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Thread: Another "Left Turn Death" here in Maine....

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    Registered User xp8103's Avatar
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    Another "Left Turn Death" here in Maine....

    Middle aged rider, 17 year old SUV driver. No the rider didn't have a helmet, yes the 17 year old driver was inexperienced but that is not what I'm here to discuss.

    Is it just me or does there seem to be a higher percentage of these accidents? Sure, more cars on the road, more accidents but......

    Here's a thought.

    Daytime running lights. Up until DRLs became prevalent, GENERALLY the only lights you saw coming at you during the day were on bikes. If you saw a light, it was a bike. Now, when you look ahead down the road, ALL you see are lights, day and night.

    DRLs were supposed to make driving safer. Did they have an unintended consequence?

    Just a thought....
    Nik #140220 - '88 K75C | '96 R1100RS | '77 R100RS | '06 DL650
    '01 525iT (oOO=00=OOo)

    Helmets don't save lives but loud pipes do?

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    Registered User 39520's Avatar
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    Years ago an insurance executive was asked what change in traffic laws would benefit his company the most. He did not say speeding or raising the minimum driving age or re-testing or drunk driving or cell phones - he said banning the left turn against oncoming traffic.
    Ub
    05 K12S . 86 R65

  3. #3
    Moondog
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    It is a proven fact that turns in front of riders is the number one cause. That's why I have Hi-Vis jacket extra lights up front in triangle pattern and vigilant in those situations, which is always. It's just dangerous. I can see why some give it up especially with wifey and youngin's.

  4. #4
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    Rick had all of these

    Quote Originally Posted by moondog View Post
    It is a proven fact that turns in front of riders is the number one cause. That's why I have Hi-Vis jacket extra lights up front in triangle pattern and vigilant in those situations, which is always. It's just dangerous. I can see why some give it up especially with wifey and youngin's.
    My friend Rick had all of these on his BMW when a woman turned in front of him in Anderson, SC. he died the next day. He was ATGATT; it did not help.

    The problem is nothing more than people driving while distracted. I have a buddy who drives an ambulance and people turn in front of him all the time.

    THEY ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION.
    Jerry Dockery
    309 N. 3rd. Ave.
    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    1996 R1100RT main bike & 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  5. #5
    Registered User xp8103's Avatar
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    I've always tried to remind myself to assume that every car around me is going to hit me right up to the point at which it doesn't.
    Nik #140220 - '88 K75C | '96 R1100RS | '77 R100RS | '06 DL650
    '01 525iT (oOO=00=OOo)

    Helmets don't save lives but loud pipes do?

  6. #6
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    IMHO, nothing to do with DT lighting. It has to do with incompetent people being issued licenses. No more drivers ED in high school, do to liability issues and budget cuts, incompetent parents teaching (or should I say riding around with their kids JUST long enough for them to get a license), feeling of safety with 94 airbags, ABS, back up warning etc, which makes the consequences of not paying attention seem minimal.

    It will not get better until we toughen up training and licensing requirements.

  7. #7
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    this week, I have asked a very young left turner with the cell phone to her ear if she understood how close she came to killing me. I asked her if she knew what defending herself from manslaughter cost. All I got was a blank stare. Then there was the woman throwing her cigarette butt out the window while texting. screamed at her. I avoided all of them (this time).

    Rod

  8. #8
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post
    this week, I have asked a very young left turner with the cell phone to her ear if she understood how close she came to killing me. I asked her if she knew what defending herself from manslaughter cost. All I got was a blank stare. Then there was the woman throwing her cigarette butt out the window while texting. screamed at her. I avoided all of them (this time).

    Rod
    If it was close, you showed great restraint, I think that cell phone would have been drop kicked into the next county, if it were me.

  9. #9
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Zone Zombies

    Although I always ride with 'all lights blazing' my observation is that drivers seem to be evolving into some sort of detached zone. Just try and drive detached in an old VW Beetle on a cold winter day. Focus was required. A car has become the mobile livingroom. Isolation from the road, the vehicle, 'others' and even one's self I suppose. The vehicle itself seems to compel the driver to loose focus and drift off.

