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Thread: Wear the right gear

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Wear the right gear


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Jack View Post
    Back to the brake v swerve.

    On my recent trip to Norway there were 4 of us riding together one day, I was tail-end Charlie, well back from the other 3. Leader overtakes a car, No 2 follows him, No 3 goes for it too, in the face of oncoming. I can see this unfolding and start to slow because I can forsee trouble.

    Anyway, No 2 was OK, No 3 was not, and bailed out of a potential head-on by crossing the verge and taking to a parallel cycle path. It worked, he kept it upright and no kittens were harmed.

    He had a big adventure-style bike which probably helped. I couldn't tell what speed he went off road, but it must have been 40+ mph, the car he was overtaking was doing about 50. I'm not saying this was sensible ( IMO he was being a prat) but swerving can work.
    If you drive in the Alps in the summer, it is not long before you face a large motorcycle on your side of the road going for a head-on. I wonder whether the impulse for group overtaking is based on some kind of evolutionary instinct, like a pack of wolves running down its prey. Or is it just a high percentage of prats... Seriously, there is some evidence that early humans hunted by using group running.

    Among the images seared on my mind are (a) when I was on a bike and almost caused a head-on; and (b) when I was in a car and a motorcyclist almost caused a head-on. Cars do it too, as in the Subaru driver here. In my experience touring motorcylists in groups, with their optimistic overtaking, are just as often to blame if not more so, and it gives them a bad name, because no driver wants to in a fatal, even if innocent.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    Quote Originally Posted by The Spin Doctor View Post
    I think the driver froze with foot on the brakes and nothing happening with the steering - see Keith Code's 'Survival Reactions'.

    EDIT - it's apparently called 'limbic hijack'.
    I think that hits the nail - he made no attempt to steer left at the crucial moment >> crash. The whole point - the only point - of ABS is that you still have steering control while max braking. IMO, in crisis situations, bike or car, it is much more important to steer than to brake. Braking, no matter how hard, is likely to reduce the impact speed by a relatively small amount, but that's all - you still crash. Steering, OTOH, gives you a chance to turn a head-on into a glancing impact, or a near miss, if you're lucky.

    And visualisation is just as relevant a technique in the car as on a bike.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    In fairness the bikers reactions were excellent and it was an excellent stoppie which probably enhanced his chances of clearing the car as he was up already. I on the other hand would have likely gone through the windscreen and nutted the driver as my organs spilled out onto the passenger seat. I agree with spin one of those unlucky moments 3 seconds later he would have missed the car. Looks to me the car crested the hill and lifted the front wheels enough to lose steering ability and despite the driver braking hard either froze or lost the ability to steer for a fraction of a second but then that's all it takes.

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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    Quote Originally Posted by irie View Post
    If there is an absence of warning signs that does not therefore mean that there is no hazard.ahead. Just sayin'.
    Indeed... it's a point I make on training courses when I'm talking about how to use centre markings and signs to read the road ahead.

    But the absence can also be because a dangerous hazard hasn't (yet) caused enough serious crashes to warrant the cost of putting a sign up, or because it fell down or got knocked down and no-one's got round to replacing it.

    Some years ago, I found myself riding over a Give Way marking at 50-odd mph, straight out onto a priority road. I don't often make goofs quite that serious, so I turned round and went back to see what I'd missed.

    Firstly, the roads converge in a dense woodland so there are no cross views to alert you to the main road coming in over on the right behind your shoulder. The 'natural' line of the two roads actually follows the minor road - the main road comes in at an acute angle so the minor road appears to go straight on.

    Secondly, the 'GIVE WAY in 100m' sign was face down in the ditch next to the road - someone had obviously flattened it.

    Thirdly, the GIVE WAY paint markings themselves, which I'd spotted as I rode over them, were mostly under a large puddle - it was only the final couple of paint splodges that could be seen.

    And finally, the GIVE WAY markings - just like the curved markings in the video - were just over a very slight crest, just enough to hide the lateral paint marking without hiding the centre line away and down the main road ahead. It just looked like one continuous line.

    I was lucky - it's a relatively quiet road in the Berkshire Downs and nothing was coming. I was on the bike at the time, but it's also a road I use fairly often in the car and I don't doubt that had I managed to collect a bike on the way through, I'd have also had the book thrown at me...

