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Thread: Pavement paranoia!

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Pavement paranoia

    It may be that all crashes and near crashes provide a chance to learn how to ride more safely.

    I recently learned of a near crash situation that is perhaps not all that rare.

    Riding on a two lane highway, a rider was forced to the very outside edge of the pavement in his lane because a driver, following a slowly moving and tall van, became impatient and decided to pass without confirming the absence of oncoming traffic.

    This situation could be partially abated by two maneuvers that many of us already use but not consistently (at least in my case).

    One is the "Drunken Sailor" maneuver. Our visual cortex is not so great in detecting motion towards or away from us. OTOH, it does a great job when the movement is across the visual field.

    This maneuver is simply teeter tottering the bike from the vertical axis, side to side. It does't require much movement and in fact over doing it can put oncoming traffic into panic mode with unfortunate avoidance maneuvers.

    The other is Lane Position when faced with an oncoming truck/van/bus with trailing traffic (usually containing frustrated/anxious drivers).

    Consider moving your lane position towards the outside (but not the edge) of your lane to provide a better sight line for the trailing traffic.

    I imagine this works best when combined with the fist maneuver.

    YRMV

    NOTE: This thread has been condensed.
    Last edited by wildbears; 04-21-2020 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Clarification.

  2. #2
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    I do both these things as a matter of habit. I sometimes combine the hazards with the rocking of the bike. I do this on two lane roads for left turners and for folks looking to enter the roadway but for people entering roadway from my right I ALWAYS slow down if I am alone and not in a train of cars or on the front of a chain of cars until I can see the whites of their eyes. 35mph or below. I am never going 50mph when I am alone and see a car looking to enter the roadway and if I am going that fast or faster I am immediately hard on the brakes as soon as I see the vehicle. I look for every driveway as part of my normal scanning and am ready to brake as soon as one shows up. These days here in CA its the new fun thing to see if you can not stop and just enter the roadway. Super important to be on the lookout for that. 4 way stops aren't really those anymore either.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    My area had a number of bad accidents with cars making left turns in front of motorcycles. My response was to upgrade my bikes with conspicuity lights and louder horns. My R1200R has both Skene Photon Blasters and Clearwater LED spotlights. I've seen my bike coming towards me when mechanics were riding after servicing. It's more than a bit conspicuous.

    I'd add a laser cannon and a siren if I could...
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Anyname View Post
    My area had a number of bad accidents with cars making left turns in front of motorcycles. My response was to upgrade my bikes with conspicuity lights and louder horns. My R1200R has both Skene Photon Blasters and Clearwater LED spotlights. I've seen my bike coming towards me when mechanics were riding after servicing. It's more than a bit conspicuous.

    I'd add a laser cannon and a siren if I could...
    Same here, added Rigid D2's up front and ride with them on at all times when the bikes moving. It seems to me that they certainly catch more cagers eyes and become aware of the motor sooner since having them installed.

    Also had brighter LED headlights installed, the combination can't hurt [ to be more visible ].
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/azqkr

  5. #5
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildbears View Post
    It may be that all crashes and near crashes provide a chance to learn how to ride more safely.

    I recently learned of a near crash situation that is perhaps not all that rare.

    Riding on a two lane highway, a rider was forced to the very outside edge of the pavement in his lane because a driver, following a slowly moving and tall van, became impatient and decided to pass without confimring the absence of oncoming traffic.

    This situation could be parially abated by two manuvers that many of us already use but not consistently (at least in my case).

    One is the "Drunken Sailor" manuever. Our visual cortex is not so great in dectecting motion towards or away from us. OTOH, it does a great job when the movement is accross the visual field.

    This manuver is simply teeter totering the bike from the vertical axis, side to side. It does't require much movement and in fact over doing it can put oncoming traffic into panic mode with unfortunate avoidance manuvers.

    The other is Lane Position when faced with an oncoming truck/van/bus with trailing traffic (usually containing frustrated/anxous drivers).

    Consider moving your lane position towards the outside (but not the edge) of your lane to provide a better sight line for the trailing traffic.

    I imagine this works best when combined with the fist manuver.

    YRMV
    Your "Teeter Totering" is the "countersteering" technique taught in many rider clinics. Push right to go right, Push left to go left. In approximate terms, this action displaces the CG from the plane of the tire contact points and induces a turn / swerve to the path of travel.
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
    1) My expectations are never low enough & 2) Incompetence is infinite ........David Brooks

  6. #6
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildbears View Post
    Does Changing Lanes Get You There Faster?

