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Old 02-16-2020, 11:12 AM   #16
Gary856
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That's a very thorough description to analyze, so let's do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sckego View Post
I was less than 40' away, maybe 1 second from passing through the intersection, when she accelerated through the left turn, directly in front of me. I *think* I was already covering the brake in anticipation of the upcoming stop sign, but I'm not certain. In any case, I instinctually grabbed the front brake lever as hard as I could. There was no gradual squeeze or any attempt at modulation - it was 100% pure reaction panic braking that locked the front wheel instantly. The road was gently bending to the right at this point, and I lowsided to the right immediately.
You don't cover your brakes 100%, especially on surface streets? Just trying to understand your riding habits. (I ride with 2 fingers on the brake lever pretty much 100% of the time.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by sckego View Post
I slid/tumbled to a stop in the middle of the road, and my bike slid on it's right side down to her car and bumped her rear wheel. She had come to a stop in the middle of the road as well - I think she saw me partway through the turn and did a panic brake herself.
How far did she stop in your lane - 1/2 way, 3/4 of the way, or completely blocking your lane?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sckego View Post
Lady was very apologetic and took full responsibility, and cut me a check for repairs, rather than go through insurance.
Did you ask her why she waited if she wasn't waiting for you?

Is accepting a private check the right thing to do? I mean by accepting a check does that release her of liability if you discovered some longer term or hidden injuries?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sckego View Post
Man, this is a tough one. When it comes to "what could I have done differently?", the thing that comes to mind immediately is "buy a bike with ABS." It was something like a $500 option when I bought my bike, but I told myself that I'm a very experienced rider, I know what it's like to do threshold braking into a hairpin corner during an AFM race, I've daily commuted for over a decade and have lots of experience emergency braking and swerving when someone pulls in front of me, I can handle whatever comes up. Well, not this time. I had precisely *zero* time to think, only react, and my instinctual reaction put me on the ground. Would ABS have kept me upright? It would have given me a better chance, that's for sure.
Threshold braking when you planned to and being surprised are completely different. Agreed with you here.


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Originally Posted by sckego View Post
Could I have used better judgement? I have a hard time faulting myself there. I was traveling at a perfectly reasonable speed, and she had all the time in the world to see me, and behaved as if she had, right up until the last instant. After all, if she didn't see me, why was she waiting there for 6+ seconds? Still don't know the answer to that one. Could I have gone slower? Sure, and she still could have turned and hit me. Am I really going to slow down to 15mph every time I pass a car waiting to turn? Realistically, no.
Agreed.


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Originally Posted by sckego View Post
Other ways out? Swerving? There were cars to both sides (oncoming traffic waiting behind her, and a stopped car coming out of the bridge). I don't think there was room to go anywhere, even if I had the time to process the situation. MAYBE if I'd gone into a full left-hand swerve I could have cleared both her and the oncoming cars and ended up on the paved runoff to the left... not sure if that would have been correct choice though, as a misjudgment there would have put me into a head-on collision with the oncoming traffic.
How was your vision (spot or flood) as you approached, as you noticed the SUV's movement, and after you noticed the movement? Were you seeing the whole scene or looking at specific things?

It's very hard to visualize what I'd do with no reaction time (since I wasn't there, of course), but my instinct would be to either straighten up and brake, or continue right without braking and thread the needle. I probably wouldn't swerve left, since riding into the opposite lane with oncoming traffic is the bigger unknown.

Last edited by Gary856; 02-16-2020 at 11:18 AM..
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary856 View Post
How was your vision (spot or flood) as you approached, as you noticed the SUV's movement, and after you noticed the movement? Were you seeing the whole scene or looking at specific things?
I'm still waiting for the original poster to come back and answer the questions that I asked.

If you're going to ask for help here to understand why you crashed, you need to interact with those trying to help. At least answer our questions.
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Old 02-16-2020, 05:21 PM   #18
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Two things you could start practicing now that next time may save you from binning it -- emergency braking without panicking and directly steering right / left and braking. These are two drills that you can do on your own in any parking lot and maybe every day that might take all of 15 minutes of dedicated practice.

