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 All Forums
 Motorcycle Safety
 Motorcycle Accident Reports - WITH COMMENTS
 Photographic Sequence of Motorcycle Crash
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D R
Advanced Member
1053 Posts
[Mentor]


Northern, Virginia
USA

BMW

R1200RT

Posted - 10/19/2012 :  6:39 AM                       Like
Usually when discussing a motorcycle crash here, we can only speculate as to what happened. We read an article or two with descriptions of what witnesses may or may not have scene and possibly an after-crash photograph or two. The series of 28 photographs, beginning with the link, below presents an opportunity to observe a crash from before, to after the entire event.

Take a look at them and then present your view as to what went wrong and what the rider could/should have done differently to avoid the accident. (This occurred on US-129, Tail of the Dragon, which has a posted speed limit of 35 mph maximum.)

(give it a few moments to open after you click the link)

http://www.photoreflect.com/store/O...0&po=0&pc=28

Here is my take on the accident incident: (James, I corrected my word choice )

The problem began when he let himself be distracted from watching the roadway and shifted his primary attention to playing for the photographer. He then found himself entering a right-hand curve too fast and ended up dragging parts on the road surface. When he found himself dragging parts it appears he attempted to correct, but did so incorrectly by standing the motorcycle up versus leaning his body further into the turn. With the motorcycle now more up-right he crossed into the on-coming lane. It appears he still had time to correct but it looks like he failed to properly counter-steer, then target fixated on the on-coming car and subsequently collided.

For those of you who have never been to the Tail of the Dragon, be aware there are photographers at various places along the road and many people on motorcycles will play to the photographers, just so they can get a cool picture of themselves. If you look at many of the photographs on the websites maintained by the photographers you will see many photographs of both cars and motorcycles crossing the center line into the on-coming lane.

If you ever go to the Tail of the Dragon, forget all notions of taking the "perfect line" through the curves. Given the propensity of others to cross the center line, protect yourself by keeping your speed down and stay to the right side of your lane.

(..corrected typo...)

Edited by - D R on 10/19/2012 8:58 AM

woonjas
Male Junior Member
26 Posts


Canton, Mississippi
USA

Yamaha

XTZ750 Super T?n?r?

Posted - 10/19/2012 :  7:01 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Actually the speed limit has been dropped to 35mph for a big part.
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17377 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 10/19/2012 :  8:08 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
D.R.,

You are exactly correct in so many ways about this incident ('accident' it was not).

  • He was distracted (by choice).

  • He was traveling too fast (maybe at speed limit, but beyond the capability of his bike).

  • He 'gave up' and straightened his bike rather than lean his BODY into turn.

  • After crossing center line, oncoming car or not, he was going to have a bad day.

  • He target fixated (rather than 'froze' - he applied his brakes at frame 15).

Two things happened in his favor:
  • The car driver pulled far to his right and prevented a head-on.

  • His left leg was not instantly severed from his body.

It seems to me that it would be easy for him to sue the cameraman for presenting a 'public and inviting danger' (akin to an unfenced pool) who KNOWINGLY sought to gain financially from an 'accident' that his presence (with visible camera) incited.

In no way would the rider be absolved of primary responsibility for this incident, in my opinion, but that cameraman could end up paying big time depending on the jury's reaction.
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twc
Male Advanced Member
836 Posts
[Mentor]


Fort Collins, CO
USA

Harley-Davidson

Electra Glide Ultra

Posted - 10/19/2012 :  10:23 AM
quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis

It seems to me that it would be easy for him to sue the cameraman for presenting a 'public and inviting danger' (akin to an unfenced pool) who KNOWINGLY sought to gain financially from an 'accident' that his presence (with visible camera) incited.

In no way would the rider be absolved of primary responsibility for this incident, in my opinion, but that cameraman could end up paying big time depending on the jury's reaction.
Interesting comment! The photographer as an "attractive nuisance". From a personal viewpoint, I'm not buyin' it. If I was on the jury, I would contend that he did it to himself.

The photographer will testify that he was there to record automobiles and motorcycles in action photographs, a perfectly reasonable thing to do. It's not unlike being a photographer at a weekend event, such as a combined carriage driving competition, something I've personally done. Everyone knows I'm there shooting photographic sequences and I've not asked them to do anything; I'm simply shooting whatever they do. Like motorcycling, this sport has inherent dangers. You accept that risk, implicitly or explicitly, when you engage in such activities.

Of course, my opinion and a dollar will (probably) get you a cup of coffee. Anything can, and sometimes does, happen in a court of law. For sure I could envision the photographer being sued in our litigious climate, but I can't imagine that he would win unless the photographer encouraged him to do something dangerous.
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17377 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 10/19/2012 :  10:31 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I agree with you. A jury MIGHT not.
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CaptCrash
Male Advanced Member
744 Posts
[Mentor]


Nampa, ID
USA

Honda

Phantom

Posted - 10/19/2012 :  11:40 AM
I know this is a tad off--but I'm quite taken by the front wheel in frame 19 where you can see it has broken out all the center and is just a rim and is rebouding off the car.

