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Avoiding Left Turning Vehicle Crashes.

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    Avoiding Left Turning Vehicle Crashes.

    Left turning vehicle crashes.

    We came up on an active crash scene about 2 years ago. The rider was DOA at the hospital. The impact was so hard the the car driver ended up in critical condition and the HD was broken in half. Neither had an obstructed view.

    After that I started using several techniques when approaching a vehicle waiting or approaching for a left turn across my line of travel.

    1. Drunken Sailor Maneuver: Slightly tip the bike from side to side. Not enough to indicate you are going to make a turn. This is more easily detected by peripheral vision.*

    2. High Beam Signalling: Flip on the high beams. Don't flash as that is often interpreted as a "go ahead" signal.

    3. Horn Signalling: Use at least 2 sustained beeps. Short beeps may also be interpreted as a "go ahead" signal. Use at least 2 beeps as the first only announces your presence in the vicinity. The second allows the driver to locate the source of the horn.

    4. High Visibility Kit: At least a white or hi-vis helmet color. Forget the graphics (look at the camouflage paint patterns used on WWII Navy ships).

    The object is to get noticed, not to be obnoxious. So keeping the high beams on at night, etc, might just get someone angry enough to act out.

    I also use these when bicycling on the street.

    Please add to this thread with your techniques.

    *Side to side movement mentally register better than straight on or away from movements.
    Last edited by wildbears; 05-10-2021, 10:44 AM.




      Extending your slowing distance before stopping?

      Having been rear-ended over a half dozen times in a car, with one being totaled, I've become very conscious of traffic following me before stopping.

      One thing that seems to increase safety is to slow down enough to slow the following vehicle before coming to a complete stop.

      Obviously more important when on a highway and travelling at higher speeds, when road conditions are slippery, and when descending a steep grade.
      Last edited by wildbears; 05-10-2021, 10:43 AM.


        Moto Lights mounted down near the front axle along with a bright headlight create a unique pattern that almost always gets attention.

        For the rear.
        Last edited by Pete_Tallahassee; 05-10-2021, 05:06 PM.
        2018 BMW S1000R
        2000 BMW K1200 RS
        2017 Honda CRF250 L ABS

        "Where you stand depends on where you sit"
        Rufus E Miles JR.


        • wildbears
          wildbears commented
          Editing a comment
          More and brighter lighting is a great suggestion. Especially with an unusual configuration as compared to other traffic.

          Color variation is also an eye catcher. Such as slightly blue or green lights if you can legally get away with them,

          One caveat is when you are back lit by a low sun. Especially if it is being filtered through a stand of trees. The later results in a complicated pattern that not only will your lighting disappear into, but your entire silhouette can be hidden. by.

          Doing a little "drunken sailor" might help when approaching hazards or when concerned about following traffic in these settings .

          The helmet, brake-free-deceleration flashing light seems like a game changer.

          Thanks for the link.
          Last edited by wildbears; 05-11-2021, 07:06 AM.

        • wildbears
          wildbears commented
          Editing a comment
          I wonder if rapidly flashing or constantly on lights cause target fixative in inebriated drivers?

        Moto Fatality Rate per State Population (not by miles ridden):

        Vehicle Fatality Rates by State and per 100,000:

        In general, the warmer states have higher rates, perhaps due to more riding.
        Last edited by wildbears; 05-14-2021, 03:58 PM.


          Not so bright that they annoy drivers.....
          I have two Clearwater lights with amber lens covers down low but not un-sprung.
          I run them at only 20% because at 30% I got flashes.

          As far as being rear ended.... I never stop to make a left turn. If I can't make a
          clean, quick turn I'll continue on and turn around.
          I've sat in my truck behind a left turning bike blocking traffic for a bike many times.


            A fatality a couple of miles from me yesterday when a lady going to a pee wee football game made a left turn in front of a bike coming down the road. 4 lane highway, good sight line, witnesses said biker had little time to avoid her. Will be interesting to see if she gets charged with anything.


            • 802Mike
              802Mike commented
              Editing a comment
              I guaranty she says, "I didn't see him."
              Is it really all her fault?