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 Motorcycle Safety
 Motorcycle Accident Reports - WITH COMMENTS
 Truck swerves into side of motorcycle
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jbalderr
New Member
15 Posts


Fremont, CA
USA

(None)

Posted - 05/29/2010 :  12:22 PM                       Like
http://www.insidebayarea.com/argus/.../ci_15184371

Sobering to read this morning, especially for a visiting woman and group from Germany. My condolensces to their family & friends. 880 South has much truck traffic and a swerving truck is my worst nightmare. Can't tell if the truck swerved to avoid the lane changing moto or another vehicle, but it seems group riding dynamics was part of the fray. I have little experience in groups, so I often decline rides.

Going solo and whenever possible, I try to keep trucks an extra lane to my right, but from Oakland to San Jose, the traffic is quite variable, it can stop suddenly and then surge ahead sometimes. In this case, an extra lane of cushion did not seem possible. I always anticipate that a truck is gonna start jack knifing, so I give swerving space or pass at a good time. It's interesting to note that they are looking for witnesses on this busy Memorial Day Friday.

It's the norm that people are tailgating each other regardless of the traffic or no traffic slow downs. 70 mph is not an unusual speed for the fast lane in this section of Milpitas 65 mph area. But an extra 5 mph can be critical.

I am always anticipating an accident when leaving the Bay Area on a holiday weekend, because it feels like there's a "get the hell out of dodge" behavior. At the end of the weekend, I usually end up reading about a tragedy in the paper. This one came early.

jbalderr
New Member
15 Posts


Fremont, CA
USA

(None)

Posted - 05/29/2010 :  5:09 PM
Reading this article a third time clarifies some things for me. The E-Glide (not hit) changed lanes in front of the truck and the tanker driver reported steering right to avoid a collision (my opinion - maybe to brake for traffic and avoid the moto in front). He swerves back left and hits the Fat Boy.

Also, happened on Thursday and not Friday. Additional information I've found on the South Bay rider website indicates that it happened north of Montague exit. This area is 3 lanes wide as opposed to the four lanes of much of the north and central 880. In other words, potential slow downs, bottle necks, being along side tankers, etc.

It does make me think though about the challenges of touring unfamiliar areas even with an organaized tour as this seems to have been. There reportedly was a chase vehicle for the 15ish odd riders.

Still very sad to read.

http://www.southbayriders.com/forum....php?t=96074
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D R
Advanced Member
1053 Posts
[Mentor]


Northern, Virginia
USA

BMW

R1200RT

Posted - 05/29/2010 :  5:53 PM
It's interesting to note the dynamics of a shifting mass of liquid (contents of the tanker) was able to overcome the truck driver's input to steering. One more reason to stay clear of trucks, especially tankers.

I too prefer to give myself a lane of seperation when passing a truck. If that option is not available, I will lag back until I have a clear lane to safely and quickly pass the truck, without having to crowd any vehicls in the lane in front of me.
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Daddio
Male Advanced Member
775 Posts
[Mentor]


Calera, AL
USA

Suzuki

Bandit 1250

Posted - 05/29/2010 :  8:11 PM
I was under the impression that tanker trucks were equipped with baffle systems so load shifts are negligible. Of course I could be wrong and this truck may not have had a baffle. (My Mom drove for Exxon. Home heating oil and gasoline trucks. Her trucks had baffles to damp the effect of liquid load shift. I am assuming all tank trucks have baffles. If not, why not?)

The writer of the article reports the truck as a white International. I believe that the company that makes the trucks is White-International. I may be wrong again, but the reporter described a color white truck made by International.

If the bike passed the truck, how did the truck swerve into the side of the bike? If the bike was in front of the truck, what difference did the truck swerving make? The truck must have hit the bike from behind. I did not see that in the article, but the collision did happen. I ask myself, if the bike passed the truck, how did the truck hit the bike from the side?

Of course I give my condolences to the family and friends of the woman that was killed. I just think we do not get a real idea of what caused the crash from the written article. It is sad that a person lost their life. It is sad that the reporter wrote an article that leaves so many questions. The reporter's article does not add up in my mind.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6937 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 05/29/2010 :  10:26 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Daddio

If the bike passed the truck, how did the truck swerve into the side of the bike? If the bike was in front of the truck, what difference did the truck swerving make? The truck must have hit the bike from behind. I did not see that in the article, but the collision did happen. I ask myself, if the bike passed the truck, how did the truck hit the bike from the side?
One bike swerved in front of the truck, the one that was hit was further back. It was a group of 15 motorcycles.
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jbalderr
New Member
15 Posts


Fremont, CA
USA

(None)

Posted - 05/29/2010 :  11:27 PM
Post Accident picture of fatality, skid mark and possible tanker involved.

If this was the tanker involved and those are his skid marks, then his speed was probably reasonable. But, it's all conjecture because these are just reports.

http://www.mercurynews.com/milpitas/ci_15175763
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MattInFla
Male Senior Member
254 Posts
[Mentor]


Casselberry, FL
USA

Harley-Davidson

Electra Glide Classi

Posted - 05/30/2010 :  5:46 AM
quote:
Originally posted by D RI too prefer to give myself a lane of seperation when passing a truck. If that option is not available, I will lag back until I have a clear lane to safely and quickly pass the truck, without having to crowd any vehicls in the lane in front of me.



That's my strategy, too. No lingering alongside trucks. Hang back until there is clear space in front of the truck in my lane, then execute the pass. Death lives beside 18 wheelers.....
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CaptCrash
Male Advanced Member
744 Posts
[Mentor]


Nampa, ID
USA

Honda

Phantom

Posted - 05/30/2010 :  9:01 AM
I used to drive flatbed doubles right out of high school and ANY violent snap of the wheel at speed can have tremendous effects back down the axles. I vividly remember looking in the mirrors once and seeing the last set of axles with air under one set of dualies after I jerked the wheel in my rookie days. (I was hauling bricks. I was amazed that the brick boards held them in place.)

That said I think the thing to learn has been hit on the head--be wary of large vehicles! The don't stop well, they have vision issues, and they can shed tires or improperly secured loads.

The other issue could be (and this may seem odd) "respecting local custom". This was a group of European riders...in the SF Bay Area. Honestly? I wonder if they were behaving 'normally' and their 'normal' was different enough to put the truck driver in a position where he had an 'OH CRAP' moment. Meaning--did the group behave 'normally' for the Europe but 'uniquely' for a major Bay Area freeway.

I only posit this because I grew up riding in the Bay Area and the mores and taboos are different than those here in Idaho. In discussions in other threads we've seen a lot of discussion about group ride dynamics and rules...perhaps this group simply behaved in a way that that they considered normal but caught the driver out.

Perhaps another lesson to take away is knowing your environment...

Edited by - CaptCrash on 05/30/2010 9:08 AM
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17361 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 05/30/2010 :  9:13 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
That's a very insightful comment and worth contemplating. Thanks.
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(Deleted or Lost)

Posted - 05/30/2010 :  3:08 PM
One possibly pertinent issue is that it is illegal (and considered outrageous) in Germany to pass on the right.
My youngest learned to drive in the US, then almost immediately moved to Germany for 8 years (with the US Army). His first day back in the US, he was driving on the freeway in his car, at the speed limit in the center lane of 3, and a car came up at high speed on the inside lane. Like a good german driver, he immediately signaled and moved over to the inside lane, to allow the faster vehicle to pass (because of course no-one would pass on the right!). Both cars lost a wing mirror, but no other damage occurred. He was incensed and outraged that a) anyone would pass on the right, and b) it was legal to do so in the US.
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