Warning to Riders

Discussion in 'General OFF TOPIC' started by TQuentin1, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    The tragic loss of another one of us this week has brought home AGAIN the significant need for riders to remain ever vigilant when on our bikes. Looking at the information provided on the website below, some of the most telling information is the following:

    • In 2006, there were 2,226 two-vehicle fatal crashes involving a motorcycle and another type of vehicle. In 40% (883) of these crashes, the other vehicle was turning left while the motorcycle was going straight, passing, or overtaking the vehicle. Both vehicles were going straight in 582 crashes (26%).

    Motorcycle Related Injuries and Fatalities trafficsafety.org

    The site talks about the fact that motorcycle accident rates had increased for 9 years in a row to 2006, and I suspect that trend has continued. So it is crucial that riders stay completely aware of all the other vehicles around them at all times when on the road. Whether over-taking vehicles on a multi-lane, going through an intersection, going by a side street, or riding with on-coming traffic, we need to keep a close eye on the other guy. Especially if they are texting, talking on the phone, fixing makeup in the rear-view mirror, eating, or messing with the radio. We need to develop a sixth-sense about when they are going to do something that threatens us. Ride with as much space around you as you can make. Hug the right side when traffic is on the left, and the opposite when traffic is on the right. On the highway, ride next to the shoulder so you have an escape. Inevitably, they will drift over into your lane even after looking in the side mirror and looking right at you. Happens to me every month at least once or twice.

    The worse situation I have been in to-date was when my wife and I were out riding one afternoon on a four-lane divided road. No traffic in both directions and we were doing about 35-40mph. From the corner of my eye I noticed something head behind the entrance sign to a neighborhood (large brick structure). I put my right hand on the lever and foot on the pedal. I gripped the lever and stomped on the pedal as the car blew through the STOP sign and cut directly across the intersection to make a left on the other side of the island. We went into a straight two wheel skid in slo-mo watching the car slide across in front of us. My wife slammed against my back with her chin mashing the back of my head. The clearance was about 8-10 inches. He/she turned and was gone without stopping at that STOP sign either. We skidded about another 15-20 feet and sat there for a couple of minutes. I considered chasing after the car and shooting the driver, but then I would be in jail and what would that accomplish (not really, but in my fantasies). If I had not had the feeling that the car was going to do something like that, who knows.

    And, do not let ego get in the way of your safety. That big ole Harley does not make us any tougher or stronger and certainly no less mortal. This is especially important for newbie riders to consider. It is better to yield to the cage drivers rather than trying to force a point on your little two wheeler. Better to give in and live to ride another day, than force the point and get damaged or worse.

    So, we MUST be totally aware of what is around us - both sides, behind us, in front, and coming at us. Watch carefully any cage driver making a left turn in front of us. Don't assume they have seen you or will respect your right of way. Be ready to avoid them.

    It is with a heavy heart that I send out this message. Not because of the message itself, but rather because of the reminder that makes it important to put this message out again. We will miss you Kemo. Rest in peace.

  2. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Thanks TQ. I encourage everyone to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Safety Course. Or the Safety/Riding course offered by Harley. I just signed up to take the Advanced Riders course for the second time. Ride Safe, Don
  3. Adamal47

    Adamal47 Active Member

    Well said.
  4. nakkers

    nakkers Active Member


    This is perfect timing to remind riders of all ages and all experience levels that the reality is, we simply don't have the benefit of a second chance sometimes.

    You can make eye contact with a driver at an intersection and feel they know you are approaching but, they still procede infront of you. That we can have the right away but, we need to yield to the mistakes of others since their mistakes can result in our injury or death.

    We just have to accept we are invisible to others out there and ride accordingly.


    Even the most experienced professional drivers and riders practice their skills on a regular basis. We are no different and should always look for ways to improve our skills and awareness. And they make those riding courses fun for everyone.

    Please share with us your experience after taking the course as I hope it inspires others to consider signing up.

    I plan on doing the beginners course with my wife when she's ready. Even though I already took it, there is no way I can remember everything they taught me over the course of two days. It would be nice to have a refresher.

    Then I look forward to the advance course they have to offer as well.

    Definitely money and time well spent.

  5. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    Very well written TQ. I hope that most will heed your warning / advice.
  6. gator508

    gator508 Senior Member

    Very good advice TQ, at a somber time!
  7. Rubyred

    Rubyred Senior Member

    I had a similar thing happen to me this past summer, but instead of the car continuing on in front of me it stopped because the driver saw me at the last second. I had already started to maneuver behind the car thinking it would keep moving, I was wrong. As safe as you want to be sometimes it is just impossible. Oh yea, I signed up for the Motorcycle Safety Course again. Thanks for the post TQ. Ride safe everyone.
  8. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

    Definitley time to brush off the riding skills...alot of us MidWestern riders will be hitting the road soon & we need to keep everyone alive to ride another day!!!
  9. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the Thread TQ. I had 2 "scares" on the way to visit Kemo and the guys 2 weeks ago. Maybe they weren't anything and I may have overreacted to them, but I'm here to talk about them. I have taken the advanced rider course 3 times, but it's been over 10 years and I need to take it again. I also have the ride like a pro video, and practice (sorta) regularly behind a closed grocery store. Skills are like insurance, you should have more than you will ever need.
  10. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    THANKS TQ1, and the others here...

    There are Two kinds of RIGHT I'm aware of:

    RIGHT and DEAD-RIGHT....

    Sometimes it IS your choice that will make the above difference.