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 Could this crash have been prevented ? (see video)
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hellebauer
Starting Member
4 Posts


Baltimore, MD
USA

BMW

R11xxGS, DL650, KLR

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  1:13 PM                       Like
http://youtu.be/rvVouuH4tLQ
(In England, driving left)

This rider lucked out, not hitting any hard parts of the car.

The bike's brake lights come on as soon as car starts turning. So this rider did pay attention.

There is some tire skidding going on during the panic stop. So deceleration may not have been optimal.

I wonder if a swerve to the right might have saved the show. On any account, this all went quick, no time to think. So all reactions would have to be trained reflexes.

The fisheye perspective of the camera makes close things appear much further away, which makes evaluation difficult.

Looking forward to opinions ......


************ EDIT 3/24/2014 *********

I made a slow motion version of the video with a super-imposed time stamp and some comments

http://vimeo.com/89917675

This video runs a half speed.
So 2 seconds in the video equate to 1 second in the real world.

For example:

Car starts turning at 4:20 (4seconds20frames)
Crash is at 7:15 (7seconds15frames)

Each "timestamp-second" consists of 30 frames and is 1/2 second in the real world.

So our rider had 85 frames (7:15-4:20) time from car turning to crashing. Each "real world" second is 60 frames. So our rider had 1.417 seconds from realization to crash (85/60)


According to the XL "Average Deceleration Rate From Max and Squeeze Time" from this site it takes 1.56seconds to stop from 30mph.

So this crash was unavoidable.

Edited by - hellebauer on 03/24/2014 8:46 PM

Magnawing
Male Senior Member
281 Posts


The Woodlands, TX
USA

Honda

VF750C

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  1:22 PM Follow poster on Twitter
I'm no expert but it looks like the rider may have been a victim of "target fixation". He doesn't appear to have attempted any evasive maneuvers other than braking. It appears from both camera views that he focused on the side of the car and that's exactly where the bike went...into the side of the car. Had he looked to the other lane, which judging from his camera view and that of the trailing camera, he did not attempt to move to the opposite lane.

"Your bike will go where your head looks" If he had looked to the opposite lane, he would have gone into the opposite lane and possibly avoided the collision.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6890 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  2:57 PM
I can't tell from a small internet video if the rider could have avoided that or not.

In a similar situation, I would be watching oncoming traffic and hope to be able to detect someone slowing as they approached me, which would be a hint that they might be ready to turn.

Assuming that I could identify a car slowing, I would then be watching the front tires for any hint of turning across my path.

This is a case where I believe a bright helmet might have made a difference. The rider had a black helmet on, even though his jacket was white. Even a yellow jacket might have made a difference. If you're wearing the same colors that people see in the background, it's harder to pick you out. (I realize that his headlight was likely on.)

The rider was unlucky as far as the car turning at the worst possible time for him to avoid it. I don't like riding on roads like that. Fortunately, most of the roads around here with speed limits over 30 mph have center islands and turn lanes. It greatly reduces the chances for someone to turn in front of you.
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1695 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  4:50 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
My inpression was that he should have been able to avoid the car.

Easy to say from the comfort of my chair though.

I watched it several times, but I didn't hear skidding, didn't see a brake light. I didn't even detect the nose of the bike diving from braking. Maybe that's me.

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greywolf
Male Moderator
1495 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  10:29 PM
Edging through the video shows about 1 second between the car crossing the line and contact. The better part of a second is eaten up by reaction time. You don't want to move into an oncoming traffic lane to avoid a crash. There's too good a chance of hitting a trailing car and doubling the crash speed. Just brake as hard as possible to lower the crash speed. I don't think the crash was avoidable on the biker's part.
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2082 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 03/22/2014 :  8:22 AM
I kept replaying the riders perspective at the beginning of the video looking for tells from the drivers car. At about 2 seconds you see the front wheels turn and impact is at about 3 seconds. If the driver signaled before the turn I could not see it. The car appears to have turned into a driveway and not a street. I would not have been at full alert as I am when approaching cross streets or active driveways (Malls, service stations, etc.) and with only a second or so to react I don't see how it would have been any different had I been the rider. I rely on not getting into bad situations rather than getting out of them, and this one gets added to my nightmare scenarios list.

I'm glad he went over and not into the vehicle.

