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Predicting what a driver will do.

  #1  
Old 04-20-2010, 07:46 PM
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Default Predicting what a driver will do.

Most motorcycles crash when they are approaching a four-way intersection, and an oncoming car that is waiting to make a left turn, suddenly turns in front of the motorcycle, before he has had a chance to ride past the car and get out of danger. The motorcycle winds up t-boning or ramming the car.



If I am approaching an intersection, and I see a car in the oncoming lane (facing my bike as I get closer and closer) and the car is stopped in traffic and waiting for me to pass him so that he can make a left turn.....

1. I don't look at the driver's face or the hands on the steering wheel, I look at the car's front wheels....the tire, the rim, any part that is visible to my eyes. The reason I look at those parts of the car, and NOT at the driver, is that if the driver suddenly decides he will move his vehicle forward and into my path....the tire/rim is the part that will move FIRST...and the part that I can easily see from my vantage point. I can then react appropriately, once I see the tire moving or the rim rolling forward. Is he gonna suddenly dart in front of me and take that left turn? Or is he just creeping forward and forcing me to hurry up and go through the intersection and past him?

If he creeps forward, I will slow down substantially.....this forces the driver of the car to hit his brakes because now the object (me) that he was timing and waiting to pass him quickly is now going much slower.

Now, he CANNOT predict my speed...nor can he force me to go any faster because I am now slowing down and doing the opposite of what he expected.

By slowing down, it also will lessen the severity of any crash just in case the driver does cut me off anyway or decides to drive into me.




Same thing applies if I am driving on a one-way street and I see a car up ahead in an alleyway waiting for me to pass him, so that he can enter the one-way street too.

I will look, always look at the car's front tire/especially the rim. If the driver suddenly decides to dart out in front of me, the wheel/rim/tire will be the part of the car that will be easiest for me to notice...I will see those parts move first and can then be ready to brake or whatever.

Hope that all made sense.
 

Last edited by MT Wallet; 04-20-2010 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:47 PM
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In short, don't look at the driver or his hands on the wheel.

Look at the car's tire/rim.

Those parts will move first and will alert you the quickest that the vehicle is now in motion and could cut in front of you, and cause you to crash.
 
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:55 PM
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Makes sense.

Honestly though, I try not to predict a driver's actions. They're too unpredictable so its a waste of brain power. I try to formulate multiple plans, within my bike and my own capabilities, based on whatever they could do. If I can't come up with enough options, I chop speed to give me more time and more options.

Seems safer to me that way.
 
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:43 PM
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Agreed, I don't really try to "predict" a driver's actions. However, I do exactly the same thing you do in both of those situations, and I agree 100% about switching things up on the driver. It's good first of all to just rub off some speed so (like you said) if you do have to stop, or swerve, or god forbid crash, your doing it much slower. Also, It forces the driver to dedicate at least a few more seconds of attention to you (provided they didn't just blow through ignoring you completely), and I think it irritates some people because (again like you said) they were expecting you to crack open the throttle and fly through, and now they have to wait
 
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:50 PM
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Good advice Kuroshio, better not to try and predict a driver's actions.

And Nex, glad to hear we have the same way of handling that problem of drivers whizzing by just as we go past them at the intersection.

It was getting pretty bad where I live. Before, drivers wouldn't count beats and try to time when I would pass them. They'd give me as much time/space as needed but now as soon as I ride past they whip behind me just missing the tail of my bike.

I hate that!
 

Last edited by MT Wallet; 04-20-2010 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MT Wallet View Post
Look at the car's tire/rim.
Those parts will move first and will alert you the quickest that the vehicle is now in motion and could cut in front of you, and cause you to crash.
Yeah, you nailed it. That's what I look at as well.
 
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Incognito View Post
Yeah, you nailed it. That's what I look at as well.

I miss the old days when driver's wouldn't creep forward, as a motorcycle approached them.

Now, it's getting a bit out of hand at least where I ride.
 
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:07 AM
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I pretty much just assume none of them ppl see when I'm riding. That way I'm going slow enough and prepared to gtfo of the way if/when they pull out in front of me. But it's definitely a good idea to watch the wheels to be able to react quick enough to a vehicle pulling into your lane like Wallet said.
 
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:17 AM
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i ride like every car out there is trying to kill me. I never stay still in a blind spot, always try to stay moving forward quickly, the quicker you can pass or move forward the less chance of them not seeing you, agreed , trying to see the driver and predict is valuable time lost in paying attention to staying alive...
 
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:05 AM
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All good advice, but I make a habit of watching for the drivers eyes in their mirrors, just to make sure that they've seen me, and are thus aware of my existence. It doesn't help with prediciton, but it helps cut down on getting cut off.
 

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