Why we crash...
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Molto Verboso
1980 P200E project, 2005 Stella Mal 177 MKIII in pieces
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Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
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Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:31 pm quote
Good article (odd that I missed it, as it goes back to 2016). I've brought this up before, but roughly 80% of the safety measures I apply on a daily basis (which are also recommended in the article) were learned from my 40-plus years as a NYC cyclist–having started riding as an adult when Gotham had next to no cycling-related infrastructure to speak of. (Oddly, though, some traffic situations back then were better than they are now, but that's a subject for a whole 'nother thread.)

One bit that hit home reading this is the high incidence of riders hitting other vehicles from behind: that, to me, bespeaks not simply of inattention, but riding too damned close. I generally ride a minimum of three car-lengths back from whatever is in front of me, unless traffic is literally crawling, adding a car length for roughly every 10mph average speed. This doesn't just concern avoiding rear-ending somebody: two weeks ago I was riding around 50 mph in traffic when, out from the car in front of me, appeared the carcass of a doe, which was apparently hit by someone a short while before. Since the doe was laying dead-center in the lane, the car ahead of me drove straight over it, without braking (oddly) or swerving. Because I had about four-five car-lengths between myself and the car ahead of me, I had just enough time to scrub off speed, hug the median barrier and avoid colliding. As Tintin was apt to say, that was a near thing.

Last edited by amateriat on Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:32 pm; edited 3 times in total
Ossessionato
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Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:40 pm quote
amateriat wrote:
One bit that hit home reading this is the high incidence of riders hitting other vehicles from behind: that, to me, bespeaks not simply of inattention, but riding too damned close.
Yes. Riding too damned close.

And not looking far enough ahead to anticipate what is coming - and might be coming.

On my commute, I see guys lane splitting way too fast. Maybe not too fast for their almost superhuman reaction time, but too fast to avoid someone in a car suddenly moving into their path.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Typhoon 125
Joined: 29 Dec 2007
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Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:49 pm quote
The discussion after the above article includes a good observation by Mark Gardiner which speaks to the endless debate about motorcycle ABS versus personal skill. "The car in front of you has it (ABS). If that deer jumps out, onto that damp pavement, the guy in front of you is not going to lock up all four wheels and skid through the deer, clearing it from your path while you expertly threshold-brake behind him."
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
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Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:18 pm quote
Dooglas wrote:
The discussion after the above article includes a good observation by Mark Gardiner which speaks to the endless debate about motorcycle ABS versus personal skill. "The car in front of you has it (ABS). If that deer jumps out, onto that damp pavement, the guy in front of you is not going to lock up all four wheels and skid through the deer, clearing it from your path while you expertly threshold-brake behind him."
Wasn't going to bring up ABS here, but rather glad you did.
Hooked
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Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:59 pm quote
Commuter bicycling taught me 2 things that translate well to motors. Watch the drivers via side mirrors and look around the car and/or through the windshields. I don’t trust dark tinted windows because I can’t see traffic through them, so they get extra caution. Another trick, if it’s sunny, is to take note of the shadows. That’s revealed hidden cars or things in what otherwise looked like empty space before.

It might sound pessimistic, but it’s not meant to. I’m much calmer in traffic when I can see all four cars in front of me and notice things like if the SUV directly in front of me is tailgating the compact in front of them or not.
Ossessionato
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Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:32 pm quote
Cheshire wrote:
Commuter bicycling taught me 2 things that translate well to motors. Watch the drivers via side mirrors and look around the car and/or through the windshields. I don’t trust dark tinted windows because I can’t see traffic through them, so they get extra caution. Another trick, if it’s sunny, is to take note of the shadows. That’s revealed hidden cars or things in what otherwise looked like empty space before.

It might sound pessimistic, but it’s not meant to. I’m much calmer in traffic when I can see all four cars in front of me and notice things like if the SUV directly in front of me is tailgating the compact in front of them or not.
Situational awareness.

Extremely important.
Molto Verboso
Vespa Super 300
Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 1282
Location: IL
Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:40 pm quote
interesting article. The sad thing that this does not address the deteriation of driving I have noticed in the last couple years. I really do think that people are driving much worse in the last couple years. So many people are driving and texting(I have even seen people on PTW's driving and looking at their phones). People ignore stop signs and try to get past a stop light even when it has already turned red. Things like turn signals do not matter and turning from any lane is ok. I always joke that the new way people approach life is the "first rule"....It is all about me!. Sadly that is how many people drive. We need to be even more defensive when on our scooters than ever before. Lets all be safe out there.


larry
Hooked
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Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:10 pm quote
mpfrank: oh, gods yes. I got into powered two wheels as a hit-and-run survivor. Even now, 10 years after getting my motorcycle endorsement and 13 years post-incident, I’m probably borderline unhealthily hyper aware of my surroundings whenever I’m on the road.

