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Old 07-06-2013, 12:38 PM   #1
Carlo Muro OP
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Eek I ALMOST put a motorcyclist down today

I'm doing a job now in Catania, Sicily. Today I was trying to find my way back to my hotel and I needed to make a U-Turn. I pulled off, carefully looked both ways, and proceeded to pull out. Just then, as my car entered the roadway, I saw a young man on a scooter, brakes locked, both feet down on the pavement, headed right for my door. I punched the accelerator and fortunately I had a car with something under the hood (big Volvo S60 turbo diesel) and was able to literally JUMP out of his way. I'll never understand how I got enough traction to pull away that fast.

It was 100% my fault and I've been kicking myself all day long for it. The motorcyclist was, however, doing 3 things that I think he should consider changing to improve his chances of survival.
1) He had no headlight
2) He was riding really fast
3) The color of his bike blended in almost perfectly with his surroundings.

I am always VERY careful and respectful with regards to those on 2 wheels and I don't have to tell you why. I simply didn't see this guy. I may as well have been trying to dodge a bullet given his speed and lack of visibility. If this can happen to me, what happens when cagers are busy texting, eating, talking on their phone, or simply don't give a $h_t? This is food for thought and even though I cringe at intersections now when I ride, my pucker factor just went up another notch.

Cheers
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:37 PM   #2
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U turn

Hi Carlo,

Glad you didn't get tangled up with the guy on the scooter.

I just try my best to NOT do U-Turns anymore. If I miss a turn or exit, I just go to the next one. Usually won't cost me more than a few seconds or minutes at the most.

I've seen too many "near misses" as a result of U-turns.

As drivers get older they get stiffer, and lazier when it comes to "getting a good look" at what's really going on. It's nice to be perpendicular to the road when you pull out. Easy to see both ways!

Listening to my voices in the back of my head more as I age. It's served me well and is definitely a form of situational awareness.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:40 AM   #3
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I lived in Sigonella just outside of Catania for 6 months in the Navy. I absolutely refused to drive in the city. The locals have a different mentality to how the flow of traffic works compared to any other country I've been. That sucks you gave that rider a close call. But I can understand how those situations pop up.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlo Muro View Post
... I saw a young man on a scooter, brakes locked, both feet down on the pavement, headed right for my door. ...doing 3 things that I think he should consider changing to improve his chances of survival.
1) He had no headlight
2) He was riding really fast
3) The color of his bike blended in almost perfectly with his surroundings.
...
Two other things he shouldn't have been doing:
4) a Flintstone stop.
5) riding a scooter.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:25 PM   #5
dolomoto
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Making a U-turn from the the road shoulder is seldom a good idea. It's much better to make a left turn (watching for vulnerable road users) into a lot, turn around and make a right turn in your new direction.

Of course you already knew that but you did the most dangerous of the two.

I can't make excuses for the scooter rider, I'm glad to hear that it shook you up. I think your claim of responsibility should stand without qualification (of the actions of the scooter rider).
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlo Muro View Post
...and I needed to make a U-Turn. I pulled off, carefully looked both ways, and proceeded to pull out...

...I think he should consider changing to improve his chances of survival.
1) He had no headlight
2) He was riding really fast
3) The color of his bike blended in almost perfectly with his surroundings.

Cheers
I'm thinking that you made the U-turn with all due caution and used good judgement. The Scooterista, OTOH, didn't stack the deck in his favor by being in Stealth Mode. Two wrongs don't make a right, but he was wronger. Keep on driving carefully and don't obsess about this incident.

--Bill
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlo Muro View Post
I'm doing a job now in Catania, Sicily. Today I was trying to find my way back to my hotel and I needed to make a U-Turn. I pulled off, carefully looked both ways, and proceeded to pull out. Just then, as my car entered the roadway, I saw a young man on a scooter, brakes locked, both feet down on the pavement, headed right for my door. I punched the accelerator and fortunately I had a car with something under the hood (big Volvo S60 turbo diesel) and was able to literally JUMP out of his way. I'll never understand how I got enough traction to pull away that fast.

