily said, but harder to implement. Go practice.

Most of my riding is on 128 where it's pretty much guarranteed that at least once a day, someone will do something stupid in front of you that requires an immediate reaction to avoid an accident.

I hate talking about accidents, it has a certain element of Murphy's Law about it .... and that's never good.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,861 Posts
Keep the rubber side down: I'll invest about 2 hrs per riding season, riding into the parking lots where riding students are being trained on basic motor handling, and practise my Emergency stops.

Blind Spot Avoidance: Keeping myself visible on the rear views of cagers, and accelerating past when the space up-front allows.

3-second up-front space: Maintain the following distance.

Noisy pipes saves lives: For sure this is true. My open-Termi's makes me heard when I'm not seen.

The Pace: Need I say more...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,058 Posts
Track days train you to think fast and react coolly when something unexpected happens. You also gain much more knowledge of how the motorcycle behaves on the edge of the envelope than you ever can on the street.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,360 Posts
Had a woman (person) make a left in front of me.I was prepared before hand, Knew it was a bad corner ,Van was in left turn lane I am in my lane going straight thru passing van on the right There is the person making left turn Gave her the open your eyes gesture, Forefinger and thumb opening eye. She was on the phone .This was at the corner where the most accidents occure every year . Be aware at every corner,look before you get there. You can't do anything if you don't see whats there. Be smart practice jamming on the brakes ...Gotta watch that Murphys Law now.. Loud Pipes will help in some situations but I wouldn't rely on it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
when i was studying for my road test i read the chapter about swerving to avoid accidents about 12 times. I did not practice for fear of wrecking my bike and getting hurt. on the second day after getting my license i was coming up on a intersection and noticed something in the road. it broke my concentration and as i looked up there was a huge suv stopped i locked up the back brake and hit the front brake turning the handel bars left then right. I came to a stop next to the suv i almost ran into. I was lucky and ever since i imagine worst case sinarios and what to do.

I hope that training my brain will help me do the right thing if the time ever comes.
 

·
Resident Raggamuffin
Joined
·
9,715 Posts
thanks for this, Bill, and I hope you are well onto the road to recovery.

be well
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,804 Posts
thanks for this, Bill, and I hope you are well onto the road to recovery.

be well
+1.

One thing I have found in riding (and in sports) is that visualization exercises can help alot. After reading once about having the front end slide, and the necessary reaction being NOT chopping the throttle, but opening it slightly to un-load the front wheel, I used to visualize this happening. When it did happen I reacted automatically to open the throttle slightly, and saved it. Which seems counter-intuitive.

I am a firm believer in this concept in many aspects of life. Many think visualizing success is bunk, but it can be highly effective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,732 Posts
Good tips. I ride like I'm invisible and try to always be prepared. When I'm going through wooded areas I imagine deer lurking about working up the courage for a Kamikaze run. When in traffic I figure at least half the people are preoccupied with something other than driving. I often cover the front brake in both instances. Being prepared is the best way that you can prevent overreacting and bikes are very unforgiving of overreaction.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,256 Posts
Riding on the street is all about survival. Over the years of my driving (not riding) on public streets, I've learned to predict situations in front of me. Four cars ahead, if they start pulling into my lane, I know they MIGHT stop, so I get out of that lane and 9 times out of 10 I'm right. I keep on driving because I predicted their maneuver and it didn't effect me.

The more times other drivers effect your riding, the more potential you have to get hurt. If you ride amongst car's on a highway and NOT pass them to find open road. If you ride your bike distracted and not paying attention to subtle situations ahead. If you put yourself in a situation where you can't predict, IE canyon riding, where you can't see around the next bend, but continue to go fast. Those situations will increase your risk of an accident 10 fold and its imperative you pay more attention to the situations around you.