LarryMK: I don’t know about the “all about me” theory, but I do know that everyday traffic is increasingly like holiday hell-traffic. Now that we’ve entered ACTUAL holiday hell-traffic preseason...I just try to take the route that has the least traffic, even if it’s an extra mile or 10. Better late and sane than on time through Mad Max traffic, IMHO...assuming I didn’t expect it and leave 15-20 minutes early.
saggezza di scala
2009 'Burma Shave' Red GTS 250ie
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Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:55 pm quote
The entire article is quite thought-provoking. But the bit that really hit home came at the end:
Quote:
"One thing professional riding coaches teach at the track is to keep your eyes up and look farther ahead. That essentially slows down the action, because you have more time to react to what you see if you’re looking further ahead. If you’re looking at what’s right in front of you on the track (or street), you’re looking at the past, not the future. It’s already too late for you to do anything about what’s 20 feet ahead of your front tire."
Molto Verboso
Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956 - Moto Guzzi Airone 250 Sport 1951
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
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Location: Latina (Italy)
Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:10 pm quote
Comments below are interesting too.
If you think that in U.S.A. been put up badly come and live and drive in Italy for a few years ...
Treppenwitz wrote:
The entire article is quite thought-provoking. But the bit that really hit home came at the end:
Quote:
"One thing professional riding coaches teach at the track is to keep your eyes up and look farther ahead. That essentially slows down the action, because you have more time to react to what you see if you’re looking further ahead. If you’re looking at what’s right in front of you on the track (or street), you’re looking at the past, not the future. It’s already too late for you to do anything about what’s 20 feet ahead of your front tire."
The real problem is the lack of attention to driving, being always careful for many drivers is tiring and therefore you get screwed just when you lower the guard level ...
Ossessionato
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Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:29 pm quote
mpfrank wrote:
amateriat wrote:
One bit that hit home reading this is the high incidence of riders hitting other vehicles from behind: that, to me, bespeaks not simply of inattention, but riding too damned close.
Yes. Riding too damned close.

And not looking far enough ahead to anticipate what is coming - and might be coming.
Just the other day I was driving back from work. The road was full of slush and very slippery. I drove on the righthand lane, around 55 mph with the other cars on that lane, the limit being ~62 mph (100km/h).

At some point I realized that next to me, on the lefhand lane, there were 4 cars within the same lenght of the road that on my lane were 2 cars If any of them would have even touched the breaks, there would have been a massive pile-up.

.. and we have plenty of those, the pic below just a few weeks ago in a road tunnel nearby.

6f192c73e99739432e67756ca260b40b674662b62f13b03858d3c1e7efd4d0ee.jpg

Ossessionato
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Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:47 am quote
Treppenwitz wrote:
The entire article is quite thought-provoking. But the bit that really hit home came at the end:
Quote:
"One thing professional riding coaches teach at the track is to keep your eyes up and look farther ahead. That essentially slows down the action, because you have more time to react to what you see if you’re looking further ahead. If you’re looking at what’s right in front of you on the track (or street), you’re looking at the past, not the future. It’s already too late for you to do anything about what’s 20 feet ahead of your front tire."
This is it, exactly.
Enthusiast
Vespa GTS Super Sport 300 Yellow
Joined: 25 May 2018
Posts: 82
Location: London, UK
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:17 pm quote
Like some of you I learnt my lessons the hard way, but on a bicycle (especially cornering too fast in adverse conditions and being careful around intersections). I feel as though everyone should have a few years of cycling on the roads before getting on a motorcycle! If I'd made some of those mistakes with an engine I wouldn't still be riding…
Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
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Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:12 pm quote
angrywasptamer wrote:
Like some of you I learnt my lessons the hard way, but on a bicycle (especially cornering too fast in adverse conditions and being careful around intersections). I feel as though everyone should have a few years of cycling on the roads before getting on a motorcycle! If I'd made some of those mistakes with an engine I wouldn't still be riding…
Well…I can't argue with that.
Molto Verboso
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2007 Burgman 400
Joined: 30 Mar 2014
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Location: Minneapolis USA
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:00 pm quote
Over Cautious Situational Awareness
Great input above from everyone. The constant 30 degree awareness developed riding two wheels has also made me a safer better car driver.

The following to close stuff is so important. I drive 22 miles to work (one way) on the express way. The tail gating - following to close is everywhere and constant. Those drivers have no option or second choice if anything goes wrong.

Bob Copeland
Minnesota
Hooked
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Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:03 pm quote
Good points. Glad I don’t follow closely. And, upon the scolding advice of Bill Dog, I stopped riding with any music playing so as to limit my ability to get distracted/not hear things around me. I am still on teh fence with swapping out my exhaust... Not looking for top speed but wouldn’t mind being heard. I just also don’t like having the high decibels going non stop while I ride.

