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Discussion Starter #1
Having looked into motorcycle accident statistics I've been giving the issue some thought.

A very significant factor to consider is how bad the vast majority of motorcycle riders are.

Almost daily I see totally stupid driving by bikers, but also see so much poor "preventative" awareness by apparently OK motorcycle riders.

Excluding reckless riders I see so many riders that ride in to much of a free spirit" manner practicing no predictive traffic behavior riding. They just ride around like there isn't a risk around.

I see riders lane splitting while approaching major forks on freeways.

Just today a rider on a Harley lane split between me (in a car "cage") and another car on a curved downhill three lane connector. The road surface there is cement slabs with cracks between lanes. There were no cars infront
of us and the car to my right was going quite slow and I would have passed it in no time. Regardless the stupid biker chose to pass between us. What was most stupid was that there was an open lane plus emergency lane open to the right of both cars.


Anyway when we look at statistics on motorcycle accidents and deaths it makes me wonder how much of this is avoidable and what the numbers would be if we excluded the idiots... excluded people wearing jeans and sneakers (like the guy above)... excluded the people wearing salad bowl helmets.... excluded riders without safety enhancements to their bikes... etc etc.
 

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Thought lane splitting is only done at a red light :confused: I need to be more educated.

Hope I don't get off topic, I have been able to avoid accidents so-far, But yes, stupidity is a factor. Ignorance may be another problem.

As for the biker in your post having room on the right to pass, it's illegal for vehicles to be in the left lane unless passing.
Rider/driver education sucks big time, speeding to catch the last 0.0001 seconds of a yellow light is illegal yet students are taught to break the law ( I've seen it ). People will stop on the freeway in the left lane to get to the exit that's 5 lanes to the right, ( again why were they in the left lane?)
Cars turning right on red is fine, but for Pete's sake come to a STOP like the handbook has printed in many languages.
Cagers and bikers changing lanes at freeway speeds is a good one, seen certain bikers just use a hand signal, twist the throttle and go without actually looking to make sure it's safe, the loud pipe will save then. Cagers will begin to ride the lines, bouncing off of them, then they will gradually be on the line slowly entering (my) the next lane, THAT'S when a signal is used, and maybe a slight twist of the head can be observed. My Stebel has had them move back fast:thumbup: Still do not know why they did not see my Brights, Hi-Viz Jacket, Hi-Viz Helmet
 

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... Still do not know why they did not see my Brights, Hi-Viz Jacket, Hi-Viz Helmet
Bright lights can act as camouflage.. they can cause people to not realize that you are a motorcycle, not know your position or speed, and at worst can cause you to literally disappear from their view.

I am firmly convinced that hi-viz can help you if you are lying on an empty road in the middle of night on a dark road in the country. I am not so convinced that it helps when in traffic and someone does a quick check and then pulls out or changes lanes, especially in bright conditions.

I have a Stebel on my 2006 DL650. I always viewed that if I HAD to use it I failed.. I must have put myself in a position that left me at the mercy of others and I could have avoided it. I bought one for my 2012 DL650 and it is still sitting in a box. I haven't missed it.

..Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Leaving cars out of the discussion for now... I am convinced that bikers are the most significant cause of motorcycle accidents through incorrect driving (both through ignorance and recklessness). On top of that inadequate bike and gear.

Last week because I had a bad cold I drove my car. 2 to 3 hours a day. I saw many motorcycles and of them all I only saw one driving in what I would call a reasonably safe manner. In the week I saw 4 downed bikes. Hear one go down in opposite lanes. Crunch followed by high revs.

Every lane splitter I saw was doing it wrong.
Splitting when traffic was going faster... no need to lane split.
When the traffic is going faster the time gained lane splitting is insignificant.
If traffic is going at 40mph and the lane splitter is going at 50mph the rider jut isn't going to gain enough time, but take a huge risk.
Spitters also splitting in the wrong locations or wrong moment:
Splitting with a SUV with a rented trailer to the left and multiple cars to the right and approaching a fork.
Splitter splitting with ape bars and feet on forward mounted cruising pegs.

Riders (including splitters) wearing jeans or shorts and sneakers.... not to mention salad bowl or open face helmets.

