General Question

Spargett's avatar

Have you ever been in a motorcycle accident?

Asked by Spargett (5377points) June 16th, 2008

If so, what were the circumstances/mistakes. I’m about to get a motorcycle myself and want to try and learn as much as I can to avoid mistakes myself.

So what was the mistake you or someone else made, and how would you avoid that in the future?

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13 Answers

mzgator's avatar

I got hit by a guy on a motorcycle. I was stopped at a red light. He was racing another bike and hit me going about 70 mph. What happened to him was not pretty. He flew off the motorcycle and way down the street. Luckily he was not hit by another on-coming car. He was a kid who had skipped school and took his dad’s bike out for a race.

Notreallyhere's avatar

There are so many things that can go wrong, not only because of you, but because of others, that I don’t recomend anybody to get one.

kevbo's avatar

I hope you don’t mind my answering despite not having been in an accident. A couple of near miss situations on my ‘89 Kawasaki 305cc which was about 15 years old at the time.

1. Looking over my left shoulder as I was merging onto the freeway via the on ramp, I ended up drifting left in the process and brushed my front tire against the curbed divider. Sort of a “you’ll turn where you look” situation.

2. Driving on the freeway at night and gasping at the lane next to me which had suddenly revealed a pile of picket fence looking material that had probably fallen off a truck. I don’t know that I would have seen in it in time. I’m guessing better headlights would have helped or avoiding riding on fast, badly lit roads.

3. Driving for the first time with the former owner’s hand-me-down helmet that was too big. The wind got underneath it and blew my hair in front of my eyes. Secure your hair.

4. Driving on a two lane road and having the oncoming car make a left hand turn right in front of me. Not sure what could be done about that.

5. Driving on the same two lane road at night and having a giant stag leap across the road in front of me. Same deal.

6. Laying the bike down (always seemed to happen when I was just standing there at a dead stop) and weakening the clutch which had been bent in the process. Eventually the arm of the clutch broke off.

7. Leaving gas in the tank over the winter, which caused the tank to rust, which required a DIY acid etching of the tank and subsequent polymer coating of the tank. Chips from the polymer broke off and ended up in the carburator (I think) and got stuck under some drain valve. So basically I was driving around leaking a gasoline trail because the drain was stuck open. Fixed with an in-line fuel filter. Not sure if this would be a problem with modern bikes. Also, drain your tank when you put your bike away for the winter.

8. Traffic lights won’t recognize you (might not be a problem with a big bike). Get a car to pull up alongside you.

9. Cracks in the sidewalls of the tires. Not good.

10. Double turn lanes. Count on the jackass next to you to turn into your lane.

11. Inexperienced passengers- novices will be inclined to lean away from your turn instead of into it, which causes obvious problems. Also, if you carry a passenger, warn them not to touch the tailpipe(s) when they dismount. I made bacon out of my leg once when I rode on the back of my friend’s bike.

12. I used to flash my brights whenever there was a car ahead that was waiting to turn onto the road I was on.

13. A basic- veer to the left or right side of a lane when approaching and traveling through an intersection. Oil from cars will have accumulated in the center of the lane which can cause you to lose traction.

Have fun and good luck.

Notreallyhere's avatar

If you’re already determined to get it, I suggest to start with a small one diary untill you’re familiar with the handling of it

Notreallyhere's avatar

Disregard (diary)

mac316's avatar

I can answer this one because I have been in an accident. I was riding back to my house after having my HD repaired. A drunk turned left in front of me and I made contact with his passenger front fender. While I was catching my bike, the driver completed the turn and stopped. By the time I had the motor shut off, he was pulling on my right arm asking, “Hey buddy, are you hurt?” Until I tried to flatten him for pulling on my arm, I realized I couldn’t raise my hand which had a broken wrist.
After that, I rode for 37 more years without an accident. Many thousands of memorable miles. Learn to ride with confidence not bravado! Enjoy the ride!!

marinelife's avatar

I had a friend who rode with jeans rather than leathers. When he had an accident, he slid a long way after he came off the bike and basically turned his butt into hamburger. I remember that when we watched the Rose Bowl that year, he did it lying on his stomach on a pillow, and he couldn’t have any beer because of the painkillers. It took weeks to heal.

chaingarden's avatar

I just got my first bike last week, so I haven’t had any accidents yet. However, I took a safety course, and one of the things they mentioned could be a problem was dogs running toward your bike. The solution according to the instructors is to slow down so that the dog loses interest, and then speed up quickly to outrun it. I’ve had a couple dogs chase me in the few days I’ve been riding; since I was going at low speeds, I was able to stop before they got to me, at which point they found more interesting things to do.

robmandu's avatar

I answered this question before it was asked.

robmandu's avatar

@chaingarden, I’d heard a slightly different dog avoidance maneuver:

Maintain a constant speed and straight line as the dog approaches. They’ll instinctually “lead the target” aiming to meet where they expect you’ll be. When they get close, swerve away from the dog and accelerate… causing them to miss behind you.

Spargett's avatar


I’m looking into getting (and possibly restoring if needed) a Honda CB77 305. A great size for me and my lack of experience.


Thank you for your very thorough list.

stickyc's avatar

Crashed twice – First time, I was changing into an open lane at a stop light and someone pulled out in front of me to do the same. I hit both the front and rear brakes hard and locked up the rear, which slid out. I never did hit the car in front of me.

Lessons learned:
– Don’t be greedy.
– Don’t assume the guy in front is going to see you.
– Learn to panic stop.
I’d almost say “dont use the rear break”, but that’s tantamount to saying “Mac is better than PC” or “Loud pipes save lives”. Some people believe it’s required, some dont. In my own particular case, I’ve stopped using the rear brake since.
The big one is learn to panic stop – you will need to use that skill. It’s very difficult to lock up the front brake as when you’re stopping, all the weight shifts forward onto the front tire. That same weight is lifted from the rear, which means it has even less traction in a stop, making it much easier to lock up. Locking up either is very bad. Give yourself a refresher course now and then (in an isolated area, duh!) Skills you dont use get soft in a hurry.

The 2nd crash, I was lane splitting (legal here in CA, not legal everywhere) and someone in a minivan talking on their phone changed lanes into me, pushing me over. Additional, in the rush to pick my bike up after, I did not secure the kickstand and it fell over again (actually doing more damage than the initial clip).
Lessons learned:
– Assume people dont see you. Most folks will say “Assume everyone out there is trying to hit you”. Either way, you need to be ultra-aware of where everyone is around you and where they might go and where you might go in response. SIPDE = Spot, Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute – be doing this always.
– If you are in an accident, take a few deep breaths and assess the situation before doing anything. Don’t immediately get up and start putting things back together.

I would strongly suggest looking into taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (or similar) course. As far as I’m concerned, it should be mandatory for all cyclists. They cover basic riding strategies and skills (typically a 3 day course with mixed classroom and riding). In many states, their DMV will waive the riding test if you complete the course and insurance frequently will give a discount. Of all the bike “accessories” I’ve spent money on, starting with the MSF was easily the smartest investment I made.

And don’t forget the safety gear! Think about one of those belt sanders. The surface of those is usually traveling more than 25mph. Now put on some real coarse grit paper. Now crank it up and press say, your elbow against the surface it with all your weight. You see where I’m going with this? :) I love acronyms, so I’ll throw out ATGAT: All The Gear, All The Time.

person12346's avatar

always watch out for people pulling out in front of u dont want to slam into the side of a car they will pull out

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