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Chip H, George Kaplan, Gordon Gray, NickL
Total Likes: 13
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#892704 10/07/2022 7:11 PM
by George Kaplan
George Kaplan
I have an old (2003) 600cc Yamaha that I use as my every day commuter bike into the city, circa 17 miles each way. Over the years there have been a few near misses and an occasional minor incident.

Yesterday I had another slightly less minor incident (dont worry I am 100% OK) and I thought I would share some details as some of the details beggar belief. The other party almost got a Darwin Award.

I was coming down an urban dual carriageway (divided highway) with a 40mph limit. I was in the outside lane which was empty. The inside lane was full of traffic at walking pace queuing for a junction 100 metres away (it was about 17:00). I saw a pedestrian in the central reservation (median) who was standing still looking down at her phone. When I was almost level with her she stepped out in front of me and I hit her. I had at most a second between her stepping out and the impact. I did try avoiding her but she (twice) moved back into my path each time i adjusted my trajectory (with a huge look of shock and surprise on her face).

The details worth noting (which i found out whist waiting for plod and an ambulance (for her)) are. She was apparently texting her husband whilst stood at the side of the road. A car driver in the traffic queue saw her waiting to cross (no pedestrian crossing just a drop kerb as is often the case in the UK) and beckoned her across when she glanced up at the line of cars. So she stepped out without checking if the other lane was clear. I also learned later that in the millisecond before the impact, when we both knew it was inevitable, her main concern was to ensure her mobile phone didn't get broken.

It beggars belief that people seem to care more for their phone than literally their own life and also that they would trust a complete stranger with their own life.

Fortunately I had slammed on the brakes so was probably doing about 20mph at impact and it was more of a glancing hit than full head on. I am 100% OK. She had broken nose and relatively minor facial lacerations where she face-planted the tarmac plus a suspected broken wrist and general bruising. My bike has a broken fairing and mirror. Fortunately plod didn't take a close look (the lights were pointing at the sky) and let me ride home so I wasnt waiting hours longer for the breakdown truck.

The moral is, for me at least, to be even more wary of pedestrians particularly ones engrossed in their mobile phone.

Be careful out there. I always ride assuming every car wants to kill me but I will now assume every pedestrian is homicidal and suicidal.

Parts are on order and the bike will be fixed, hopefully, in the next couple of days.

Liked Replies
#892838 Oct 10th a 03:53 AM
by BSA_WM20
If I was to ride in a 100% defensive manner I would wear out 1st gear and never get anywhere
Riding for a living I did MASSIVE mileages and consider myself to be a very safe rider ( don't we all ) because of the extra experience .
In every case of a pedestrian collision I was going slow which limits your options somewhat
And being in OZ I am used to encounters with kangaroos that will hop along next to you on a road, exactly matching your speed no matter what you do then without warning bound directly across your path which is why you never ride at dawn or dusk and limit your night time riding distances & speeds .
The problem is because a commuter motorcyclist presents zero danger in the mind of most road users they just do not register that you are there.
A long while back I looked at a video made in CAL which was a full windscreen shot of a vehicle driving down a road.
at the end of the 6 minute video you were given a test
100% of those taking the test saw the police bike & the full dresser "bikie" although both of them only appeared in the rear view mirros for less than 1 second
Only the motorcycle riders remember the commuter bike that sat full view directly behind in all 3 mirrors for over 1 minute and even some of the motorcycle riders missed the bike rider that was continually lane changing and eventually overtook the car
Almost none of the non motorcycle liscence holders "saw" either of them and both had headlights on.
The conclusion was that while your eyes see the entire scene your brain discards nearly all of it ( unless you are on the Autism spectrum ) but takes special notice of what it thinks is a threat ( the cop & the bikie ).
Same sort of thing applies to car drivers who are afraid of big trucks .
2 members like this
#892715 Oct 7th a 09:25 PM
by Dibnah
George Kaplan, earlier

1 member likes this
#892720 Oct 7th a 10:11 PM
by George Kaplan
George Kaplan
Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
I just can't picture a situation where I actually hit someone who steps into the road if I saw them standing there.. I many steps wide is the lane? ?
A few, but also a few less than a USA lane.

