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 Motorcycle Safety
 General Discussion
 Intersection threat that I had not noticed before.
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cswp905
Junior Member
28 Posts


Duncan, OK
USA

Yamaha

1100 midnight custom
Peer Review:

Posted - 05/12/2005 :  7:59 AM                       Like
This is a fictional scenario. I thought of this yesterday while driving my cage. I have found recently that I can practice my 2 wheel driving, at least the scanning and evaluating, while driving my cage.

Here is the situation. You pull up to a stop light. There is already a car opposite of you, stopped as well. In the past I have felt fairly comfortable in this situation. I feel as though with the amount of time it takes for the light to turn green the other car should have plenty of opportunity to see me. This is obviously a bad assumption in any situation. What if the cage plans on turning left, but has not turned on their turn signal. Now add to the mix rowdy children in the back seat or an attention diverting cell phone call. The possibilities are endless. The light turns green you check both directions to make sure that someone else is not going to run the red light. As you enter the intersection the cage suddenly gasses it and turns either right in front of you or hits you in the side. The potentials for disaster are high. What mistakes did I make? First off I did not plan for an escape in case this happened. In the past I have not even thought of this as a possible threat. This is basically just a food for thought message.

Do you think about this when in this situation, or have you made the same mistake I have in not recognizing this as a potential problem?

stargazertony
Junior Member
26 Posts


Pittsburgh, PA
USA

Yamaha

1993 Blue XV535

Posted - 05/12/2005 :  8:22 AM
Been in this situation several times. Not at all pleasent. Additionally the situation is worsened if you are not the lead vehicle but are behind one. You are then invisible.

Also when waiting in the stacking lane waiting to turn left behind a cage you are also invisible. When following the car through the left turn, oncomming cars who are turning right might not see you and pull out just after the car you're following passes them.
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jollyroger
Advanced Member
2157 Posts
[Mentor]


St. Charles, MO
USA

Harley-Davidson

Springer Classic

Posted - 05/12/2005 :  8:28 AM
quote:
Originally posted by cswp905

This is a fictional scenario. I thought of this yesterday while driving my cage. I have found recently that I can practice my 2 wheel driving, at least the scanning and evaluating, while driving my cage.

Here is the situation. You pull up to a stop light. There is already a car opposite of you, stopped as well. In the past I have felt fairly comfortable in this situation. I feel as though with the amount of time it takes for the light to turn green the other car should have plenty of opportunity to see me. This is obviously a bad assumption in any situation. What if the cage plans on turning left, but has not turned on their turn signal. Now add to the mix rowdy children in the back seat or an attention diverting cell phone call. The possibilities are endless. The light turns green you check both directions to make sure that someone else is not going to run the red light. As you enter the intersection the cage suddenly gasses it and turns either right in front of you or hits you in the side. The potentials for disaster are high. What mistakes did I make? First off I did not plan for an escape in case this happened. In the past I have not even thought of this as a possible threat. This is basically just a food for thought message.

Do you think about this when in this situation, or have you made the same mistake I have in not recognizing this as a potential problem?



IMHO, the only thing you missed was planning an escape--my MSF taught that you'd head to where the cage came from; in this scenario, that might run you head-on into the next car in line, so...
You might modulate your headlight at the stop if you're reasonably sure the opposite driver doesn't see you.
But, if you're in the intersection and she gasses it, maybe the best you can hope for is to emergency stop or swerve out of the way.
You could wait for her to see what she's going to do--but the cars behind you won't be too happy..
Yes, it's unnerving to think of, but sometimes, try as we might, wrecks happen.
It doesn't make you wrong, though...
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htdb33
Standard Member
167 Posts


somerville, al
USA

Triumph

Trophy 1200

Posted - 05/12/2005 :  9:07 AM
quote:
You might modulate your headlight at the stop


I used do this but have been convinced it is an unsafe practice. To many people, blinking your headlights is a signal for THEM to go ahead. If you also think you have the right away then you could meetup in the intersection in an unpleasant manner.

If you are stopped in an intersection and are unsure of what the person across from you is going to do it is best remain stopped until the other person commits one way or the other. Of course, you need to watch your mirrors at the same time. Drivers approaching from behind you may expect you to procede forward once the light turns green. You could get rear ended. Decisions, decisions. Gather data, evalutate, act; thats all you can ever do.

Yankee Dog
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htdb33
Standard Member
167 Posts


somerville, al
USA

Triumph

Trophy 1200

Posted - 05/12/2005 :  9:20 AM
quote:
(the) situation is worsened if you are not the lead vehicle but are behind one. You are then invisible.

Also when waiting in the stacking lane waiting to turn left behind a cage you are also invisible. When following the car through the left turn, oncomming cars who are turning right might not see you and pull out just after the car you're following passes them.



The imperfect solution here is to try to make yourself as visible as possbile. I am not one to use only one track of my lane all the time. I use either the left or right side according to the situation. For instance, while stopped in a left hand turn lane somewhere back in the stack, I always use the left hand track while stopped. This allows me to better see down the left side of the stack in the direction I plan to turn. It also allows vehicle on the other side of the light to better see me.

