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Thread: Rear ended today

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  1. #1
    Registered User ALIENHITCHHIKER's Avatar
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    Rear ended today

    Anatomy of a rear ender:

    I'm on my way home from work, exiting the BRP; it's set up like a freeway ramp, but with a stop before you merge into traffic. I'm behind a group of about six tourists on Harleys. Behind me is a Toyota driven by a lady I'm about to make an acquaintance with.

    The last Harley in the group is near the left of the lane, so I fall in on the far right. The lead bike in the group sees a break in the traffic and heads out. By the time the guy on the tail end of the group takes off he's pretty much pulling out in front of a car. I'm thinking, "dumb group think...I'll wait for the next break in the traffic". Uh-huh.

    Meanwhile, the lady in the Toyota saw the pack pull out and now she is looking over her left shoulder getting ready to make her move. She lets her Toyota move forward, still looking over her shoulder.

    Her right front bumper contacts my left hard case and the bike flops to the pavement. I land on my feet flabbergasted that she just rolled into me.

    I said to her, when she rolls her window down, "How could you do that ?!? How could you hit me when I was right in front of you ?!?"

    She said, "I thought you'd gone".

    Now I'm thinking, Never Compromise Your Lane Position. But the truth is, I probably could have been in a Hummer and she still would have made contact.



    Damage: broken mounts on the left hard case. Shattered left side panel from the case being driven forward into it. Cracked right mirror with a nice scuff on the mirror housing. Scuff on the right side hard case. Scratch on the engine crash bar (!).

    Cop did not ticket her, but noted in the report that she was "following to close". I'll call her insurance agent on Monday.

    I share this both to tantalize those of you with a morbid curiosity and also to solicit any thoughts on avoidance of such incidents.
    Steve
    Current Hottie: '00 R1100RT
    Old Flames: FY K100RT, '80 XS850 with Vetter Quicksilver, '67 Bonnie, '66 Honda 90

  2. #2
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alien_hitchhiker View Post
    Anatomy of a rear ender:
    Glad you're okay...the scenario...uhh..hits home. Same thing happened to me in the cage a few years ago, only the young girl who whacked me totaled the roller skate she was driving. "I've never had an accident and I've never had a ticket" she told the state cop. "Today, you've got both" he said.

    And yeah, I thought too much about what would have happened if I was on the bike.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  3. #3
    VERSYSgirl 123022's Avatar
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    Smile A thought on how it happened...

    Although the woman in the four-wheeler was at fault, you may have erred in pulling up to the right hand riding position - thereby "joining" the group of Harleys.
    As a single motorcycle, you would normally have maintained your position in the number 1 riding position. In this situation, you added yourself to the end of their group by changing your riding position. When the others left, the woman in the car expected you to leave with the others that you appeared to be travelling with... While it doesn't appear that she is a rider, maybe she has observed group riding techniques and made the assumption that you (while not on the same type of bike) were riding with the group. As others have noted, glad you're okay.

  4. #4
    Tenifer HFD190's Avatar
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    Glad you are OK. You provide a detailed account of the incident which means to me that you are riding with a high level of good defensive awareness regarding your surroundings, etc. Some riders probably would have pulled out in front of the oncoming traffic. Hope you are able to make repairs get back up on the horse without too much delay!

  5. #5
    Registered User ALIENHITCHHIKER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123022 View Post
    ... you added yourself to the end of their group by changing your riding position. When the others left, the woman in the car expected you to leave with the others that you appeared to be travelling with...
    VERSYSgirl, I have to agree with you - this was my error.

    BTW, I have a total of four brake lights on the tail end of the bike: two flashing hyperlights, an LED strip on the license plate frame and the stock light. I'm a veritable light show when I hit the brakes.

    The damaged side bag is now zip tied in place and the side panel is pieced together with duct tape. I'm heading out in the morning for a planed trip down to central Georgia and then up to TWO at Suches. The bike has never looked so good

    Onward into the fog !!!