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Horse
Senior Member
263 Posts


Newbury, Berkshire
United Kingdom

BMW

R850RT

Posted - 03/22/2014 :  4:34 PM
Reply from Brit perspective:

There are so many 'warning signs' suggesting that it's a hazardous environment that it's almost embarrassing to watch the guy get caught out:

It's very obviously a residential road, with many side turns - well-cut hedges, walls and gateways, roofs visible, telegraph poles with each wire leading to a building. Each turning is an opportunity for a vehicle to emerge, or children, dogs, etc.

It's a bus route, buses = people, and they have to come from somewhere. ['Bus stop' painted on the road]

Long painted centre lines signifies 'hazard', with double lines meaning greater hazard (& no crossing the lines).

Rider 1 stayed out towards the centre despite the oncoming vehicle. Two problems:
1. Much reduced safety margin (time and distance)
2. Almost a head-on approach, which gives little lateral movement across the driver's field of view, and rider is easily obscured by even a smudge on the windscreen

Speed limit probably 30mph - but the car couldn't have made the turn at that speed. A fairly good hint for the rider . . .

So what could, should, the rider have done?

Slow, then as the car slowed, slow more.
Move left (eg 'Z Line' zig-zag)
Consider (as an also not an alternative) a long headlamp flash
Cover the brakes to reduce reaction time
Mentally prepare to jump immediately before impact

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Horse
Senior Member
263 Posts


Newbury, Berkshire
United Kingdom

BMW

R850RT

Posted - 03/23/2014 :  4:34 AM
One further thought: with the riders 'staggered', first right, second left, the driver might well have seen the first rider, waited, then turned across into the unseen second rider.
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DataDan
Advanced Member
542 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 03/23/2014 :  1:13 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Horse

One further thought: with the riders 'staggered', first right, second left, the driver might well have seen the first rider, waited, then turned across into the unseen second rider.

If I understand correctly, you're suggesting that the driver saw only the trailing rider and turned across the unseen leading rider.

I agree that's a good possibility. With a car in front of the offending car, little lateral space separated the car ahead from the oncoming motorcycle. A driver who wasn't looking carefully might miss it. This could be added to your points 1 and 2:

3. Insufficient separation from other traffic in the driver's field of vision.

This might suggest that the leading rider, nearer the centerline, is in greater danger when riding staggered. However, in a crash near my home last year, it was the trailing rider (further from the centerline) in a staggered pair who was involved in a crash with an oncoming left-turner. When I first read about this, it made no sense. How could the driver see the first rider but turn in front of the second?

A possible answer is that the trailing rider, at that moment, was directly behind the leading rider in the driver's line of sight. She was looking across the centerline at an angle, and the trailing motorcycle was obscured by the lead motorcycle. Not looking carefully (she was searching for an address on the left side of the street), she turned after the lead motorcycle passed.

This phenomenon is discussed in detail in Tip 259--but with a car blocking the view to the motorcycle rather than another motorcycle.

The crash last year prompted me to question the wisdom of staggered formation. The incident in this thread again raises the issue in my mind.
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1695 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 03/23/2014 :  2:05 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
It occurs to me when riding with my brother and his friend. It's a freestyle group, and I'm usually in the rear. We're pretty much single file, and spaced 2 seconds. On our way to more interesting roads, we're on 2 lane state routes, with plenty driveways, plus intersections.

The lead bike may be anywhere in the lane, and the same with the middle bike. Since I thought there ought to be some advantage to being seen as a group rather than solo, I've always adjusted my lane position so that I have a clear line of sight to traffic and cars waiting to enter our road.

My goal is attempted to always being seen as 3 motorcycles, to the vehicle which might be the most hazard (if there is more than one porential vehicle).

Even at 2 second spacing, riding single file, can easily cause the rider ahead to obscur my view, and naturally the vehicles view of me.

I enjoy the ebb and flow of this maneuvering, especially on an otherwise boring section of road.
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vprahl
Male Standard Member
122 Posts


The Woodlands, tx
USA

Honda

Rebel

Posted - 03/23/2014 :  7:15 PM
Tough to say, but that's why I ride at 5mph slower than posted speed when I am in congested situations. I also wear a high viz jacket along with a white helmet. All of those elements might have made a difference. He was wearing a white jacket which should have helped, but does have on a dark helmet. From what I've read, the color of the helmet is more important, as it is further up and has unrestricted view.
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onthebeach
Male Standard Member
110 Posts


Arch Cape, Oregon
USA

Suzuki

V-Strom 650 ADV

Posted - 03/23/2014 :  8:03 PM
From what I can see in the video I cannot judge if the rider could have avoided this crash. Regarding helmet color, last winter I went for a weekend ride with a friend on a "marginal" day - mostly dry with just a few showers. We made a loop that took us from the Portland, Oregon area over to the coast and back. When at the coast we were in a really overcast Oregon winter day - no visible sun, just that overall gray sky so that you really cannot establish where in the sky the sun might be. As we were traveling south along the coast a motorcycle came at us and the rider had a bright yellow helmet - that sort of yellow-green color now used on a lot of school signs. I guess a "high vis" yellow-green color.

