What do you do?....50 MPH, 2 lane road, car drifts and comes straight for 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 47 Old 05-15-2016, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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What do you do?....50 MPH, 2 lane road, car drifts and comes straight for you...

....what I did today was slow down exponentially.....basically began to stop right in the middle of the road. I did not swerve either way. He, thankfully, stopped updating his Facebook status long enough to notice my Hi Viz jacket that he was about to run over and got back in his lane. I don't know what I would have done if he wouldn't have corrected himself. I guess tried to power out of it, but I admit to being pretty paralyzed. I guess God decided it wasn't my day to die.
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post #2 of 47 Old 05-15-2016, 03:12 PM
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Horn(s), high beams and swerve right....followed by firm application of fist to offenders face ( if you live..)

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post #3 of 47 Old 05-15-2016, 03:52 PM
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A few taps on the horn while slowing down and surveying the surroundings for my options. All the while keeping an eye on our wayward friend. If his attention was not on me/road pretty quickly, I would execute the option I felt was most appropriate for the situation.

It is very important to realize that there is no single option that fits all situations. Depending on traffic, road conditions, location, visibility, other obstacles... Just too many variables for a direct "answer".

I am very happy all went well. I am starting to think cell phones should auto shut over 25mph... maybe over 10!

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post #4 of 47 Old 05-15-2016, 04:56 PM
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Saw a car doing this a couple of days ago, luckily I was behind it. When she looked up from the phone and realised where she was, she nearly lost control as she swerved back.
Here you can't use a phone while driving (or stopped at lights) unless it is hands free and in a cradle, penalty $319 and 4 points (out of 13).
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post #5 of 47 Old 05-15-2016, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cavenger View Post
....what I did today was slow down exponentially.....basically began to stop right in the middle of the road. I did not swerve either way. He, thankfully, stopped updating his Facebook status long enough to notice my Hi Viz jacket that he was about to run over and got back in his lane. I don't know what I would have done if he wouldn't have corrected himself. I guess tried to power out of it, but I admit to being pretty paralyzed. I guess God decided it wasn't my day to die.

Head off the road if you have to. Anything to avoid a head on collision.

WTH were you thinking stopping in the middle of the road? Seriously is that the spot you choose to die? You should do some serious contemplation about riding.

Sorry to be harsh but that was a terrible decision.

Forget honking your horn, flashing your lights, etc. You're relying on the other guy to notice his mistake. First course of action always is to save your bacon. Being paralyzed with indecision will get your killed.
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post #6 of 47 Old 05-15-2016, 10:27 PM
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post #7 of 47 Old 05-15-2016, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Head off the road if you have to. Anything to avoid a head on collision.

WTH were you thinking stopping in the middle of the road? Seriously is that the spot you choose to die? You should do some serious contemplation about riding.

Sorry to be harsh but that was a terrible decision.

Forget honking your horn, flashing your lights, etc. You're relying on the other guy to notice his mistake. First course of action always is to save your bacon. Being paralyzed with indecision will get your killed.

I was waiting to see what he was going to do. I had no shoulder to go to. I honestly had no idea what choice I was going to make, but I didn't know what choice he was going to make either. The odds say he was going to correct back into his lane. My only choice was to pick where he wasn't. Oh and there were other people behind him in his lane. I honestly had very little choice besides off road and I mean off the road off of a deep shoulder. It wasn't to that point yet.

Last edited by cavenger; 05-15-2016 at 11:54 PM.
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post #8 of 47 Old 05-16-2016, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Spec View Post
Head off the road if you have to. Anything to avoid a head on collision.

WTH were you thinking stopping in the middle of the road? Seriously is that the spot you choose to die? You should do some serious contemplation about riding.

Sorry to be harsh but that was a terrible decision.

Forget honking your horn, flashing your lights, etc. You're relying on the other guy to notice his mistake. First course of action always is to save your bacon. Being paralyzed with indecision will get your killed.
Judging his reaction as terrible is pretty presumptuous... None of us were there except for cavenger, so we don't know all the other conditions, like what was the side of the road (though he said it was a steep shoulder), how far the guy was from him, etc...