The best way to figure out avoidance maneuvers is to practice. You can throw up a bunch of cones in a parking lot and practice dodging between them. Maybe practice going down a very thin ally way somewhere, that your bike barley fits into? IDK, I learned avoidance techniques driving, not riding, so going from a car to a bike was great for me, I can literally put my bike anywhere. What you need to know is, where to go when someone gets in your way. The best thing I've learned is; if your in trouble, the law doesn't count. I've bailed out of situations and gone onto sidewalks before! If your a good enough rider, where you go is more of a question of where your bike fits. This is why I ride a small, slim superbike, because I can basically stuff it anywhere I need to.

Anyway, I've been driving since 1997, so that's 12 years and riding for almost 3 and I've never had an incident. It is all about how you interact with your surroundings. Motorcycle accidents are caused by motorcyclists pretending to be car's and that hurts... If you have to break the law to be safer, so be it.

Glad your OK Bill!



100% free webcam site! | Awesome chicks and it is absolutely free! | Watch free live sex cam - easy as 1-2-3
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Most of my riding is on 128 where it's pretty much guarranteed that at least once a day, someone will do something stupid in front of you that requires an immediate reaction to avoid an accident.
You have some guts my friend. I am very familiar with this road and I try to avoid it even in a car. I didn't even bother owning a bike when I had to travel in mass.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,861 Posts
Post-Ride Analysis

Another thing that (I hope) helps is critically evaluating the performance of my ride, every ride. Something I learned from my cave diver training.

Today on the busy freeways, I prepared to change to a right-hand lane. Just as I was doing the change, the left-lane traffic suddenly stopped (from about 80 km/hr), and it was somewhat fortunate that I was already executing the lane change.

Did not notice the traffic slowing down soon enough (a spank bum emoticon would be appropriate:(). Left the safe-zone and got lucky...again:eek:. This is not sustainable:abduct:.
 

·
http://www.ducati-owners-group.c
Joined
·
2,008 Posts
I didn't know Bill but I'm glad you are still with us. God speed my friend.

A Suburban hit me head on last December and all that saved my life was I jumped off the bike right before impact, flew in the air over the truck and landed on my feet believe it or not. Hit the ground with my left leg twisted which splintered my Femur all the way to the knee. (Bionic man now!LOL)
Not a scratch on my head or body. Two broken fingers and wrist from my fingers going into the grill and getting yanked out.

I'm alive because I jumped and was also in phenomenal shape. The doctor told me if I wasn't in the great shape I was in I wouldn't have made it.
Still messed up but healing nicely with weekly physical therapy.
I'm in Boulder CO right now in fact climbing the Rockies for a little high altitude training...This is a HUGE milestone for me. HUGE!!


Remember a motorcycle rider is 35 TIMES more likely to die in a crash that a car driver....

Be preparred folks go slow!!!And whatever you do, ALWAYS, slow down and look ALL ways when going through an intersection OR IN A RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT. And when beside or behind someone, watch their mirrors for their eyes and also look ahead, not down....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,739 Posts
Excellent points here and thanks for reminding us Bill. I've caught myself loosing concentration, for instance not looking both ways before proceeding on a green light. I kick myself mentally and practice role playing constantly. I had the fortune of attending some high powered riding schools in the past, schools that allowed you to press your luck and so doing you develop real skills. Eventhough the motorcycles were Harley Davidsons, you can still learn a lot from them doing broadside skiding, weave patterns, slow work (lots of that, teaches you control), and a bunch of other skill building exercises.

Practice, practice, practice is essentially the key. Once an exercise is ingrained then in theory the reaction will be automatic. There are alternatives to just grabbing a handful of brakes, but sometimes thats all you have so it is good to know where the edge of the envelope is, or at least where you have a good idea where it is. I remember meeting up with a rookie motor cop and his training officer, the rookie was getting some in house training before assignment to the CHP motor academy. The question of brakes came up and the training officer exclaimed you could not lock up the front brakes on a Harley. I respectfully disagreed with him and he said something to the effect, "OK, I'll show you". As he took off to make a run by us, I told the rookie they will lock up. The training officer made the u-turn and accellerated towards us, he was going approximately 45 to 50 mph when he grabbed the brakes. Just as I predicted, the front end locked up and the tire tucked under and the bike went down pretty hard. Fortunately, he wasn't hurt, but his ego was obviously bruised. His words were, "I guess your right, they can lock up".

