Little Known Facts About Motorcycle Accidents

DaveM

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This article has some surprising points in it. I will just list the first 5 on their list

1. Approximately ¾ of motorcycle accidents involve collisions with another vehicle, most often a passenger automobile.

2. Only about ¼ of motorcycle accidents are single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle colliding with the roadway or some fixed object in the environment.

3. Vehicle failure accounts for less than 3% of motorcycle accidents, and most of those are single vehicle accidents where control is lost due to a puncture flat.

4. In single vehicle accidents, about 2/3 of the accidents are caused by rider error, typically a slide-out and fall due to overbraking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering.

5. Roadway defects (pavement ridges, potholes, etc.) cause only about 2% of all motorcycle accidents; and animals account for only about 1% of all accidents.

Read the full list here - Little Known Facts About Motorcycle Accidents
 

SarahP

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Wow, there are some real nuggets for thought buried in that list. For starters, #6 drives me nuts.

6. In multiple vehicle accidents, 2/3 of the accidents are caused by the other vehicle
violating the motorcycle's right-of-way.


It's not the blatant left turn across my path that gets me -- I expect that. While absolutely chaps my a** is when I'm rounding a curve and an oncoming car has drifted across his centerline into my lane!

As a new rider, I'm trying to learn the outside-inside-outside mantra for corners. But if I do that, it places me in the widest part of the curve in a close encounter with the oncoming vehicle. I've decided that my riding, in an urban setting, doesn't need to be the outside-inside thing. I;m not out carving up the canyons, LOL. I'm riding slow enough that there's usually very little lean associated with the curve, so I stay away from the centerline and away from encroaching vehicles.

I ride now with two cameras (one helmet and one bike-mounted) for traffic encounters.

Here's another one that caught my eye (no pun intended):

18. Conspicuousness of the motorcycle is most critical for the frontal surfaces of the motorcycle and rider.

So while it can't hurt to have high-viz on the sides on your bike and on the back of your jacket, the real value is on the front of your jacket/helmet.

And, finally, this one really jumped out at me:

28. Motorcycle riders in these accidents showed significant collision avoidance problems. Most riders would overbrake and skid the rear wheel, and underbrake the front wheel greatly reducing collision avoidance deceleration. The ability to countersteer and swerve was essentially absent. (emphasis mine)

I have been working very hard in the parking lot doing only this! I can't get past this exercise on Motorman's syllabus yet (he wants you to do all the exercises in sequence as building blocks for the next exercise). Doing these swerves is much more difficult than I had thought it would be. It looks easy, but doing it consistently and skillfully takes practice - and lots of it.

I challenge the readers here to try his slow cone weave exercise and see how you do! Use some little cones or paper plates, something that'll let you know if you ding it with a tire, LOL.

Great article, DaveM, thanks for posting it!
 

Rocky

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We have a lot of twisty coastal and secondary roads here which are great motorcycle roads.
I can't tell you how many times I've been entering a blind curve to find some idiot with their left side wheels over the center line in my lane.
I haven't had any, what you would call a "close call," but it certainly gets your attention and is something to expect every time.

As a new rider your every ride will be a learning experience and new information for the memory banks.
Riding a motorcycle shouldn't have to be this risky and with so much to learn, but we have to contend with all manner of idiots and situations.
We're not surrounded by air bags and seat belts so it is what it is and we just cope and eventually it all becomes second nature - but you can never become complacent.
Cool that you have those cameras TUP TUP
 

DaveM

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@SarahP you need to learn all these things at your own pace and try not push it. If you find you cannot do something today try again at a later stage as the more you ride the easer it becomes to learn some of these. When some riders ask me how I do X when out riding I really have to think about it as over the years things just seem to fall in place as I did more riding. Try not over think things as that can also complicate what you trying to learn.
 