-K
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Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:06 pm quote
Karlsbadd wrote:
Good points. Glad I don’t follow closely. And, upon the scolding advice of Bill Dog, I stopped riding with any music playing so as to limit my ability to get distracted/not hear things around me. I am still on teh fence with swapping out my exhaust... Not looking for top speed but wouldn’t mind being heard. I just also don’t like having the high decibels going non stop while I ride.

-K
Pedestrians, bicyclists...those would hear the louder pipes.
Modern car = good noise insulation, with radio on and you would need to have straight pipes to get their attention within traffic.

Much better return for investment, in terms of safety, is to focus on visible things as high up as possible from the road surface level.... like a reflecing vest, bright color helmet etc.
Molto Verboso
Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956 - Moto Guzzi Airone 250 Sport 1951
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Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:51 am quote
The real problem is that attention to driving is never enough, so you have to eliminate all the distracting elements (I speak mainly of earphones).
When driving commitment must be "only" for driving, the pleasure of doing it well is the best reward.
Hooked
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Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:51 am quote
aviation
In the aviation industry, they study 'accidents' extremely closely to determine causes in order to help avoid repeats. Almost universally, they result from pilot error, either flying into conditions that are not safe for the plane or conditions for which the pilot is unprepared. Often there is a chain of circumstances, with one error compounded by the next until they collectively lead to an 'accident'.

Traffic accidents are quite similar. Driver inattention, driving too fast for conditions, following too close, overestimating driver capability, will sooner or later lead to an 'accident'. The vast majority of 'accidents' are deterministic in nature, have specific causes, almost always driver error.

So the big trick is to recognize circumstances that will cause an 'accident' and mitigate or avoid them.

Locally a problem is trash on the streets, especially on the Interstate. Pieces of furniture, lost truck tire tread, lumber, metal bits. So keeping an extra-long following distance is important to avoiding these.
Molto Verboso
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2007 Burgman 400
Joined: 30 Mar 2014
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Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:34 am quote
Actually - Most are Good Drivers
Jimding,

Excellent analyst with the cause of aviation accidents/crashes. On balance,
a great many drivers are actually pretty good; comparing car crashes to
the general populations overall miles driven.

Jimding, your point highlights you really can avoid accidents with attention
to fundamental details like driving conditions, speed, and not following close.

Bob Copeland
Polar Air Heading my way.
Molto Verboso
1980 P200E project, 2005 Stella Mal 177 MKIII in pieces
Joined: 20 Jul 2018
Posts: 1229
Location: Staten Island, NY
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:29 pm quote
Yes I was also surprised by how common rear ending cars by motorcycles is. I will have to agree that in my experience with people around here and after taking my mss course on a motorcycle, user error is a big problem due to people's inattention or blatant lack of respect for the machinery and it's ability to kill you.

I read so many stories of people being failed in mss courses from the slightest mistake and being thrown out for repeated dropping their bikes during the class or other issues prior to my class. That was not my experience. I would say half of my mss class either dropped their bike multiple times in class and at least once in the test, or were flat out on their phone not paying attention to instructor half the time (same people who dropped their bikes), yet every single person passed that test and got their license out of my class. All of them had a way overpowered crotch rockets at home or cash for one burning holes in their pocket. I'm convinced at least one of them already passed from an accident within a year of that class. I think we should be more like European licensing and require more stringent skills requirements than we do with levels of licensing based on engine power and time ridden in each license category.

But even that won't stop the quad and dirt bike squad in my neighborhood who regularly do wheelies for blocks and swarm the highway on their unregistered non street legal two stroke ATVs disregarding common sense traffic rules. You can't teach respect for the machine. But you can prevent those who don't from endangering others while teaching those who do much better riding skills
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Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:26 pm quote
My class experience was, happily, quite different. The instructors took it seriously. There was one guy in the class ("Rock God") who rode in on his ape-hanger Harley ("All the guys in the band were getting one."). He was hung over and slept through much of the class. He then cheated on the written exam by copying another student's answers.

We were told that we could not be late for the riding portion of the day after lunch. Rock God was a couple of minutes late. They told him he could not complete the course and had to leave. So he rode off. The instructors knew what was happening.

There was a woman in the other group who froze and rode off the course. This was an immediate fail and she was sent home.

Everyone else completed the course successfully.
Molto Verboso
Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956 - Moto Guzzi Airone 250 Sport 1951
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
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Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:04 am quote
I don't know from you but here when you take the exams the quiz cards are all different, they have a serial number that corresponds to a control mask supplied to the examiner.
Each student has the number assigned and you cannot exchange and copy.
This was the case even when I passed the exam for the license to use dangerous products in orchards (pesticides and safety systems); 200 quizzes and to get the license you have to answer at least 50 minimum (center to all answered and no mistakes, i'm a good student ).
Hooked
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Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:08 am quote
We crash because we are riding Vespas.
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