The Proverbial Left Turner

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by Mud Minnow, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. curbjumperjones

    curbjumperjones Compulsive Lane Changer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,238
    Location:
    Upper Canada
    My experience of being hit by a left turning pick-up truck was in 1985; not having the severity of injury of the original poster of this thread, nonetheless injured and missed work-of-choice for two years (wildfire crew).
    Torn ligaments, left ankle- good for forecasting the weather.
    How did it change my riding style? *I hope this helps new riders.
    At the time I rode in a manner expecting others to comply with the rules-of-the-road, I was new to city driving.. and extremely naive.
    I have, since that incident/ occurrence/ collision (not sure if the word 'accident' is accurate) 33 yrs ago, followed an intersection approach plan, which I am sure is taught in every riding course.
    A quick process begins with ascertaining the condition of the approaching traffic light (stale green?), are there oncoming left turners present, am I in a lane position that's visible to on coming leftys (whether they see me or not; whether they are looking or not), pedestrian situation- is someone about to step out/ j-walk, what is going on behind me; can I do an emergency stop if required or will I be rear-ended (select necessary lane position), can I swerve-to-avoid if necessary, can I go through the intersection with a vehicle beside side me (keeping out of its blind spot) since the oncoming lefty may most certainly see a larger vehicle, do not speed through intersections**, do not run yellows**, as soon as I'm through, the process begins again. DO NOT be surprised that if you do not have a plan/ procedure that people are turning left in front of you frequently. Like I said, these thoughts are well known to experienced riders, but I hope it helps you people who are new to urban environments, as I was at the time having just ridden off road, and when on the road certainly not in a large congested urban environment, during the years prior to being hit.

    **except as a means of collision avoidance from other threats

    Also, I will never again ride a motorcycle with OEM 60/55w halogen bulbs. The very day I installed a pair of Trail Tech 60mm LEDS (choice of 3 brightness levels & OFF) on my bike plus a Cyclops LED H4 replacement bulb in the headlamp, incidents of left-turns-in-front and people running reds and stop signs across my path DECREASED BY 80 to 90%. This set up works so well, I used it on 3 different motorcycles over the years, until I sold it with my last XR650L. Also, it's great at night when used judiciously so as not to blind people, i.e., 60mm lights OFF and headlight on LOW when oncoming traffic approaching at night.. otherwise, when there is no traffic at night these are like aircraft landing lights. They can seriously blind people if not used properly.

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    #21
  2. FTL900

    FTL900 White and nerdy

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    881
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Weave yes, but ride towards the vehicle, no. Human eyes detect movement, and if you aim straight towards the potential left-turner, you're getting larger (slowly) but you're not moving across their field of vision. So when I am suspicious of a vehicle waiting to turn, I'll start a weave away from them, towards the right. In doing so, I'm moving more across their field of vision, and more of a moving object to them. I always try to pace another vehicle when going through intersections. Much less likely to get hit by a SMIDSY driver that way.

    One other thing that works well... if you're close, wave at them. I was sitting at a stoplight in my pickup, waiting for traffic to clear so I could turn right when a guy on a bicycle crossed the street I was turning onto, coming towards me. Watching traffic to the left, I wasn't paying much attention to him until he waved at me, kinda of a "hi, hello.." wave like you know someone. It startled me, and I realized that I hadn't been very aware of him prior to that wave.
    #22
  3. nickgindy

    nickgindy KLR Basher

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,933
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    You win the internet!

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    #23