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
You see her standing there not paying attention to traffic. Defensive driving dictates you make eye contact.
She was at 90 degrees to the road, stationary and engrossed in her phone. She, apparently, glanced up straight ahead, i.e. at 90 degrees to the road, and a car driver beckoned her to cross. She did not turn her head to look in the direction of traffic, she just walked foreward, straight out. I had 1/3 of the lane width on my right and 2/3 on my left as I was wary of cars suddenly pulling out of the almost stationary traffic into my empty lane. After walking out I realised I could go around behind her so started going right. She took a step back so I straightened back up and she then took a step forward straight into me.

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
or slow down and get as far over as possible

I was braking and trying to take avoiding action (see above)

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
or stop.

So how fast do you drive down a divided highway so that you can always stop within, say, a 5 metre distance? Must take a long time to go anywhere.

1 member likes this
#892742 Oct 8th a 04:40 AM
by BSA_WM20
Back when I rode to work every day and latter rode for work every day, collisions with pedesterians were par for the course.
The fun bit is when the pedesterian tries to make me into the guilty party when in every case they walked ( or ran ) into me ,
On more than one occasion I had to enter my motorcycle as evidence to prove to the magistrates ( and one judge) that the person had walked into me And I had not hit the pedesterian.
In the latter case the gear change lever punched a 1" long plug out of the riders shin so we ended up in front of a judge with the bike , and a shop dummy marked up with his injuries to prove that he put his leg down and was putting weight on it when the impact happened and this was borne out by the fact that he had no injuries to his upper body that the handlebars would have inflicted if he was standing stationary on the side of the road & I hit him.
He was tring for a $ 750,000 injury claim as he was an apprentice but dropped out during the 6 months he was recovering from the surgury .
The other that comes to mind was in the pouring rain, a young woman raced across the road with a cardboard carton over ther head because she had just had her hair done in preperation fo her dawn wedding the following day
In this case she hit the rear of the bike just behind my leg & in front of the pannier/top box
This caught me 100% off guard and I was going slow so I hit the ground very hard and while I was on the ground she kicked me so hard she broke 3 ribs
The cop lectured me , booked me and refused to even caution " the poor stressed girl ".
That one went to court as well and again I won but the police refused point blank to charge her with assult occasioning bodily harm as requested by my barrister due to "diminished responsibility caused by her impending wedding " so I would have needed to make a civil claim & the barrister said there was no judge on the planet who would find in favour of a "bikie" over a pedesterian because the media would have a field day over it .
As for idiots on phones, a dcade latter when I had the wine delivery contract , not a single day went by that at least one person walked into the trolly I was pushing because their eyes were fixed on their phone so their brains were elsewhere .
Again several of these brain dead idiots tried it on with a damages claim but all of them were "no billed" as delivery drivers have a legal right to use the footpaths and it had been well established that the onus is on the pedesterians to avoid hand carts as the latter has no brakes so a 120 kg hand cart can not make an abrupt stop to avaoid pedesterians .
1 member likes this
#892863 Oct 10th a 02:36 PM
by Irish Swede
Irish Swede
When I talk with other "long-time" motorcyclists, I always ask ; "Did riding bikes make you a BETTER car driver?" They almost always answer "YES!"

It's because we have survived by learning to be more vigilant when we drive...we leave a bigger space ahead of us when following another vehicle, and we look farther ahead, so we don't drive into someone else's mistake.