Once I enter the turn I swing to the right track of the lane so I become visable to oncoming traffic as soon as possible. This also improves my own view of oncoming traffic. If something happens in the middle of the turn I can swing to the left track for a little wiggle room.

Yankee Dog

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Victory
Advanced Member
633 Posts
[Mentor]


Pawcatuck, CT
USA

Victory

10th Anny Vision

Posted - 05/12/2005 :  10:14 AM
When in doubt toot your horn. Hey, if you feel "funny" for tooting your own horn look to the side of the other driver and wave. They will think that you are waving to someone you know but in reality you got them to notice you.
Yeah, sounds wierd but it works. What do I care what they think, at least I'm alive and well.

Why do we need laws to have our M/C headlight on so people can see us? This tells me the same people must be running over children up to the age of twelve cause they are about the same size as my bike from the front or rear. Just an easy excuse, "I didn't see you." In reality they figured we would stop cause we would take more damage.
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Axeman1958
Male Senior Member
276 Posts


Hempstead, NY
USA

Harley-Davidson

Electra Glide U.C.

Posted - 05/12/2005 :  6:11 PM
Unfortunately, for a friend of mine this was not fictional. He was in the right lane, a car pulled up on his right he assumed the car was making a right turn)and, when the light changed the car turned left. Knocked him off the bike breaking two of his ribs.

Personally, I always try to pull up enough so I know they see me and, I still plan an escape route, just in case. Most times, if the car is to the right of me I'll stop in the left section of my lane. Gives me a split second more if the car starts to turn my way.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6950 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 05/13/2005 :  9:28 AM
I was trying to think of where around here this scenario could occur and decided that it can't because all traffic lights in the area have separate turn lanes. Most even have separate turn lights as well.

However, there was one case at a four-way stop when someone turned left in front of me like that. Since I never trust cars to do the right thing, I was able to stop in the intersection without coming too close to the car and just leave there feeling annoyed at the other driver.

The attitude that works best for me is to treat riding in traffic like some big video game where all other cars are out to get me if I give them a chance. If they can claim they didn't see me and do something to take me out I lose. Having that attitude and not trusting other drivers to do the right thing has helped me avoid making contact with any other vehicles during my entire riding career. (Now I'm working on avoiding the single vehicle accidents...)
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Alan_Hepburn
Male Standard Member
200 Posts


San Jose, Ca
USA

Honda

1994 GL1500SE

Posted - 05/13/2005 :  3:40 PM
Our MSF instructor recommended that we make sure we're never the first one into an intersection. Let some other dummy be first so THEY get hit...

Unfortunately that doesn't work of you're all alone at the light!

I would probably do as others have suggested: position myself so I have as many different avenues of escape as possible, and hesitate enough to see what the other driver is going to do.

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River
Male Advanced Member
506 Posts
[Mentor]


Chippewa Falls, WI
USA

Kawasaki

Concours

Posted - 05/13/2005 :  3:43 PM
During my new commute down SR 502 here in New Jersey I've had to deal with a variety of intersections, and two in particular bring to mind the scenario you've brought up...
In general, I agree with "scottrnelson" and the video game analoogy... its a good way to be mindful of the risks without empowering them, (which can effect how you deal with them), so that even though we know its dealy serious, the focus is on "winning" by making it through safely.
Its a good attitude/metaphor. I like it


^o^
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mikester
Junior Member
73 Posts


Lawton, OK
USA

Harley-Davidson

Heritage Softail

Posted - 05/13/2005 :  3:51 PM
Two thoughts come to mind. First is that you might try to wave at the driver of the other car, if they wave back at least they would indicate that they see you. My MSF instructor told us that he frequently uses waving to tell if other drivers see him. I haven't found it too useful but in the right circumstances it may be just what is needed. Second, if there is no one behind you then you have the option to just wait and see what the other driver does, when he commits you could go on. It is a good thought though, it seems as every day I see someone do something new I never thought was possible. Around here turning right from the left lane of a multilane street seems to be popular. I also try to practice my riding skills while driving, I believe riders are much better drivers than those drivers who don't ride.
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harley1200c
Junior Member
64 Posts


Surprise, Arizona
USA

Harley-Davidson

2005 XL1200C Sporty

Posted - 05/13/2005 :  5:01 PM
When I'm aproaching an intersection, my eyes are scanning every direction anticipating a cage entering my space. Hopefully I will have allowed enough time for me to make the right choice on escaping any bodily harm.
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Bean
Male Senior Member
260 Posts


Pinellas, FL
USA

Kawasaki

94' Vulcan 750

Posted - 05/15/2005 :  6:26 AM
Something no one else mentioned yet. A green light doesn't mean, Go. It means you have the right to yield. Obviously you don't want to sit there all day. But certainly keep this in mind.
In the above situation, when the light turns green I wait a second or two to see what the other car is going to do. When it's moved enough for me to know for sure it's going straight, then I go. If traffic behind me has a problem with my 1 or 2 seconds, that's their problem.
It's also not a bad idea to be in the center or right track. This way the car behind the one you've been watching has a better chance of seeing you around the first car. It also gives you more room if that 2nd (or 3rd) car turns in front of you.

-Kevin
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