It's an elegant view of energy being passed around.
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D R
Advanced Member
1053 Posts
[Mentor]


Northern, Virginia
USA

BMW

R1200RT

Posted - 10/19/2012 :  12:30 PM
I spent a little time looking for any news articles or comments on other forums as to the condition of the rider in the sequence of photos. I've not found any information on him, however I did find on another forum, that fluids left on the road from this accident resulted in another accident later in the day.

Apparently, another rider later in the day had the misfortune to encounter the fluids, went into a low side and both he and the motorcycle went over the edge of the chasm. Two additional riders had apparently already stopped at the location and were looking at what was left of the first accident and saw the second one. Given the terrain, and the fact the second rider went over the edge, it would have been a very long time before anyone noticed he was missing.

As it was, the second rider suffered very serious injuries and was Medevaced to UT. I've not read anything as to what exactly the second rider was doing at the moment he went down but can only speculate it was too fast for the now deteriorated conditions.

Prays and well wishes to both riders and their families.
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D R
Advanced Member
1053 Posts
[Mentor]


Northern, Virginia
USA

BMW

R1200RT

Posted - 10/19/2012 :  3:37 PM
Comments from the driver of the Corvette:

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c5-...-dragon.html

quote:

I tried moving to the outside of the lane, but couldn't go very far because of the extreme dropoff. I don't think he had enough time to lay it down.


....obviously not a motorcycle rider, or at least not a well educated one....

Another poster on the Corvette forum stated:

quote:

This is being discussed on the Valkyrie message board and one of the members is a personal friend of Ron, the motorcyclist. He says that Ron is a very experienced rider and that this was a moment of distraction that he let get away from him. He had to make a split second decision once he got in trouble and decided to stand the bike up as opposed to laying it down. I have 50k on my current bike and would not want to be in that position on making a decision.


Is Ron's experience based on years of riding or miles of riding? If he felt his only choices where to stand it up or "lay it down", then I submit Ron's experience is a little lacking.

(...added aditional comments...)

Edited by - D R on 10/19/2012 3:51 PM
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kacinpa
Male Advanced Member
802 Posts
[Mentor]


Lansdale, PA
USA

Triumph

Sprint GT

Posted - 10/19/2012 :  4:18 PM
quote:
Originally posted by D R

Is Ron's experience based on years of riding or miles of riding? If he felt his only choices where to stand it up or "lay it down", then I submit Ron's experience is a little lacking.



Looking at the photo sequence had me thinking of the MSF ARC I took a couple months ago. In the turn the rider's body position is all wrong. To me it looks as if he is leaning AWAY from the curve, with his weight shifted towards the outside. I believe if he had shifted his body "up and in" as taught in the ARC he would have ridden through the curve with no issue. The idea that he had no choice except to decide which way to crash, low-side or hit the Corvette, is ridiculous.

I guess I also don't have to point out that setting up a curve by waving at a camera doesn't exactly scream "experienced rider" to me.
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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 10/19/2012 :  5:51 PM
It appears, had he the necessary skill, that there was time available, when he first recognized his problem, to push right to go right. He did not exercise that option within the window that was open to allow it. Likely, though "an experienced rider", it was not, apparently, a skill that he had practiced and mastered.
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2272 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 10/20/2012 :  12:49 AM
quote:
Originally posted by D R
Is Ron's experience based on years of riding or miles of riding? If he felt his only choices where to stand it up or "lay it down", then I submit Ron's experience is a little lacking.

(...added additional comments...)



I agree. The term laying it down is telling and...

Unless or until one learns more about the dynamics, lean in to lift the bike may be a counterintuitive truism.

His buddy that has 50 k on his bike may not have fared any better but I can agree with his statement; " ... not wanting to be in that position..."
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AMJIce
Male Standard Member
124 Posts


Laguna Hills, CA
USA

Suzuki

DL650K9

Posted - 10/20/2012 :  11:57 PM
Apparently, there was a secondary accident that resulted from oil/coolant spillage and that rider was hurt from low-siding: http://www.easttnriders.com/forum/s....php?t=41945

Extensive injuries (Post 14) resulted.

Post 18 comes from a member there that seems to have a safety mindset, as it pertains to risks involved with NOT practicing in a track setting.

I wish there was a way to point the Valkyrie forum member(s) who still debate the value of "layin' her down" to what the happened during the lowside that caused such injuries to the second rider. Will they get that layin' her down IS a lowside?
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capozzir
Senior Member
303 Posts


Leesburg, VA
USA

Honda

GL1800B

Posted - 10/22/2012 :  7:35 AM
quote:
Originally posted by D R
...
Is Ron's experience based on years of riding or miles of riding? If he felt his only choices where to stand it up or "lay it down", then I submit Ron's experience is a little lacking.
...



