Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Reality Check...

Take a few minutes and watch this video:

What do you notice about the vast majority of those accidents? If you said "bikers riding beyond their abilities," give yourself a gold star. Yes, there were a handful of crashes where an automobile was clearly at fault, but the rest were overwhelmingly caused by motorcyclists either riding faster than their skills allowed, not paying attention to traffic/weather/life in general, or just showing off and paying the price.

This is the sort of video that gives the impression that riding a motorcycle is dangerous. Of the crashes in that 13:29 video, only a very small percentage were unavoidable by the bikers involved. You can't help it when a car comes roaring up behind you and hits you out of the blue, no. However, if you stop abruptly in the middle of traffic for no discernible reason, well, while you may be in the right, you're also going to the hospital.

Yes, there were legitimate crashes that were no fault of the bikers. For those few, yes, it was dangerous. Even of those crashes, however, what's the single unifying thing? They're all in big cities with lots of congestion. More vehicles = more chances for interaction = increased risk for anyone, not just motorcyclists. We can all learn something from these types of videos, even if it's just a mental note to stay the hell out of big cities (which is always a good idea).

It's a reminder, too, that the perceived risks need to be evaluated from many different sides - and this holds for far more than just motorcycle riders.

That is all.


RollsCanardly said...

Things I learned: bikers are bouncy! Also, an ax is an invaluable accessory.

Roger said...

A few things I learned in 40 years of motorcycling. 1, ride like you are invisible, because you ARE.
2, Alcohol and motorcycling do not mix, not at all.
3, Never trust a cage driver.

sailorcurt said...

With you 100%.

I have to admit that a couple of them made me laugh...especially the guy who was obviously drunk, lost his balance at a stop and fell over. Twice.

The other think I would note that even in many of the crashes where the biker was not at fault, they could have avoided it had they been paying enough attention.

Keep your head on a swivel out there and don't drive faster than your reaction time and visibility.

As far as the guy with the axe...cager should have just run over him in my humble opinion....self defense.

Wolfman said...

Yeah, a LOT of those were near-terminal stupid, either way too fast for traffic, lane splitting (or passing on the right! In the barpit! In the mud! Into an opening car door!) Many of the others looked a lot like mine (to my knowledge, no footage of that exists). Everything was going well enough, but I got distracted at just the wrong moment, and traffic stopped without me noticing. Couldn't scrub fast enough, finally locked the front and took the spill before I hit the car in front of me. Motorcycles are fantastic machines, but the fact is you are exposed. Even minor fenderbenders (in a car) can be life threatening on a bike. You learn to manage your risks, and I think it's made me a better driver.

DaddyBear said...

I don't ride motorcycles, but I do try to be alert for them. Unfortunately, a lot of them don't seem to be alert to my presence.

Rule #1, kids: Don't be !!!!ing stupid.

Montieth said...

A great many could also be described as riders in too much of a hurry. The lane splitting, passing stopped cars and such reall contributes to the hazard in urban areas. I will pass a stopped car only after I KNOW what they are doing.

NotClauswitz said...

Never pass on the right, just never(or in Blighty, never on the left). NEVER. I've done plenty of lanesplitting and passing cars on the right is not lanesplitting, it's suicide. And be alert always.