The interesting thing about that oncoming motorcycle was that the first thing I saw was the helmet. That caught my attention before I registered that there was a motorcycle coming at me. My helmet is white, and as far as "fashion" goes, I think it looks a lot better than the high vis helmet of this rider. But on this dreary Oregon coast day I think the winner for visibility would have been the high vis helmet.

I am now wearing a high vis vest with some reflective tape on it and I have some bright LED lights down on the forks. I hope that helps.

I certainly think we should all ride defensively, try and keep an escape route open, etc., but at some point I think we have to admit that we are sharing the road with automobiles and there is a time when riders need to rely on the autos to not run into us just as the autos need to rely on motorcycles to not run into them. I am not advocating a carefree "rely on luck" attitude, just that motorcycles and autos both rely on other drivers to mostly obey the established traffic rules. Skill will avoid some but not all accidents. I am glad this fellow was able to get up after this one.

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vprahl
Male Standard Member
122 Posts


The Woodlands, tx
USA

Honda

Rebel

Posted - 03/23/2014 :  9:17 PM
Couldn't agree more onthebeach. In addition, distractions are a huge part of accidents and if you notice, the woman is comforting a child after the accident. Very possible that mom was distracted right before she turned. None of us can control that. On a side note, I wanted a hi viz helmet but the only one available just didn't fit right.
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hellebauer
Starting Member
4 Posts


Baltimore, MD
USA

BMW

R11xxGS, DL650, KLR

Peer Review: 1

Posted - 03/24/2014 :  2:41 PM
Thanks for all the opinions.


I made a slow motion version of the video with super-imposed time stamp and comments.

http://vimeo.com/89917675

This video runs a half speed.
So 2 seconds in the video equate to 1 second in the real world.

For example:

Car starts turning at 4:20 (4seconds20frames)
Crash is at 7:15 (7seconds15frames)

Each "timestamp-second" consists of 30 frames and is 1/2 second in the real world.

So our rider had 85 frames (7:15-4:20) time from car turning to crashing. Each "real world" second is 60 frames. So our rider had 1.417 seconds from realization to crash (85/60)

According to the XL "Average Deceleration Rate From Max and Squeeze Time" from this site it takes 1.56seconds to stop from 30mph.

So this crash was unavoidable.


---------------------------

After reviewing this at half the speed I would say that a hard brake was the correct choice.

The leading rider kept pretty much to the inside of the road, which was the right thing to do with all these driveways and bushes along the road side. Alas, in theory, the leading rider should have moved to the outside of the road whenever passing a vehicle coming the opposite way. In this case however, if he would have been on the outside of the road, he would have hit the car much harder not clearing the roof without injuries.


I also think that the 2nd rider put himself in a bad position. Riding staggered to the left made him invisible for right turning cars. So a car may have yielded to the leading bike but then take out the following bike.

As cars are coming on the opposite lane and/or are yielding at a driveway/intersection, it may be a good idea to do a few weaves within your lane. From the car drivers point of view, this should provide movement of the bike/rider frame vs. the background, and reduce any unwanted camouflage effects. I will try to incorporate this tactic during this riding season.


To increase my visibility to others I have mounted Motolights to my forks, and run them with yellow/amber bulbs. The amber lights really make the bike stick out. I also considered modulated headlamps, but decided against them as I find them annoying. On gloomy days I also use a high-viz jacket.



Edited by - hellebauer on 03/24/2014 8:52 PM
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gymnast
Moderator
4267 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 03/24/2014 :  3:23 PM
-hellbauer, This makes the event much more comprehensible. I agree that the rider, given the circumstances shown in the video could not have avoided the crash. Further, braking so as to reduce the amount energy at the point of impact was his best option in the situation.
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SteveS
Male Advanced Member
1208 Posts
[Mentor]


Toronto, Ontario
Canada

Harley-Davidson

FLHTK 2012

Posted - 03/24/2014 :  10:07 PM
I am not so tech savvy and not into engineering at all but I have some thoughts that differ.

I do not understand what you mean when you say "car turns at ....." (sec/frame)
Wheel begins to turn?
Front end dips?
Car begins to slow down?