Even crazier... tailgaters... yes motorcycle tail gating a car... honking at it and flashing his Paris Dakar lights at the car.... in dense traffic.

Not one of the bikers I saw in the whole week used a headlight modulator. Not one had the loud passing beeper. Not one with big viz colors on their gear. All black, grey or dull jeans.

Even saw two street racers driving in "suicide mode" in tee shirts and sneakers, but darth vader isn helmets.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thought lane splitting is only done at a red light :confused: I need to be more educated.
Varies from state to state.

I California there is no law permitting it, but there is also no law not permitting it.
However bikers are pulled over for lane splitting if they are splitting dangerously beyond the accepted guidelines.

I will only lane split with very slow traffic or stopped cars. Even then I will do so
slowly and only on those freeways that have wide enough lanes and clear view, light etc. I will not lane split with sun low behind me. I have my headlight modulators on. Low beam in low light/overcast and high beam in bight sunlight.

I always lane split when coming to a stop either at red lights or on the freeway. On the freeway I will lane split even if traffic suddenly slows down. I do so to avoid being rear ended.

Finger always ready on the screaming banshee. I have one in the car too.
Dual intensity horn. Regular for 0.15 sec and a howling strong horn after that.
It's great. lets you use short "polite" regular beeps and blast the paint of a car when needed. Very nice combination.
 

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Leaving cars out of the discussion for now... I am convinced that bikers are the most significant cause of motorcycle accidents through incorrect driving (both through ignorance and recklessness). On top of that inadequate bike and gear.

Last week because I had a bad cold I drove my car. 2 to 3 hours a day. I saw many motorcycles and of them all I only saw one driving in what I would call a reasonably safe manner. In the week I saw 4 downed bikes. Hear one go down in opposite lanes. Crunch followed by high revs.

Every lane splitter I saw was doing it wrong.
Splitting when traffic was going faster... no need to lane split.
When the traffic is going faster the time gained lane splitting is insignificant.
If traffic is going at 40mph and the lane splitter is going at 50mph the rider jut isn't going to gain enough time, but take a huge risk.
Spitters also splitting in the wrong locations or wrong moment:
Splitting with a SUV with a rented trailer to the left and multiple cars to the right and approaching a fork.
Splitter splitting with ape bars and feet on forward mounted cruising pegs.

Riders (including splitters) wearing jeans or shorts and sneakers.... not to mention salad bowl or open face helmets.

Even crazier... tailgaters... yes motorcycle tail gating a car... honking at it and flashing his Paris Dakar lights at the car.... in dense traffic.

Not one of the bikers I saw in the whole week used a headlight modulator. Not one had the loud passing beeper. Not one with big viz colors on their gear. All black, grey or dull jeans.

Even saw two street racers driving in "suicide mode" in tee shirts and sneakers, but darth vader isn helmets.
Passing beepers?, Headlight modulators?, High Viz gear?...

Sounds like you need to wrap yourself in bubbles, I wonder why do you even have a Motorcycle??? sounds to me like you live in constant fear...

:confused:

Try being a little less judgmental, I would hate to hear you rear ended a semi while counting full face helmets or riders with inadequate lighting
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have practiced quite a few extreme sports.

In particular kitesurfing big waves. What mother nature has fought me is to respect the environment and the force of mother nature. I have learned how to observe big waves and understand them. Sense what they are doing and how to
be a part of them.

Making one's self visible and taking safety precautions is simply a part of enjoying one's self in a challenging environment.

I do not live in fear... 20 foot waves and mountain goat trails on my KTM are a blast.

I consider traffic like storm waves. Lot's going on and lots to observe, predict and respect.

My fathers business partner was in an accident caused by a motorcycle "road racer". The road racer ran a light at ridiculous speed. the bike went straight through the car killing two passengers. Sorry if I come over as a bit judgmental.
 

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...Not one of the bikers I saw in the whole week used a headlight modulator. Not one had the loud passing beeper. Not one with big viz colors on their gear. All black, grey or dull jeans...
Not everybody agrees that those things enhance safety. There certainly aren't any statistics to prove it.

As for the riding behaviors you comment on: Motorcycling is going to attract those kinds of people. Just the nature of the sport. Nothing you can do about it, they're not going to change and they definitely don't care about your opinion.

