I have a white full-face helmet to make myself more easily seen by motorists. I also have a hi-viz mesh jacket (BMW Airshell) and an assortment of vests in hi-viz yellow that I probably should wear more often. I will put on a hi-viz vest if there is any chance of fog, if I am on a serious road trip, or if I will or might go through road construction work zones.
It's not enough to complain about left-turners and then not doing something about it.
The false-hood of loud pipes, the extra visibility of hi-vis gear, white helmets, extra lights, bright (obnoxious lights) lights, can all be classified as methods that passify us into feeling we are doing something to reduce our risks of riding.
Some riders even claim that, wearing ATGATT, wearing a full face helmet, perhaps even taking a riding course, can cause a rider to ride more aggressivley (to that I say "bull") or feel they are not as likely to suffer a crash.
Perhaps, but I don't agree. I prefer to ride proactively rather than reactively. The measures listed above (aside from loud pipes) improve your likelyhood to reduce traffic issues, so why not take advantage of them. But still, the rider attitude does more to reduce the likelyhood of crashes than anything else. I like these comments offerred by others:
[B]"You have to be looking for things that CAN hit you. Most people only look for things that are ABOUT to hit them."[/B]
This speaks to attitude about riding proactively and avoid the situations you put yourself into, moreso than most riders do.
[B]"Take the attitude that every car driver is out to get you, all of the time, and see what you change."[/B]
This speaks to attitude that myself as the rider is the one to change things to reduce the risks, learn from your ride, make real changes. It worked for me decades ago and continues to work for me on every ride.
A Two-Up Sidenote...
This has been a very useful and interesting read. I thought about what ANDYVH wrote: [B]"You have to be looking for things that CAN hit you. Most people only look for things that are ABOUT to hit them."[/B] That led me to thinking about my wife Mary riding with me in what we always refer to as a Co Pilot position behind me. After ten years of riding together we have come to ride as a team and this very question of CAN and ABOUT is often what we "chat" about as we ride. Two sets of eyes are riding the same bike.... not a sleepy passenger bonking in the back. She has her own GPS (a great navigational assist at times) and continually applies Situational Awareness similar to my own. Having a good communication system on board has helped tremendously as well.
She has also been an enthusiastic 'attitude adjuster' for me :laugh - Bob
A Two-Up Sidenote...
I have to agree with Bob that 2 eyes are better than one!
My wife Terry & I have been riding together for 26 years on my 1977 RS.
She is the route planner and is always an alert riding passenger. She has seen things that I have missed and always looks over my shoulder as we ride.
We don't have communicators but have a code for certain important things like food, drink and having to pee!;) as well as where to look when I need to see something!
We have ridden over 440,000 miles one one bike and hope to do a few more!
[QUOTE=ANDYVH;821012][B]"You have to be looking for things that CAN hit you. Most people only look for things that are ABOUT to hit them."[/B]
I would add to that statement that you have to look for situations that produce accidents, the biggest category being obstructed vision. Look for situations where another motorist's vision is obstructed by an object, often another vehicle. People will go when they can't see. Spot those situations, slow down, and be prepared to act.
We have both logged many miles riding solo or within eyesight of each other.We communicate with radios on longer trips...sometimes that is a 'WATCH OUT for the green Prius on the smartphone" sometimes it's only a point to a nice cabin along the road.
Both have had suburban and a minimal rural encounters with inattentive drivers.
We however do not ride like someone is out to hit us as a constant mantra...sure is a downer to always have that kind of mindset ...for us anyways.If that's your deal,fine. It just is too negative for me.
I admit I don't always "cover my brakes" among other things, do not wear Hi-viz, and a few of my helmets may be on the darker side. Have read most of the reports ...I'll make my decisions that make me enjoy the ride.
I do situational awareness at various intensities as it warrants. In the city it is different than in the open spaces...different potential & real hazards.
I control the things within my control and avoid certain hours and places when I choose to ride through them.
Now when I have to buy that lime green three wheeler and gear or ride in a sidecar piloted by Helen...I may decide to do it differently.:laugh
These most recent responses are what I am emphasizing about attitude. It makes a HUGE difference in your riding if YOU first accept ALL responsibility for your riding before you expect anyone to do anything for you.
I'm not saying ALL crashes can be avoided. I still maintain there are very few "accidents". I do believe that MOST riders get them themselves in situations that cause them to be reactive-riders instead of proactive-riders. So I firmly believe if more riders took on this "Me first" attitude I think we'd really see some reductions in crashes.
"Watch for Motorcycles" to me, is WAY too passive an approach to motorcycle awareness and crash reduction. In fact, I feel it is one of the most lame and passe' public announcements. WE ALL HAVE TO BE BETTER RIDERS FIRST.
The safest thing you can do is park your bike in your garage and never ride it. To do anything else is to accept a certain level of risk. Each of us arrive at what level of risk we accept on our own.
I spent 6 weeks after my wreck going over what happened while I was confined to the bed or the sofa. I've spent hours sitting at the crash site looking at the police report and the pictures of the aftermath. In 36 years of riding, tons of training and practice, I feel confident that there was literally nothing I could have done differently that day, short of choosing not to ride (long story short, the car in front of me turned right, stood on the gas, and pulled a u-turn, coming back to broadside me; I had plenty of following distance and was going all of 35mph).
Being a proactive rider is key, but sometimes there's nothing you can do when someone else doesn't care about your safety or life.
A week ago I took the bike on a 350 mile ride to spend four days fishing with my oldest and dearest friend - flyrod cases extending out the back with a red handkerchief duct-taped to the end.
On one of our fishing trips (in his SUV) we passed a sign: "Share the road with motorcyclists." "What does that mean," he asked me. "Of course motorcycles are legal vehicles, so of course I'm going to share the road with them. I'm also going to share it with bicycle riders and any deer and elk that wish to cross it." (Driving at dusk or night, he set the cruise control at 80 kph on roads posted at 100 kph and got passed by everybody, despite the bloody spots on the road indicating recent collisions with animals.)
Anyway, I told him I thought the sign was lame going on worthless, but it was true that many motorists actually didn't notice motorcycles because they were much smaller than cars and thus didn't seem to pose a threat. Told him I had added additional lighting in front and a flashing brake light that MIGHT get someones attention. But I completely agree that it is UP TO US to do our best to anticipate danger and act accordingly.
Like the last poster, I was in a position where that was not enough. If you ride, you can minimize but not eliminate the possibility of a crash.
From a previous response on this subject, "long story short, the car in front of me turned right, stood on the gas, and pulled a u-turn, coming back to broadside me."
Again, I am not saying ALL crashes can be avoided. An instance as described above is rare indeed and unique in the way it happened. I applaud that he spent time studying what happened and what cause factors he brought to the incident. I think few riders really do that, just blame the cager or assume " there was nothing I could do." We have to learn from every close call, incident and crash, or we are doomed to repeat it.
[QUOTE=ANDYVH;769892]But even those instances mentioned, I feel, fall into the small percentage of riding situations out of control of the rider. But a high percentage of the normal instances we deal with as riders I feel are greatly influenced by the rider.[/QUOTE]
Otherwise, I would not ride. If you maintain your self and motorcycle as a unit in an optimum state of safety while riding by using tools in your bag (S.E.E. etc...) as different layers of "stops" to avoid a crash you are leaps and bounds ahead of the uneducated riding public. The crash statistics support that.