Also looks like 1st bike is in great position to see beyond car that no vehicle is following closely. So, why not swerve?

I did not see brake lights on crashed bike maybe I missed them but forks did not collapse until last instant.

Is it not possible that the rider was not alert to the cues available so his reaction was too late.

My 2 cents
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hellebauer
Starting Member
4 Posts


Baltimore, MD
USA

BMW

R11xxGS, DL650, KLR

Posted - 03/25/2014 :  7:55 AM
>>>>I do not understand what you mean when you say "car turns at ....." (sec/frame)
Wheel begins to turn?
Front end dips?
Car begins to slow down? >>>>>


The slow motion video in this link https://vimeo.com/89917675 has a time stamp in top part. Stop the video where the time stamp says: "00:00:04:20"
This is where the car is already in the process of turning (car is already pointing in direction of turn)



>>>>Also looks like 1st bike is in great position to see beyond car that no vehicle is following closely. So, why not swerve? >>>>>

That was my first thought too. But in hindsight it is not a good idea for these reasons:
1.) The slower moving car had a good chance to still brake/stop before completely obstructing the rider's lane.

2.) When swerving, the rider would have not been able to shed a whole lot of speed. If the car driver would have stopped before crossing completely into the bike's lane, then the rider would have crashed into the stopped car on the opposite lane with somewhat higher speed.
(Play video between 00:00:20:00 and crashing)

3.) The car cleared its own lane late in the process, so this swerve would have needed to be very wide and quick.





>>>I did not see brake lights on crashed bike maybe I missed them but forks did not collapse until last instant.>>>

It's hard to see, but if your video player allows frame-to-frame steps you can see it at 00:00:20:13 .





>>>Is it not possible that the rider was not alert to the cues available so his reaction was too late.>>>

Yes it is. The fish eye perspective of the camera makes the judgement of distances very hard though.

It took the rider about 0.3 seconds to hit the brakes. Not too bad.
He had slightly more than 1 second of active brake time before crash.
At 30mph it takes about 1.56 seconds to stop (34.4 feet)

The very earliest and faint cue (visible in the video) of the car turning might have bought our rider another 0.15 seconds. Still not enough time to stop, but a less severe impact.

In the real world (view) there may have been other cues but I did not see them in the video.

It is also a good idea to watch the video at full speed to see how quickly events really unfolded: http://youtu.be/rvVouuH4tLQ


BTW: Did anyone notice that the car was actually crossing a double line ?



Edited by - hellebauer on 03/25/2014 2:55 PM
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greywolf
Male Moderator
1495 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 03/25/2014 :  3:13 PM
The double line allows turns when oncoming traffic is clear. It does not allow passing (overtaking). I just noticed an arrow on the road indicating a curve, a reason for the double line. That could have given the car driver a shorter interval to locate oncoming traffic. Of course that's no excuse as the driver should have made sure the turn was clear just before making it.

Any preventative action the rider could have taken would involve the time prior to the car turning. Once the car crossed the line, it was too late for the rider to avoid the crash. One thing we don't know is whether the rider was speeding.
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hellebauer
Starting Member
4 Posts


Baltimore, MD
USA

BMW

R11xxGS, DL650, KLR

Posted - 03/25/2014 :  4:20 PM
quote:
Originally posted by greywolf

The double line allows turns when oncoming traffic is clear. It does not allow passing (overtaking).




No crossing of solid double lines in Germany. (I guess I'm a well trained German )

Just checked for England: Double white lines where the line nearest you is solid. This means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road. You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less.
Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10 & 26


https://www.gov.uk/general-rules-al...d-127-to-132
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2082 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 03/25/2014 :  9:28 PM
In NY you can cross a double line when entering or exiting a driveway, assuming it is safe to do so. You cannot cross it to pass (overtake) or to make a U-turn. My assumption has been that that holds true in most if not all states.
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SteveS
Male Advanced Member
1208 Posts
[Mentor]


Toronto, Ontario
Canada

Harley-Davidson

FLHTK 2012

Posted - 03/25/2014 :  10:41 PM
I'm not a tech or engineer and I had some other ideas on this video.

Rider 1 was on the inside track as he should have been. He should have had a clear view of on-coming traffic.

If he were alert he should have known a couple of things.

1. The car was slowing down for turn.
2. No visible on-coming traffic so making a swerve was an option.
3. He did not brake until last moment.

He must have been distracted or just not alert.

Lastly I do not know what you see as the moment the car turned. Not very specific as defensive driving would anticipate prior to car moving into his lane by noticing cues available.

My 2cents
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