And besides, what you're doing is passing judgement on their risk/reward choices, which always seems a bit ironic to me coming from anyone who rides. :)
 

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A lot of accidents involving cars and motorcycles occur because the driver of the car didn't see the motorcycle, a known fact. Anything that makes you more visible without being too much of a distraction will help prevent these type of accidents from happening. It's a safe and logical deduction to make. Certain accidents that occur such as a deer running out wouldn't have had a different outcome regardless of the amount of "visibility" items present. The only way to avoid the possibility of these type of accidents is to not ride. Level of safety is still a personal choice though dictated by the risk factor whether perceived or real that the individual is willing to take.
 

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There are always the extremes. One was demonstrated by the OP. The other we all see routinely with riders that dress for the beach.

Then we have the same people that always chime in about Hi Viz doesn't work...blah blah blah......SMIDSY crap and statistics.

Let us not forget, most drivers are not going to pull out in front of you then when interviewed after the carnage say...."yeah, I saw him, but my attention was on my __________"

To me it's very simple.

Be seen. Ride conservatively. Anticipate and leave an escape route. Ride in the best places at the best time. And, wear the gear.

Unless one of you guys hits me on my bike with your bike, I really will not concern myself with what you do, nor spend a lot of time thinking about it.
 

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I firmly believe that any type of cage driver, is the single biggest detriment to a motorcyclist, especially when it comes to fatalities and serious injury. I try my best to ride as if I do not exist to anyone, self awareness and riding experience can go a long way toward self preservation.
 

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wishful thinking, a disease

Yes, it's true that there are many riders who court catastrophe in various ways, and they do contribute to some or most of the excess risk relative to cagers shown by accident statistics. So, if you avoid doing clearly dangerous things on your bike, those statistics will not fully apply. Hooray!

What I see in the O.P.'s monograph is part recognition of what all careful riders already know, combined with what I see as indications of capture in a certain mental pitfall. That pitfall consists of thinking "If I do everything right, and wear all the protective gear having the remotest chance of mitigating a collision, I will be safe (enough)."

Maybe, if the last minute fraction of injury probability reduction is actually worth the cost and trouble, that is a sensible approach. But it is no substitute for being fully engaged while riding, recognizing and learning from mistakes (however minor), learning to read drivers and traffic situations, always having contingency plans at the ready for the specific present and evolving situation, and resisting the tendency to become complacent about hazards.

What concerns me about the plaintive, "Here's what I see death-courting riders doing, and here is all the trick gear I wear.", is that it looks like complacency and self-assurance. It is focusing on what some others do wrong rather than what we can do right. I would rather see discussion of non-obvious approaches to common situations that present a hazard, or recognition of some non-obvious hazards. I peruse this Riding Proficiency forum hoping to learn something, (or contribute when I can).

To the O.P., I can only say, "Yep, some riders live dangerously, and some die for it." I recommend reading "The Upper Half of the Motorcycle" by Bernt Spiegel for some excellent advice on use of the brain as a safety device.
 

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Not everybody agrees that those things enhance safety. There certainly aren't any statistics to prove it.

As for the riding behaviors you comment on: Motorcycling is going to attract those kinds of people. Just the nature of the sport. Nothing you can do about it, they're not going to change and they definitely don't care about your opinion.

And besides, what you're doing is passing judgement on their risk/reward choices, which always seems a bit ironic to me coming from anyone who rides. :)

Actually there are statistics to prove Hi-Viz gear reduces accidents. Here's a page with links to others. There are more if you take the time to look.

Where’s Your Neon? Why High-Visibility Motorcycle Clothing is Essential

I'm a ride your own bike kind of a guy but if someone asks or gives out false info...
 

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Yes, it's true that there are many riders who court catastrophe in various ways, and they do contribute to some or most of the excess risk relative to cagers shown by accident statistics. So, if you avoid doing clearly dangerous things on your bike, those statistics will not fully apply. Hooray!

What I see in the O.P.'s monograph is part recognition of what all careful riders already know, combined with what I see as indications of capture in a certain mental pitfall. That pitfall consists of thinking "If I do everything right, and wear all the protective gear having the remotest chance of mitigating a collision, I will be safe (enough)."