I probably would have done the same thing, slow down to a near stop, and start flashing my brights or honking (more likely honking), while I prepare to jump off the bike and out of the way if necessary (maybe jumping up and letting him take out your bike if it's not a truck). I have done this many times for cars in the city that do basically the same thing (on skinny 2 lane roads with cars parked along both sides, people drift across the double yellows ALL THE TIME...), and the vast majority of the time the driver sees/hears me and veers back into their lane. Keep in mind I have a Denali sound blaster, so in a neighborhood, it's hard to not hear my horn... very attention grabbing.

I have also noticed that if I occupy the right side of my lane, oncoming drivers will often drift across the double yellows. If I ride the left side of my lane, close to the double yellows, cars tend to stay in their lane better.

I have watched hundreds of motorcycle crash videos (very educational IMO!), and there are tons of this same situation and most of the time the car swerves back into his lane, or the biker goes to his outside just barely missing the car in his lane. But sometimes the car continues across the oncoming lane and goes to the outside of the motorcycle, sometimes crashes off the road, sometimes not. Lots of times, especially for cars turning in front of bikes, the biker veers to the right, natural reaction to try to go around the car (car coming from the left, so they try to go right of the car), but all they end up doing is matching the turning car's rate of turn, and hits right into the middle of the turning car.

Because you don't know if they guy is going to self correct or continue drifting, you don't know if you should commit to one direction or the other. To me the most predictable thing is to stay in your lane (perhaps venture to the outside of your lane just in case...), and just honk and flash as much as you can. I would not continue at your same speed though as that reduces the time for them to see you and react. That said, don't slam on the brakes if there's drivers behind you... you don't want to set them up to rear end you either...

All this requires you to be ready to do something last ditch to get your body out of the way. I figure for a short car, I can jump of the pegs enough to not get completely impacted by the car (assuming I've prepared in the second or 2 that I'm watching the guy come at me). For a truck, there's not much you can do to get out of the way unless you can safely get WAY off the road.


Aww crap... That got long winded and it makes me look like I'm on a soap box... I think about this stuff alot because I do 80mi/per day minimum, and new england drivers are some of the least attentive/most self-centered I have ever seen. I dont' mean to be on a soap box or anything; I'd love to hear counter arguments if people have some sounds points. My goal is to not die (among others...), so I'm open to better ways to achieve that goal
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Last edited by Nelsonmd; 05-16-2016 at 10:42 AM.
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post #9 of 47 Old 05-16-2016, 11:31 AM
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Not being there it's hard to say exactly what he should or shouldn't have done.

My experience is that the steering stops working when you stop and you lose any ability to maneuver out of harm's way. In general with bikes our safety isn't in ATGAT, loud horns (or pipes) or hi-viz but rather in getting out of the way of trouble.

Still, if he had no where to go then there simply may not have been a choice but I suspect in most cases there is somewhere we could go.

..Tom
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post #10 of 47 Old 05-16-2016, 12:08 PM
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Judging his reaction as terrible is pretty presumptuous... None of us were there except for cavenger, so we don't know all the other conditions, like what was the side of the road (though he said it was a steep shoulder), how far the guy was from him, etc...
Yea it was harsh on my part but it was to make a point. Not reacting defensively will get you hurt or killed.

Expecting the other person to be predictable is not a good long term riding strategy. You know the expression "everyone is out to kill you when you are on a bike"?

He said he was almost stopping in the middle of the lane waiting to see what the oncoming car was going to do. Sound like a good defensive position? At the least he should have been pulling to the side of the road.

Near accident type situations should be reflected back on and evaluated. What did you as the rider do that was wrong or right. Run through possible scenarios maybe it will help in future situations.

I stand by my original statements though. Not making a decision is in fact making a decision. Coming to a near stop in the middle of a traffic lane with an oncoming car headed for you is a terrible decision.

React, do something. You're vulnerable on a bike.
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