Position yourself so drivers can see you - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #1 of 16 Old 10-31-2015, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Position yourself so drivers can see you

I saw a close call yesterday.

I was driving south on highway 19. A Goldwing was following a car north on hwy 19. The car was slowing to turn right on to P street. Another car was on at the stop sign on P street waiting to turn right and enter hwy 19.

The Goldwing rider had positioned himself in the 7:00 or 8:00 position behind the car. He couldn't see a car waiting to turn onto his road, and that car's driver couldn't see him. The car turning off hwy 19 blocked their view of each other.

The car turned off. The driver of the car turning onto 19 and the 'wing rider were both surprised to see the other. It was close but turned out OK. Totally the 'wing rider's fault. He didn't give the other driver a chance to see him until the last second.

Think ahead about where to position yourself so you get the best view of cars that might enter your road, and to give them a good chance to see you.
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-31-2015, 07:24 PM
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"Totally the 'wing rider's fault."
The other driver is supposed to be sure the way is clear before moving. Probably both guilty of assuming.
Who actually had the right of way?
Good reminder in any case.
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-31-2015, 07:29 PM
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What is the 7 or 8 position?
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-31-2015, 07:35 PM
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Behind and to the left, and would it matter if you "had the right of way" but were lying on the deck with a broken leg? Ride to survive.
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-31-2015, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broc11 View Post
What is the 7 or 8 position?
I would assume that is behind the left rear bumper of the car.

It is good idea not to ride the back bumper of the car or truck in front of you. It is okay to be 2, 3, or even 4 seconds behind the car in front of you. This will give you a better view of the traffic, and the traffic a better chance to see you. Plus, it really doesn't add any time to your commute.

Ride safe, ride smart, and enjoy the ride.
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post #6 of 16 Old 11-01-2015, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notacop View Post
"Totally the 'wing rider's fault."
The other driver is supposed to be sure the way is clear before moving. Probably both guilty of assuming.
Who actually had the right of way?
Good reminder in any case.
It was the 'wing rider's fault for not being as safe as he could be. The driver had a trip to the body shop at risk. The Goldwing rider had a trip to the mortuary at risk. When the risks are assymentrical the precautions need to be assymentrical.

Right of way is measured by one point per pound of vehicle. The wing had 800 right of way points. The car had 3000 points.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

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post #7 of 16 Old 11-01-2015, 08:03 AM
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"Right of way is measured by one point per pound of vehicle."

I'm reminded of the 'World According to Garp'.
Forget what the DMV manuals say, the biggest vehicle is always right. Ride safe.
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post #8 of 16 Old 11-01-2015, 09:46 AM
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You guys are really being cavalier with the term "right of way". Right of way is the legally defined right to proceed according to the traffic laws. In this case, the car had no right of way, and the biker had complete right of way. If they got in an accident, the car would be 100% at fault.

Completely separate from the right of way is "what the biker/car SHOULD have done". I have been in this situation many many times, in fact on my daily commute, I pass an intersection that is particularly dangerous for this kind of situation. Yes, the biker has a higher responsibility for his own safety because he is in more danger than the car driver, and he should act accordingly. The car driver is cutting short his legal obligation to stop and check traffic, and is the one that created this dangerous situation 100%. For my part, I always watch for turning cars in front of me, and if there's one on a side street, I often move over to that side of the lane to make sure I become visible to them (so in this analogy, the 4oclock position). This is the same as when someone in the oncoming lane is waiting to turn left across mine and I'm behind someone, I move to the 8oclock position so that they can see that I'm behind the car. There are sometimes other cicumstances that make me not want to remain very long in the 4oclock position, so I move back to wherever I want to be and I am careful to watch the turning car, expecting him to not see me.

Now the OP says th biker was behind a car. Unless this was a truck, panel van, or some other large vehicle that has heavily tinted windows, or no windows, the driver should be able to see through the car a little bit and see the biker behind him. And before you go saying "oh that is too much to expect of a cager, that's unreasonable..." I look through cars all the time when I'm turning specifically because I understand the danger of this situation, and I have many times seen something "through" the first car and waited. This is 100% the legal responsibility of the turning car.

Yeah, the rider was careless (by elevated riders' standards) and could have prevented the close call. But assigning any legal or otherwise blame to him is a little like blaming the victim of a theft because they forgot to lock their door. Yeah it was irresponsible, but the open door didn't force someone to come in and steal their stuff.
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post #9 of 16 Old 11-01-2015, 09:58 AM
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Regardless of right of way my intention is to always arrive alive. Be vigilant and rely on yourself for your safety is my motto. People are far too inattentive these days and that is the unfortunate truth. The position you put yourself is however critical so I'm constantly changing my position to give myself the greatest chance to be seen as well as escape.
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post #10 of 16 Old 11-01-2015, 07:38 PM
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Right of way is a wonderful concept, but as has been mentioned if there is a collision the rider on the bike will pay a much larger price; sadly often their life.

We need to stay vigilant and aware of when drivers are less likely to see us and that I think is the main point of PTRider's original post.

To add to it is that it is a dynamic process: things are continuously changing around us and sitting in one spot this moment might not be the best spot in five seconds.

..Tom
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This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
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