SarahP

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@SarahP you need to learn all these things at your own pace and try not push it. If you find you cannot do something today try again at a later stage as the more you ride the easer it becomes to learn some of these. When some riders ask me how I do X when out riding I really have to think about it as over the years things just seem to fall in place as I did more riding. Try not over think things as that can also complicate what you trying to learn.
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Appreciate the words of support, Dave! I'm a slug and will go to great lengths to avoid things that make me uncomfortable. Most creatures do that, even single-celled amoebas will move away from a painful stimulus. It's a good survival tactic, LOL. But for me, the best way to get comfortable and skilled at a new task is by repetition.

Doing maneuvers outside my comfort zone in a parking lot pushes me to improve. Every lousy U-turn, every borked-up right turn from a stop, every wobbly attempt at a full-lock figure-eight adds to my data base. When I know I'm getting fatigued, the practice session becomes negative learning and it's time to call it a day.

The thing about bike riding (and I know I'm preaching to the choir here), it seems to this newbie, is that some very important skills that all riders need are precisely the ones that require practice - a lot of practice. Every season, even. Although I'm quite stellar at riding a straight line at 75 mph, I need more practice to make an 18-foot U-turn with confidence. If I screw up the U-turn, I'm going to drop the bike or take too long making a 27-point turn. :p So it's in my best interest to get out and practice. The more I practice, the more skilled I become, the more confident I am, and the better rider I am.

Also, I'm feeling the pressure of time. You guys have been riding for decades. I have two decades left in my life, and probably only 1 decade of that for riding. (Not trying to whine, here, but there's a reason actuaries get paid a lot of money: their numbers are pretty accurate!)

So I'd rather make an initial layout of 24 hours of hardcore parking lot practice than to fear a U-turn situation when I'm out riding.

However, your point is well taken about putting miles on the odometer. I did a sloppy lane change the other day that made me cringe afterwards. Dumb dumb dumb. The most important thing is to get out on the bike and do something - anything! Any type of butt-in-seat time is beneficial!
 

Rocky

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Dave gave you good advice and I can't add much more to that.
Proceed at your own pace and learn from your mistakes (sloppy lane change) because we've all done the same thing.
And don't feel pressured to catch up. Two decades is a long time. Barring the unforeseen, you may have more time than you think.
I'm quite proud of the fact that I'm 78 and still enjoy a spirited ride - but of course everyone isn't that lucky.
Ride, enjoy and let the years take care of themselves :)
 

DaveM

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@SarahP you should post up a few of your videos that you taking and we could possibly pick up a few mistakes you might be making allowing us to possibly give you a few tips on those.
 

keystiger

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SarahP.......... my 37 years of riding experience have taught me a few things ---many learned the hard way
--- ride like EVERY other vehicle on the road is out to kill you....because--well they can-- and might-- if you dont out think/outride/them
Be prepared to stop if that guy with his left turn signal on ahead of you in the left turn lane suddenly DARTS across 3 lanes and turns right-----because it happens. ;) Put yourself in clear open road whenever possible. Always be calculating an "escape" plan in intersections.......stay in the left of your lane when there are lots of entry roads to your right (or left then stay in the right--- you know what I mean) ......AND just use common sense. ;) Cover clutch and break with index and middle finger ---always --improves reaction time. Thats how I was taught when i was a kid riding moto cross and I still do it to this day.
Find "pockets" of open traffic ---"holes" I call em where you have the space you need. You can SEE and BE SEEN -- I ride aggressively defensive .... I "OWN" the space around me....and protect it.... and so far so good
I have crashed......but ---like the survey points out----any of the accidents I have had have been MY FAULT ---and most those where in my teens and early 20's when I was young and trying to "prove" something on hopped up high HP rocket bikes.....and 1 was mechanical failure (dont buy a HARLEY :( ggrrrrr ) and thats that.

Now go carve some corners ;)
 

SarahP

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@SarahP you should post up a few of your videos that you taking and we could possibly pick up a few mistakes you might be making allowing us to possibly give you a few tips on those.
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Oooh, I'd love to do that, DaveM, but I'm afraid I'd have to charge y'all admission just for the entertainment factor. LMAO.
 
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