    Thank you all for your kind thoughts and for your safety ideas. My wife read this thread and remarked, "gee, it's like group therapy".
    Yep...it is.
    Steve
    Current Hottie: '00 R1100RT
    Old Flames: FY K100RT, '80 XS850 with Vetter Quicksilver, '67 Bonnie, '66 Honda 90

  6. #6
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    rear visibility

    I have wondered if a higher mounted tail/brake light ala automobiles since 1985 or so would help. Most tail lights on Motorcycles are quite low and would seem to be obscured by the frontal bodywork of many cars when close behind.

    I was behind a police HD bike last week that had a high mounted brake light on the rear travel trunk and it was much more apparent than the stock tail light. It was also a very high intensity LED fixture.

  7. #7
    advrider.com
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    Ugh. I'm always staring in my mirrors at stop lights/signs.. just waiting for that one idiot.

    ..and my brothers idiot friend thought it was really funny to come flying up behind me once at a light and stop just inches behind me. Har har.

    I almost always point my bike in a direction that, if I did get nailed, I would hopefully fly off into the grass/shoulder, rather than get sandwiched.

  8. #8
    larrydk
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    from behind

    Worst situation...completely out of your control.

    Most are aware of the stepped license procedure in England which reuires riders to learn on smaller bikes and pass courses to move on up. In any case, a couple years back there was an article by an instructor in England who really emphasized the needs to constantly be checking your rear view mirror when coming to a stop and when stopped. I've always thought about this advice and tried to act.

    Anyway...sorry about your accident

  9. #9
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    alien_hitchhiker:

    Relieved that you are here to tell about it instead of in some hospital bed. Lets celebrate that one.

    We all need to be aware that we are unseen targets and if we spend time on the tarmac, add visibility to the rear of our rides.

    Are there any taillight modulators out there similar to headlight modulators? Imagine a red taillight similar to those red red lights found at accident prone intersections.

    I recall a red sphere with a white bar of light pulsing in the middle of the red orb at the bottom of the traffic signal. Does anyone sell one of those?

    That might be a first step.

    Thanks for reminding us that we are all rolling targets for the distracted.

  10. #10
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Good Advice

    larrydk said:
    constantly be checking your rear view mirror when coming to a stop
    Thanks for a great tip. I am always checking both mirrors underway but rarely check them sitting still. I usually get fixated on the car in front of me wondering why it does not understand that GREEN MEANS GO, not GAWK.

    Thanks for a very useful riding reminder.

  11. #11
    Registered User Slablog's Avatar
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    That was a brain fart on the part of the lady. Had nothing to do with your visibility. The same thing happened to me and a riding buddy one day. Coincidentally it was also up there near Asheville. I was right behind him merging onto a busy street. We both did the Messerscmidt twitch over the left shoulder and I noted him proceeding toward the merge as there was a momentary clearance in traffic... but a car was coming up fast. I ASSUMED he kept going in front of the car and I was going to pause as I rolled, for the next space. As I did another glance a second time over the left shoulder and looked back to the front, he had stopped to wait for that one car to pass. As I turned my head to the front and began to accelerate, he was right there and slightly to my right. I grabbed the brakes and slowed enough to just bump him and knock him over. He rolled to the right and with much embarrassment I stopped and helped him right the bike. It started right up and we pulled over into a parking lot to assess the damage.

    It could have been a lot worse, and it was totally my mistake. My brain fart! But it happens. To cars. To bikes. And to cars with bikes. My wife recently bumped a guy at a turn in exactly the same way in her car. My father-in-law once bumped me from behind in the same scenario. This is a common occurrence I believe and nowadays I make DAMN sure the person in front of me has proceeded before I go and I don't hit that gas until I have looked forward again. And I'm vigilantly checking my mirrors on those type turns. It has paid off more than once.

  12. #12
    Registered User redclfco's Avatar
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    Too many happened this week

    I'm glad your ok. Both of us had a scare this week, and you more than I, but fate was on our side. Whew!

    Sorry about your bike, hope you get it fixed soon and paid for out of her check book!

    Red

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