    In fact, according to their research, not only will weaving back and forth between lanes not get you to your destination faster, it could put you and your passengers' lives at risk. Changing lanes "gets you there in about the same time, but lane changes on the highway especially can cause car (and motorcycle) accidents," said Dr.Jan 7, 2006

    https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Tr...=499882&page=1
    Treating the other traffic as slalom gate poles is not wise. Especially, when you consider that other A-types in much larger vehicles tend to do the same thing.

    However, you should always try to maximize your range of view and your visibility to other traffic. So, lane choice and position within in the lane have to be options the rider considers to reduce risk.
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
    1) My expectations are never low enough & 2) Incompetence is infinite ........David Brooks

  7. #7
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    More lighting helps. IMO, louder horns are worthless in most situations, more so on a head on. The oncoming driver, if he doesn't see your lights won't hear your horn either. Horns are fine for side by side traffic and someone tries to change lanes into you, but even then I question them. In 50 years of ridding I can remember using my horn a few times. Best defense is to be aware of your surroundings, watch traffic, anticipate other drivers and have a plan to get out of a bad situation.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  8. #8
    Registered User jonnybow's Avatar
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    I would also agree that a loud horn does very little to avoid or prevent accidents. A big loud F You maybe but to avoid an accident, you need to A. Be seen and B. know how to make an evasive maneuver if needed.
    Big bright lights help with A
    Lots of practice on evasive maneuvers helps with B
    Jon
    K1600GT & R1200GSA
    BMW MOA #220293

  9. #9
    This whole weaving point derived from aggressive driving in congested urban areas. And in that context it probably makes sense. Just stay in lane and plod along and you are probably safer. It has little to nothing to do with normal lane changes, merging to enter and exit a roadway, to pass a slower vehicle, to move over for a faster vehicle, and other forms of normal courteous riding.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wildbears View Post
    Agreed.

    Please list for this thread the factors involved in a properly performed lane change.

    Especially in congested traffic.
    The most proper lane change on a congested roadway is the exit to the right (or maybe left) to get off that road.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  11. #11
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    Blow horn after avoiding an accident. On second thought, don't blow it period. May offend someone. Wonder how long it takes to think, "Horn, need to blow the horn!"

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by wildbears View Post
    Unfortunately, a lot of the "cruiser types" pictured in this article do not have a freaking clue about this!
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by 8ninety8 View Post
    Blow horn after avoiding an accident. On second thought, don't blow it period. May offend someone. Wonder how long it takes to think, "Horn, need to blow the horn!"
    The position of the ST horn button pretty much guarantees that I don't offend anyone. I can never find it in a hurry. It is about as convenient as the turn signal cancellation button

    Randy

  14. #14
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorUB View Post
    More lighting helps. IMO, louder horns are worthless in most situations, more so on a head on. The oncoming driver, if he doesn't see your lights won't hear your horn either. Horns are fine for side by side traffic and someone tries to change lanes into you, but even then I question them. In 50 years of ridding I can remember using my horn a few times. Best defense is to be aware of your surroundings, watch traffic, anticipate other drivers and have a plan to get out of a bad situation.
    When I can, i fit my bikes with a pair of Fiamm horns. I know they work because drivers sometimes give me the finger. I'd really like a Bluetooth equipped helmet with a loudspeaker on the bike. Sometimes a horn doesn't really express how I feel about someones driving skills. Also, I know I can always scream obscenities while executing an emergency maneuver but I can't always find where BMW has hidden the damned horn button.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  15. #15
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    I have never been a regular horn user when on the road.
    Was recently recounting two different summer treks totaling around 10K miles with some buds and couldnít recall a needed honk except for getting the attention of a herd of cattle on an open range backroad that were not moo-ving from the roadway as I rolled up to them.
    I try to avoid riding in anyoneís blind spot and try to make eye contact or SMIDSY weave with potential path crossers
    Same for H, except when her tankbag contacts horn button while slow maneuvering at stops or getting my attention before rolling off if we are not connected via headsets.
    Have been in parts of the country where it seems blasting or beeping is standard practice, just not my thing as I just move away from reasons to use it as a emotional tool and enjoy my ride. Some places a honk is an aggressive move leading to more issues I have no time or need for.

    I probably use hand signals of phone to ear, a WTF upward palm shoulder shrug, or a wave way before a horn... too each his own
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and SABMWRA Prez

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    flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision~unknown

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