Maybe, if the last minute fraction of injury probability reduction is actually worth the cost and trouble, that is a sensible approach. But it is no substitute for being fully engaged while riding, recognizing and learning from mistakes (however minor), learning to read drivers and traffic situations, always having contingency plans at the ready for the specific present and evolving situation, and resisting the tendency to become complacent about hazards.

What concerns me about the plaintive, "Here's what I see death-courting riders doing, and here is all the trick gear I wear.", is that it looks like complacency and self-assurance. It is focusing on what some others do wrong rather than what we can do right. I would rather see discussion of non-obvious approaches to common situations that present a hazard, or recognition of some non-obvious hazards. I peruse this Riding Proficiency forum hoping to learn something, (or contribute when I can).

To the O.P., I can only say, "Yep, some riders live dangerously, and some die for it." I recommend reading "The Upper Half of the Motorcycle" by Bernt Spiegel for some excellent advice on use of the brain as a safety device.

+1 Riding is statistically much more dangerous than driving a car regardless of risk mitigation of our part.

Certainly though riders can reduce their risk to some extent through gear and behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Maybe, if the last minute fraction of injury probability reduction is actually worth the cost and trouble, that is a sensible approach. But it is no substitute for being fully engaged while riding, recognizing and learning from mistakes (however minor), learning to read drivers and traffic situations, always having contingency plans at the ready for the specific present and evolving situation, and resisting the tendency to become complacent about hazards.
Very well said and I could not agree more.
 

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Actually there are statistics to prove Hi-Viz gear reduces accidents. Here's a page with links to others. There are more if you take the time to look.

Where’s Your Neon? Why High-Visibility Motorcycle Clothing is Essential

I'm a ride your own bike kind of a guy but if someone asks or gives out false info...
Nope. The Hurt report recommendation is an inference, not something directly drawn from the stats.

I'm not anti-hi-viz gear in anyway, a lot of mine is brightly colored and/or reflective. But there isn't any proof that it helps, and I don't notice a difference in the behavior of drivers around me when I have it on.
I think that's important to realize, so that people don't think that putting it is going to make people see them. Even a little bit of complacency can be dangerous.
 

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Actually there are statistics to prove Hi-Viz gear reduces accidents. Here's a page with links to others. There are more if you take the time to look.

Where’s Your Neon? Why High-Visibility Motorcycle Clothing is Essential

I'm a ride your own bike kind of a guy but if someone asks or gives out false info...
There's a link within the article you reference that digests the numbers. Here are a couple of interesting quotes from the reference material:



The finding that helmet colour was associated with injury crash risk whereas frontal colour of clothing was not was unexpected.
They basically said that they could see no difference in frontal crashes with hi-viz on the upper body, but saw a significant difference with light coloured helmets. Please note that many studies seem to show that the highest motorcycle crash scenario when another vehicle is involved is the type of crash where a car pulls out in front of a bike and in this scenario hi-viz seems not to make a difference.

The validity of our findings depends on the ability to control for confounding. In this study a wide range of potential confounders were measured and modelled in the multivariate analyses. Riders wearing high visibility clothing and white helmets are likely to be more safety conscious than other riders. ...
This I think is the crux of the matter: riders that wear hi-viz tend to be more safety concious and as a result have less crashes.

Thinking about safety is a powerful strategy in helping us keep safe.

..Tom
 

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There's a link within the article you reference that digests the numbers. Here are a couple of interesting quotes from the reference material:





They basically said that they could see no difference in frontal crashes with hi-viz on the upper body, but saw a significant difference with light coloured helmets. Please note that many studies seem to show that the highest motorcycle crash scenario when another vehicle is involved is the type of crash where a car pulls out in front of a bike and in this scenario hi-viz seems not to make a difference.



This I think is the crux of the matter: riders that wear hi-viz tend to be more safety concious and as a result have less crashes.

Thinking about safety is a powerful strategy in helping us keep safe.

..Tom
I wear a white helmet and now a high viz jacket, but by no means assume it helps make me more visible. I am easier to pick out in a group ride, so that is always a plus. :mrgreen:
 
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