Experience and skill level are obviously two separate things but are often times assumed to be the same. Folks like to brag about how long they've ridden like that is suppose to automatically equate to a high skill level. It doesn't.

It certainly looks (to me anyways) that Ron's experience (how ever extensive) has resulted in a low level riding skill set (both mentally and mechanically). Apparently his "experience" didn't allow him to manage his speed or attention in a way to avoid his crash. He made a serious of bad decisions (the first of which was likely his speed). I understand how a mistake can be made. I hope he heals up fast and hope he learns from this experience and looks to improve the quality of his future experiences and perhaps work on his skill set.
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2272 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 10/23/2012 :  5:13 AM
I don't recall the extent of injuries on the first crash but for certain, the riders for that balance of that day were all exposed to a very serious threat on that road surface due to the fluids left on the road. It was at least one 'getcha' for the secondary crash and the extent of that riders injuries are pretty horrific.

Although I can never take the road surface conditions for granted, I can still identify with a rider of higher skills and experience getting caught as per road surface condition more so than the reported elements of the first crash. In this case, it just helps me realize that one's mistake can have a multiplier effect of collateral incidents /contributing conditions on others well into the day.
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CaptCrash
Male Advanced Member
744 Posts
[Mentor]


Nampa, ID
USA

Honda

Phantom

Posted - 10/23/2012 :  7:22 AM
The second crash sounds like a perfect example of "overriding your sight distance."

Once you see the danger you're already in the soup.
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 10/23/2012 :  10:24 PM
quote:
I don't recall the extent of injuries on the first crash but for certain...
The first rider (shown in the photo series) is reported to have suffered only a broken wrist.
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2272 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 10/26/2012 :  4:47 AM
quote:
Originally posted by CaptCrash

The second crash sounds like a perfect example of "overriding your sight distance."

Once you see the danger you're already in the soup.



Could be that rider heard of the earlier crash and was more focused on the curves or potential of someone coming over the line ... never noting (or expecting) the left-over surface hazard.
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CatonaKawasaki
Starting Member
7 Posts


Minneapolis, MN
USA

Kawasaki

Versys

Posted - 05/06/2013 :  8:04 AM
Question:

Is it possible that the Victory rider was following the MSF's training for stopping in a corner -- straighten and brake?

I practice that and consider the scenarios where I might need to do it. Like coming into a corner too hot. Now that I've seen this sequence, that might not be the best option, but it's what I was taught.

kacinpa wrote, "I believe if he had shifted his body 'up and in' as taught in the ARC he would have ridden through the curve with no issue."

That was not taught in my BRC2. Elaborate?

Thanks!
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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 05/06/2013 :  8:42 AM
Looking at photos 9,10, and 11, it appears that the rider may have failed to put in sufficient countersteer and "quit"/changed his mind/target fixated/ in mid turn. Though it does not show,he may have been startled by the horn of the other driver. Starting at frame 1 it is easy to determine that the riders attention was not on the immediate path of safe travel (the four seconds of travel to the front of his vehicle location). Could the rider have made the curve? No doubt he could have had he been paying attention to the road in front of him and made the necessary adjustments to speed, path and position. Lack of perceptual lead, failure to search and be aware of control input requirements led to the crash. The rider was simply not giving sufficient attention to the operating task during the critical time prior to the crash.

I believe that this is is agreement with James analysis, above.
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kacinpa
Male Advanced Member
802 Posts
[Mentor]


Lansdale, PA
USA

Triumph

Sprint GT

Posted - 05/06/2013 :  4:00 PM
quote:
Originally posted by CatonaKawasaki


kacinpa wrote, "I believe if he had shifted his body 'up and in' as taught in the ARC he would have ridden through the curve with no issue."

That was not taught in my BRC2. Elaborate?

Thanks!



The ARC is the "Advanced RiderCourse - SportBike Techniques". Here in PA at least it is the "next level" of MSF curriculum after the BRC2. The ARC teaches shifting weight "up and in" to increase clearance in turns, braking in turns and swerving in turns and quick stops at higher speed than the BRC / BRC2. These are things the MSF believes are beyond "beginning" skills, thus are not taught in the BRC or BRC2.

I thought you mentioned that you were a RiderCoach in another thread?
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Alabusa
Male Senior Member
254 Posts


Muscle Shoals, Alabama
USA

Suzuki

Extreme

Posted - 05/06/2013 :  7:41 PM
It is quite obvious what started this incident. Once started, there were many factors that played into it.

Sadly, many popular roads, in the area around the Dragon, show people's lack of preparedness. Regardless of the chosen motorcycle, if you go to a technically demanding road, you had better be prepared. 100,000 miles and 20 years of putting around town, organized group rides and weekend rides to the local biker hangout does not get you ready for the total assault on your riding senses these roads require.
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