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 Watching for threats while riding
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Advanced Member
6891 Posts

Pleasanton, CA


990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 11/16/2017 :  10:03 AM                       Like
On another forum that I follow, this YouTube video was posted showing a close call and how both the driver and rider were able to deal with it in a civilied manner.


My own feelings about it was that the rider should have identified the threat at least two seconds earlier and been on the brakes rather than just swerving.

When I'm riding a motorcycle, all other vehicles are considered a threat until I can determine that they are no longer a threat. Anybody who can cross my path gets extra attention. If the wheels are moving at all they're a serious threat and it's time to take action to avoid that threat. In the case of the video, the car came from a street on the right and never stopped. The wheels were turning the whole time. To me that means a big threat and time to slow right down.

For someone coming the other way that could turn across my path, if their wheels are straight ahead and not rolling, it's only a minor threat. As soon as they turn their wheels left at all, they're a bigger threat. If they're moving at all, also a bigger threat.

I spend a lot of time observing the front wheels of the cars that can be a threat to me and it has made a big difference in being able to avoid close calls.

I would be interested in hearing other ideas on this subject.

James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17303 Posts

Houston, TX


GoldWing 1500

Posted - 11/16/2017 :  10:26 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Your method is perfectly sound from my perspective, though I'd like to add at least one more serious threat to watch out for: What you can't see or understand.

Consider, for example, seeing a vehicle ahead of you in your lane that does a fast stop. Certainly, you could slow down but alternatively, you could change your path of travel and simply pass the obstruction.

If you can't see any indication of why that leading vehicle made a fast stop, then I suggest slowing/stopping is the only reasonable choice you have. What you can't see or understand is a threat every bit as significant as the others you posted.
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Male Junior Member
78 Posts

Ljubljana, Ljubljana



Posted - 11/16/2017 :  12:29 PM
Originally posted by scottrnelson
... My own feelings about it was that the rider should have identified the threat at least two seconds earlier and been on the brakes rather than just swerving....

Yup. Shutting off throttle at the time he passed the other car/junction since the car was *apparently* not stopping. A very short interval later on the brakes, since it *clearly* was not stopping.
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Advanced Member
1690 Posts

Stratford, CT



Posted - 11/25/2017 :  9:37 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
No way to prove it, but I get a feeling this guy was trying to make this appear closer than it should have been, to scare the driver or whatever, and misjudged his own actions. He was polite as can be to the driver, then when he left he was pretty upset. Maybe upset at his own misjudgment.

I think we've all seen this type of behavior, I'll "teach 'em".
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Male Advanced Member
724 Posts

Ottawa, Ontario


09 Wee

Posted - 11/26/2017 :  1:01 AM
From my point of view after seeing the clip:

It looked like the rider was going too fast and perhaps accelerating (I'd like to have a good look at the speedo & a posted limit).

At six seconds the car wasn't stopping at the proper spot. At that time he should have rolled off, and moved to the right track. (I've been told this makes you easier to see and judge your speed).

At eight seconds the car was in the intersection, and was aware of the bike. It would be best for the car to commit to the turn and accelerate through it. Unfortunately, many people when they see they're pulled out too far, hit the brakes hard, and give the other driver a bad choice or a possibly worse one.

If the rider had been in the right track he could have more easily gone around the car. If he'd rolled off the throttle, he'd have more easily stopped.

It seems to me that accidents aren't always one mistake. Sometimes it takes multiple mistakes, from multiple people to have an "accident".

TLDR: Slow down and move right to make it easier for the other driver to commit to the turn. Just don't hit the second car running the stop sign after him.
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