I always think in the back of my mind that I will be the recipient of the unexpected. Just like riding in the twisties, I try and look way up the road and at the same time conduct "roadway appraisal". That is to be aware of hazards that can also find their way underneath you.

Again, there are many suggestions on this thread that if you were to condense and practice these safety ideas, you will be ahead of the game.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,360 Posts
I think we all are Wiser and are more concerened and aware, because of your crash .Your experience will definately save some of us and the people who we are connected to some grief . Recognize your surroudiings and leave a dangerous situation. I do a lot of back roads and what I notice is how deep the ditches are , one side has a huge ditch the other side I might be able to navigate it .Find the safest area on the road and claim it . Get by that unattentive driver or make a turn . Speed will get you into trouble and get you out of trouble...Thanks for sharing your experience with us and letting us put you under the microscope .Real experiences are the best and most effective teachers..........On a side note there was a refinery worker who got burned real bad in New Jersey , all his own fault didn't follow saftey procedures on a routine job, was in a hurry to go on vacation, His truck (left running) ignited the source .Kentucky Fried, There was some wet eyes as he told his story and the outcome Divorce ,Dad died of a heart attack hearing the news ,They told the victim(Charlie) his dad had a cold and he wasn't allowed in. The burn unit , Horrible! I've been in hundreds of saftey meetings and that one I'll always remember ,his first hand account. Thanks
 

·
Still needs a life.
Joined
·
12,619 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
One of the most frustrating things about my accident is that I have no memory of it, which is not uncommon. This lack of memory keeps me from learning from my mistakes and being better prepared for the next ride.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
377 Posts
That memory lose thing is a two edged sword, it may make it difficult to analyze the accident and learn from but it makes it much easier to get back on a bike after a serious wreck. I t-boned a large truck at about 75 MPH back in the mid 70's totaling out my Norton 850 (i miss that bike) but was back riding in about 6 months. It only took that long because it tool me a while to find the bike I wanted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
755 Posts
thoughts on .....

greetings Bill,

You have been fortunate to escape (more) serious injuries than you received. Good for you, and I am glad for you, though I have never met you.

Perhaps a detached view would help you get "past" the incident. Objective review of the details, causes, dismiss any illogical or irrelevant items. You have ridden many miles and hopefully will ride many more. Motorcycle riding is an exercise in risk management. Best wishes for your recovery.

chow,
Fred
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,739 Posts
One of the most frustrating things about my accident is that I have no memory of it, which is not uncommon. This lack of memory keeps me from learning from my mistakes and being better prepared for the next ride.
Your memory may just come back one day and then you will know. I remember enough of my accident to learn as you have indicated why I crashed. I was going too damn fast, simple as that. Maybe mix in a little target fixation (don't hit those trees), cold DOT tires and its a wrap (or crash). The key is to have the discipline to listen to your inner thoughts, the rational ones and carry them out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
1. When I realized I wouldn't be able to avoid the car turning left in front of me on a highway a few years ago, I scrubbed off as much speed as I could and looked for an open space where I wanted to end up. It felt like a football field to me (rush hour traffic). I don't remember t-boning the car but I did remember to pull my arms in as I tumbled. My full gear helped me to survive with no major injuries. As they say, dress for the crash, not for the ride.

2. Riding in NYC for a number of years taught me to look at the tires of cars sitting at cross streets and intersections - and not the driver or hubcaps. The spinners and motion behind the cars create optical confusion.

3. My current pet peeve is Seattle cab drivers and their unpredictable u-turns in busy streets. WTF?!
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top