I had to run an errand and decided to ride my RT today. I was in a high traffic area and I am 100% focused on riding safely. I always wear protective gear, my helmet is full-face, solid white, I wear ear-plugs, my jacket is light gray, it was 3:00 in the afternoon, sunny, 77 degrees. I get out of the most heavy congested area, and things open up on a divided four lane boulevard, two lanes in each direction. I am in the right lane, behind a vehicle as we approach a stop light, the light turns red, the vehicle in front of me stops gradually, and I stop gradually, about 2 seconds later, I get hit from the back by an 80 year-old lady driving a Toyota (she did not have a sticking accelerator). It was a low speed impact, pushed me forward, off balance and I was not able to hold the RT up-right - it drops on the left side. One side case was cracked, and I have several scratches on the left side in various places. I was not damaged, other than some soreness in my leg from trying to hold the RT up-right.
The irony is that the March 2010 ON magazine has an article titled "Ride Like You're Invisible" that I had recently read, and earlier in the day I was talking to a friend who does not ride about motorcycle safety , I told him that one of the most important factors in riding safely was to assume other vehicles do not see you. What a reminder for me! I was focused on what was in front and on the sides. As I approached the stop light I failed to check what was coming from behind at a time when my greatest exposure was from the rear. Most of the time, I check, but I know it is not a 100% of the time check. I had a gap, an escape route, I was in 1st gear, the clutch engaged, and ready, a simple glance in the mirror and I could have avoided getting hit.
I was lucky, and learned a valuable lesson. "Ride" like you're invisible and even assume you are invisible when stopped. That "Most of the time" approach has to become a "100% of the time" approach.