    We're all so keen to criticise the driver that we're losing track of how easy it is to make errors like this.

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  6. #35
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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    Yes, we're all human.

    On another note, I'm surprised this thread hasn't discussed how much the rider's gear mattered. The police suggested that he'd have been killed without airbag-equipped full leathers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roads policing officer PC Phil Carson, South Yorkshire Police
    "Thankfully, the motorcyclist was wearing a full leather, air bag suit which activated and inflated as he was propelled off his bike. Without it, in a collision at this speed, he would most likely have died.”
    It looks like the leathers stayed intact despite the high speed involved. I wonder how textile clothing would have fared?

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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    Quote Originally Posted by Zebedee View Post
    Yes, we're all human.

    On another note, I'm surprised this thread hasn't discussed how much the rider's gear mattered. The police suggested that he'd have been killed without airbag-equipped full leathers.



    It looks like the leathers stayed intact despite the high speed involved. I wonder how textile clothing would have fared?
    He landed on his head!!!!



    He doesn't appear to have slid far so I'm not sure the old leather V's textile discussion would be valid, and I think the argument for the airbag may be questionable.
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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    He was wearing a D-Air Race airbag, which is supposed to “limit oscillations of the head during rolling”. However, I can’t tell from the video if that made any difference in this case.

    Alpinestars has argued that it’s better to allow full neck movement during a crash, but I find this a tough argument to swallow.

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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    Quote Originally Posted by Zebedee View Post
    He was wearing a D-Air Race airbag, which is supposed to “limit oscillations of the head during rolling”. However, I can’t tell from the video if that made any difference in this case.

    Alpinestars has argued that it’s better to allow full neck movement during a crash, but I find this a tough argument to swallow.
    I think that the argument is that all of the forces have to go somewhere. So, if you restrict head movement, then the brain is still moving inside the skull.

    However, if he landed almost vertically, head movement side-side or hyper-extension/flexion probably wasn't the problem, the forces may have gone directly into his spine, hence crushed verterbrae.

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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    On another forum, several people have said their partners have now authorised / insisted on (?) the purchase of an air bag jacket. Am I the only one to wonder about good old risk homeostasis in this context?

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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    No.

  14. #41
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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    Quote Originally Posted by The Spin Doctor View Post
    Sigh... I see the hanging jury are out here too, without having really watched the video.

    The car's speed is clearly displayed, the driver was doing 66 - 67 in the clip released on what appeared to be a straight road. He braked when he spotted the bend which wasn't signed and just over a blind crest.

    I doubt many of us would have been riding any slower.

    Worth remembering the most common rural road fatality for bikers is exactly this 'in too fast, run wide' crash.
    I've followed a self-styled riding god down roads with blind bends using both sides of the road, assuming it was clear. I didn't keep up, because I'm not stupid. Basically that's what the car driver did, a lame attempt at a racing line that took him out wide assuming the exit was clear, and it wasn't. The following car had no trouble staying on the correct side of the road.

    The rider survived because of his inadvertent stoppie, which meant he didn't plough straight into the car at a combined speed of 110mph, he clipped it and flew over the top. I very much doubt if his clothing had more than a superficial effect.

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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    I think his helmet may have helped

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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    Quote Originally Posted by Zebedee View Post
    I think his helmet may have helped
    What he really needed was an airbag helmet!

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  18. #44
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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    The guy sustained compression fractures to six vertebrae, a broken sternum and a broken wrist. The compression fractures must have happened when he landed on his head. I'm not sure how an airbag can help with that. Plod said the airbag saved his life...perhaps he reckons that without an airbag there'd have been a broken spinal cord? I dunno. I think we need a doctor to answer that one. It was a really weird collision, in that the stoppie probably saved his life by shooting him over the car. If he'd hit the roof edge, even the fastest airbag would have been only partially inflated. I suspect the chest or neck damage, coupled with decelerating from a combined speed of about 60mph, would have been fatal. It's enough to make you think about giving up bikes.

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    Default Re: Wear the right gear

    Quote Originally Posted by nick h. View Post
    . It's enough to make you think about giving up bikes.
    Nope.

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