Alternatively you can take the CMSP intermediate riding course and work on those skills in class. I took the class down in San Jose last month.

Still you will need to practice the two drills as often as possible.

In emergency braking you need to (1) anticipate the need to emergency brake without panicking, (2) use both front and rear brakes, and (3) be smooth but firm in your braking, maximizing pressure on the brakes until you stop. You must practice until emergency braking becomes natural, almost instinctual; the braking is smooth and firm, with pressure on the brakes exerted gradually but quickly; and thus ensuring the front end smoothly -- and not herky jerkily -- depresses as you brake to a stop. If you can do it, you can also scoot your butt back to help stabilize the rear wheel while also pushing your head and torso over the handlebars.

Lastly keeping braking until you are completely stopped.

In emergency braking you must understand that you are not simply braking but actively trying to minimize weight transfer. I'm guessing that you braked and without knowing it stopped braking as you panicked, thus upsetting the bike's kinetic energy and heat transformation of the tires (might have this last part wrong: my notes don't quite do the terms justice).

The directly turning right or left and braking may save you from hitting a car or refrigerator in the road. Regarding left-turning cars in front of you, and a CMSP instructor can correct me if I get this part wrong, you will want to directly turn right before braking. It's not a guarantee that the turning car driver will brake once he or she realizes a motorcyclist is coming. But your driver did.

And directly turning right means you control the line you take.
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Last edited by Beanzy; 02-16-2020 at 05:37 PM..
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:30 AM   #19
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Sckego, glad you are okay. Hope you're healing quickly.
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Old 02-20-2020, 02:34 PM   #20
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Highbeam on during the daytime, always look at car wheels not the driver, and scan farther ahead and make the prediction that any car is going to turn out in front of you. Plus, don't panic brake
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:54 PM   #21
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I had my own somewhat close encounter with a surprise left turner early this morning. An oncoming driver turned left through an uncontrolled break in the median, trying to beat oncoming traffic. Traffic in my direction had left a stoplight a few seconds earlier and I was out in front, accelerating. I think this driver perceived the gap, decided she could make it before traffic got there and went.

She didn't see me either before the move or at any point after. Once committed to the turn, she was focused on the driveway across the street that she was turning into. I'm telling you this story; she isn't telling anyone anything because she doesn't know anything happened.

This was close enough to have resulted in a crash. I braked hard, looked at where the driver was looking and realized she wasn't going to stop. This left an increasing space behind her car, so I lightened up on the brakes and swerved left to pass behind her.

So, there was no crash and there was adequate room to escape. I mention it because, as fortunate as the outcome was, if she had started the turn maybe a half second later, the outcome could have been a lot different.

My part in letting this happen was that I had accelerated away from the light and allowed my vision to narrow in this stretch of road, which looks as if it has a solid median. I actually didn't know that opening was there until a car was coming through it. My situational awareness could have been better and I got a free reminder of that.
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Old 03-15-2020, 11:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tzrider View Post
... Traffic in my direction had left a stoplight a few seconds earlier and I was out in front, accelerating. I think this driver perceived the gap, decided she could make it before traffic got there and went ....
One thing I've learned is, don't be the first into an intersection on a green light. Let a car run interference first. That way, you're more likely not to get hit first.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:57 AM   #23
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:39 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanzy View Post
One thing I've learned is, don't be the first into an intersection on a green light. Let a car run interference first. That way, you're more likely not to get hit first.
Since we all know that a red light means "proceed" these days, it became a habit of visually checking the intersection if it's clear, before I move into it, be it bike or car.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:19 AM   #25
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Lots of good info, I agree with Pat, practice the technique of increasing braking pressure. What put you on the ground was "grab and squeeze hard." What might have kept you up would have been:" Grab and squeeze softly for a tiny moment to get the front tire loaded and then rapidly increase pressure."
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