Not paying attention while riding a motorcycle can get you killed.
That's why these Harley fools playing loud radios while they ride, or with cell phones on their handlebars, are almost asking for injury or death
1 member likes this
#892955 Oct 11th a 05:47 PM
by Dibnah
"> 45 MPH or less <"

Perhaps safer at the ton or more? Less time exposed to the hazard etc. I have some experience in this matter:

A quiet, 60mph limit country road with a long straight that has consistently invited me to speed over the last five decades; the only time I've travelled at less than 60mph along that straight was when delivering someone's car a few years ago, which was written off when Bambi attacked.
1 member likes this
#893066 Oct 12th a 10:19 PM
by Irish Swede
Irish Swede
Bicycling asses run stop signs (and even LIGHTS) all the time.
It's gotten so bad here that the mayor of a town in my area has ordered the police to ticket every one of them they catch doing it.
1 member likes this
#893070 Oct 12th a 10:44 PM
by Gordon Gray
Gordon Gray
George.....I probably came off as condescending and if I did, I apologize.

I don't live in the city. So I had a hard time picturing putting myself in your situation.

Comparing a deer running out of the woods to a woman standing at the curb......does not make any sense to me. I live in the are asking for trouble if you DON'T slow down when a deer is standing on the side of the road.

That woman was in the wrong.

My point is/ saw her, lets say by the time you noticed her and could see she was distracted she was 100' from you. It takes you 2 seconds to cover that 100' at 40 miles an hour. IF......when you noticed her you had slowed down to 10'd do 100' in 7 seconds.

You lost 5 seconds by slowing down to 10 mph until you were past her.

(disclaimer......the math probably isn't exact but it's close enough)

PLEASE don't take this as the wrong's just the way I look at it.

I've always enjoyed your posts......still will. If we were sitting across the table at dinner......I'd be saying the same thing. It wouldn't change a thing.

Hopefully our paths will cross one day............and I promise I'll give you plenty of warning. beerchug
1 member likes this
#893079 Oct 12th a 11:45 PM
by Tridentman
George—- I sympathise with you— there are people out there with no road sense who go through life as though they are due a charmed existence.
Yes— if you go slower you might avoid some accidents.
Although if you go slower than the stream of traffic you probably cause some accidents.
We truly have to behave as if other people are idiots.
On the other hand we all live busy lives and need to go places.
There is no going back 500 years to the time when most folks had to walk to get anywhere.
I guess the sensible approach is to go at a speed which is sensible in the circumstances — particularly when other people are about with cell phones walking or driving.
No easy answer— we all have to find the right balance for ourselves.
Just my two cents worth of course.
1 member likes this
#893130 Oct 13th a 04:09 PM
by Hugh Jörgen
Hugh Jörgen
I just hang a gremlin bell off the rear axle and ride like a lunatic.
1 member likes this
#893143 Oct 13th a 07:01 PM
by George Kaplan
George Kaplan
Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
I don't live in the city. So I had a hard time picturing putting myself in your situation.
Fair enough, thanks Gordon.

I dont live in the city either, although I do commute to the city for work.

Where I live isn't as rural as some places in the USA but for the UK its pretty quiet. My nearest neighbour is 1/4 mile away and having deer wander around on our lawn is not uncommon.

UK roads are generally narrower than USA roads. The lane of the road where it happened is about 11 feet wide so it only takes two strides for someone to be almost in the middle of the lane.

I mentioned the incident to some work colleagues and one of them recalled the following situation he witnessed:

"I was on my way into work (pre covid) from the bus stop I have to cross over the road at the end of Fishergate* (two pelican crossings** with a centre “refuge”). I watched a young woman approach one of these, on her phone, press the button and wait. She was so engrossed in her phone that she failed to notice the lights had changed and the traffic (bus) had stopped 5 feet away from her. She only noticed it had stopped when she looked up, realised she was about to miss the crossing and then ran across the road in front of the bus as it moved off (as the lights had changed back), giving the bus driver a heart attack."

* = A road in the city of York
** = A pedestrian crossing where the pedestrian presses a button and a traffic light stops traffic and a red or green signal tells the pedestrian when the can cross.

1 member likes this
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