    (a bit of pscho-babble) There are numerous psychological proximity experiments which demonstrate the loss of 'connection' or empathy with another individual as distance from that individual increases and, inversely, the connection/empathy tends to be enhanced as personal distance decreases. Thus, it seems to me that the experience and senses of a cage driver motoring along tends to be detached and somewhat disengaged from the real task at hand. Like that girl with the cell phone mentioned in another post, she had no idea what she was being told. And that is really an unsettling thought as the numbers of vehicles increases and the tolerances of individuals become frayed.

    It's like trying to control deer and rabbits. Ever try explaining the situation to a deer? - Bob
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
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  10. #10
    rsbeemer 22600's Avatar
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    Just my thought

    I've been riding for over 40 years and had a few close calls when I was young; they were mostly my fault. But, in the last couple of years I have had more than a few close calls and most were due to people on cell phones and young inexperienced teenage drivers . Take both of those off the road and it would be much safer.

    DW
    1978 R100rs MOA#22600 125cc Kymco
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

  11. #11
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    I have to agree that distracted driving is the biggest issue on the roads today. And, yes, the causes are multiple... poor training, mobile electronics, the isolation of today's cars, poor attitudes, poor enforcement, etc. Having just begun riding again after 30+ years away, I find myself wondering at times if it was all that good an idea to get back on 2 wheels. I love it and do generally limit my riding the the less traveled roads but it seems I see stupid behavior almost every time I'm out. But, not giving it up yet! I have the 3 lights up front, extra tail lights, and my next jacket will be Hi-vis. And, I will keep my level of paranoia high enough to at least reduce the likelihood of an ugly encounter with the distracted masses.
    Carl

    '93 K75RT

  12. #12
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    Perhaps this is more the symptom than the cause, but I see so many vehicles being sloppily driven these days. Maintaining lane position, making short left turns crossing well into the oncoming lane and vehicles entering a highway expecting existing traffic to yield to them for a few examples.

    It just seems that no one cares anymore.

  13. #13
    Registered User
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    DWS.... Driving While Stupid.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  14. #14
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    It is sad to hear that an old guy on a bike got hit. However, I would rather die on a bike than in old age. Additionally, if I crash again, it will be my fault. Both my last crash and my last near miss were my own fault. Both were bad judgment. Even if the other road user kills me while making a left hand turn when I have the right away, it will be my fault. Even if the driver on right side of the road, decides to make a U turn while I am in his or her path, I accept riding as a dangerous endeavor that may take my life. I also accept that other road users can be as unpredictable as deer. But, cars suck. And,

  15. #15
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    At work we have driver improvement classes on a 3-year cycle. I volunteered to do a motorcycle awareness module as part of these classes, and did 2 of them this past week.

    I go over the findings of the Hurt Report and the MAIDS Report, and also the Wells Report from NZ.

    Main problem is the failure of motorists to detect motorcycles in traffic. We all know that. But a big finding is that vision obstructions plays a huge role in motorcycle accidents and all accidents. People who can't see because their vision is blocked will pull out into traffic or turn left despite having no idea what might be on the road. So when driving defensively, you must scan not only for immediate hazards, but for situations that produce accidents, namely situations where another motorist's vision is obstructed, usually by another vehicle.

    I asked the bikers in the room why, if the problem is people seeing us in traffic, that they insist on wearing black from head to toe?

    I have a PowerPoint presentation with some film clips embedded. It was actually very well received by the audience. The trouble with driver improvement classes is that many of them fail to get into the nitty-gritty of defensive driving. At least mine did that, and was hopefully informative.

    I pointed out that all the motorcycle accident studies basically arrived at the same conclusions. Bikers are better off making themselves more visible with white helmets, high-beam headlights, hi-viz vests or jackets, reflective materials, and using lane position to make sure they are not being hidden in traffic and that they appreciate when others' vision is obstructed.

    And yes, I don't do as much riding as I used to. I also will favor the slab because there are hopefully no left-turners on the Interstates.

    By the way, you can't ignore the fact that the victim in the original post was not wearing a helmet. That not only made him more vulnerable, it made him less visible. What else was he not doing right? He was probably dressed only in black, judging from what the vast majority of no-helmet riders I see are wearing.

    All you can do is make yourself highly visible to traffic, avoid being hidden by other vehicles, and raising your defensive driving to world-class levels.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

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