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Howdy gang,

For those of you who do not know, I got into an accident early in December. I was on a road trip with my friend and when we exited the highway to find a motel in the city, a car wanting to turn left rammed right into me as I was going through my green light. There were cars obstructing their view on my left side turning lane, so I (or they) did not see what was about to happen. They totaled my bike, I had to fly back home, and the entire ordeal was just a mess. I'm happy I am ok though.

The reason I am making this thread is because this morning as I was driving to work, the SAME thing almost happened again on my new Vulcan. It's a good thing I keep my thumb on the horn and am prepared to slow down while going through an intersection, or this guy would have hit me today.

My question to you is what actions do you take to avoid these left-turning cars that "assume" no one is coming? I have heard keeping high beams on during the day, anything else?
 

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Howdy gang,

For those of you who do not know, I got into an accident early in December. I was on a road trip with my friend and when we exited the highway to find a motel in the city, a car wanting to turn left rammed right into me as I was going through my green light. There were cars obstructing their view on my left side turning lane, so I (or they) did not see what was about to happen. They totaled my bike, I had to fly back home, and the entire ordeal was just a mess. I'm happy I am ok though.



The reason I am making this thread is because this morning as I was driving to work, the SAME thing almost happened again on my new Vulcan. It's a good thing I keep my thumb on the horn and am prepared to slow down while going through an intersection, or this guy would have hit me today.

My question to you is what actions do you take to avoid these left-turning cars that "assume" no one is coming? I have heard keeping high beams on during the day, anything else?
I and My bike got totaled back in 2005. Left turn at an intersection. Your keyword here is assume. I do all that you mention, but, still assume every one of them will turn in front of me. I always look for an out also. Don't ever lose focus on your surroundings.
 

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I and My bike got totaled back in 2005. Left turn at an intersection. Your keyword here is assume. I do all that you mention, but, still assume every one of them will turn in front of me. I always look for an out also. Don't ever lose focus on your surroundings.
Sorry to hear that - I suppose there is only so much that we could do.

I must clarify that they were the one making the left turn, and they were found at fault by the insurance. Same thing (almost) happened again today, very frustrating other drivers assume you are not coming.
 

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Sorry to hear about your accident. I put a light bar on and I keep the light on high beam. I run them during the day as well.It may bother some people but I don't care as long as they see me.
 

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Sorry to hear that - I suppose there is only so much that we could do.

I must clarify that they were the one making the left turn, and they were found at fault by the insurance. Same thing (almost) happened again today, very frustrating other drivers assume you are not coming.
I also must clarify. The van turned in front of me. 3 lights on front of the bike, and He still did not see me. I bet texting is what the 18 year old Kid was doing. Everybody text and drives no matter what the laws are. Age not a factor either.
I have given some hell when I see them and they look my way.
 

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It depends on how many lanes in the road and whether there is a left turn lane. At intersections cover the clutch and brakes to reduce reaction time. If your state allows it (Arizona does) install a modulating headlight. Remember that proper emergency braking and swerving takes practice practice practice.

For instance if riding on a 2 lane road with no left turn lanes you should at intersections ride in the #1 position as close to the double yellow line as possible. This way when an approaching car doesn't see you and turns left you have a choice of 2 things 1. If no oncoming cars then swerve left and around the car turning left. 2. If there are oncoming cars then apply both brakes and try to get the front brake as hard as you can. Typically the left turning car will have passed you and you won't hit them. But at least if you do hit them your speed will have diminished and lessen the impact.

If riding on a 2 lane road not at intersections but with parking lots to your right you should ride in the # 1 position. This way if a car leaves the parking lot turning left in front of you then you can apply both brakes and try to get the front brake as hard as you can. Once again the car probably will have passed or at least you will have lessened the impact.

If you are making a left turn and there is a turn lane. If there are stopped cars waiting at a red light then before entering the turn lane and while traveling in the turn lane honk your horn numerous times so that if a car waiting at the light doesn't see you at least he may be able to hear you and then wont decides to whip over into the turn lane in front of you. If you have a loud exhaust then give a few revs that is probably louder that the horn.
 

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Glad you're ok. You've had lots of good suggestions, and yes - keep your headlight on high beam. Our VN900 low beams are not very bright.

I saw this video elsewhere and your story reminded me of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b3T7u4ZJ1Y
 

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Ditto what others have said about always assuming the cager is going to do the wrong thing. And that's also a good way to drive on 4 wheels. It would be great if every cager had to take a motorcycle safety course; that would at least give them a better appreciation of being more attentive.
 

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Ditto what others have said about always assuming the cager is going to do the wrong thing. And that's also a good way to drive on 4 wheels. It would be great if every cager had to take a motorcycle safety course; that would at least give them a better appreciation of being more attentive.
If only they took time to discuss this in regular drivers ed. Completely agree.
 

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In my part of the world there is a book available called "Motorcycle roadcraft" which is intended for police motorcyclists.
It explains in great depth , and repeatedly, why roadusers do not "see" motorcyclists.

After reading it from cover to cover a number of times, and having been the victim of a driver who looked straight "through me" and pulled out on me leading to a nasty collision, I now understand that drivers brains sometimes may not register your existance.

If there is no signal to the brain that you are there, you might as well not exist to that driver at that instant.

The good news is that there is stuff we can do. There is the usual High visability clothing, meaning the real thing, day glo green, not a bright shirt... but we can do better.

A headlight is seen as an annoyance by the brain and if there are two bikes or a car behind you may be interpreted as one car. No bike exists....

This is why twin headlamps are so dangerous on bikes, especially at night, a driver from a side road will interpret your two lights as a very distant car, not a close up bike, and will pull out, you will hit him, and everyone will wonder how on earth it happened. For the rest of his life he will say "I never saw him", which he did n't, or "he came out of nowhere" , which he did,, he saw a non existant car a mile away.

This is something you can prove. Have one of a group of bikes have something "diferent" on his bike. Lets say a high speed flashing led white light showing at the front, the sort of thing a cyclist might use at night and pay a few dollars for. He is the one you see. Yes the others are there, but your brain sees the unusual.

There is another really good tactic which is recommended to Police riders. If you are on a right of way road and someone is waiting at a side road, make eye contact, and when you do, move your bike sideways just a little away from his side. Suddenly you are "unusual" to his brain. His brain will register the "across the field of view" movement, and wow, he sees you . If you ride in a straight line he may look through you, or rather his brain will. He will not have commited a mortal sin, he may not even have been careless, his brain will just have failed to record you as a moving machine.
Having read this book, I now treat every traffic conflict as a potential accident, and far from spoiling my riding, it makes me feel more involved.
I like to actively get seen, and let everyone know "I am looking at you, and you have seen me".
Sorry for going on.
 

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I can't say how effective it is in general, but so far it's worked for me. I drive with my low beam in daylight. Any time I'm approaching anything that presents the possibility of "I didn't see him", I flip my high beam on. I don't flash it; that's telling the other driver to go ahead and you may encourage him to jump out on you. My thought process is that the sudden high beam draws attention more than a steady high beam will (even a headlight modulator goes unnoticed after a few seconds of seeing it coming). Meanwhile, I try to place myself in my lane where I feel I have the best bet of avoiding a surprise. Unlike a lot of my friends, I also prefer to ride toward the center of the road. Long before I rode 2 wheels, I was taught that most surprises on the road come from the shoulder. I only ride toward the shoulder if we're riding staggered and the bike ahead of me takes the center of the road.

So far so good.
 
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