It was 100% my fault and I've been kicking myself all day long for it. The motorcyclist was, however, doing 3 things that I think he should consider changing to improve his chances of survival.
1) He had no headlight
2) He was riding really fast
3) The color of his bike blended in almost perfectly with his surroundings.

I am always VERY careful and respectful with regards to those on 2 wheels and I don't have to tell you why. I simply didn't see this guy. I may as well have been trying to dodge a bullet given his speed and lack of visibility. If this can happen to me, what happens when cagers are busy texting, eating, talking on their phone, or simply don't give a $h_t? This is food for thought and even though I cringe at intersections now when I ride, my pucker factor just went up another notch.

Cheers
Yeah, shakes you up. I always look an extra time each direction for u turns and pulling out into traffic etc. Don't kick yourself too much. Did your best and everyone survived.

Stealth mode.... I succumbed a little to the American cruiser all things black look. Black Schuberth helmet and compromise grey black Olympia jacket and pants. Black is going to cook you of course so some gray to reduce this and increase visibility.

Anyway I'm on the what I think is very bright orange bike waiting to turn right in my neighborhood and a lady in SUV completely cuts the corner toward me then swerves to miss. Bugger all you can do. Sitting duck job. I ordered the Schubert C3 Pro in the flouro green next day. Wore my flouro mesh jacket with it yesterday and had rubber neck lookers everywhere at traffic lights. Not something you'd choose to have going on but VERY visible.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:44 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Trail bandit View Post
Yeah, shakes you up. I always look an extra time each direction for u turns and pulling out into traffic etc. Don't kick yourself too much. Did your best and everyone survived.

Stealth mode.... I succumbed a little to the American cruiser all things black look. Black Schuberth helmet and compromise grey black Olympia jacket and pants. Black is going to cook you of course so some gray to reduce this and increase visibility.

Anyway I'm on the what I think is very bright orange bike waiting to turn right in my neighborhood and a lady in SUV completely cuts the corner toward me then swerves to miss. Bugger all you can do. Sitting duck job. I ordered the Schubert C3 Pro in the flouro green next day. Wore my flouro mesh jacket with it yesterday and had rubber neck lookers everywhere at traffic lights. Not something you'd choose to have going on but VERY visible.

Don't think it's just a matter of being visible (although it helps) Had to play leapfrog with a minivan yesterday who cut me off and then stood on her brakes at a light. Had to dodge around here while braking and ended up alongside her on the right and she had her windows down. I calmly (surprisingly) asked her "was it really necessary for you to cut me off like that?"

her response?

"Oh, I saw you"

wtf? So it was...on purpose?
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:39 AM   #9
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There was a show on the Science Channel the other day about the brain and how it can be distracted/tricked into filtering out certain information. They did a number of real time experiments that the viewers (me for one) participated in. Damn if they didn't trick me into missing both a guy in a giant Rabbit suit and another in a giant Penguin suit mixed in with a genetic dance crew. Just the fact that they had me trying to count how many dancers stepped into a circle on the stage had my brain completely filter out the Rabbit and Penguin (and both were as big if not bigger than the dancers) walking across the stage and mixing in with the dancers. Then to my surprise the host drew the analogy from the experiment and to the fact of so many people saying "I just didn't see the Motorcyclist" after they have an accident in which an outside observer (or the guy on the bike) would say "The driver was either blind or sleeping". Literally if you are looking for cars and have even a slight distraction in play anything but the cars you are looking for can be filtered out by the brain. More than pleased that you and the scooter rider escaped unscathed (his underpants may be the exception).
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:41 AM   #10
Bill Harris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandit
Anyway I'm on the what I think is very bright orange bike waiting to turn right in my neighborhood and a lady in SUV completely cuts the corner toward me then swerves to miss. Bugger all you can do. Sitting duck job. I ordered the Schubert C3 Pro in the flouro green next day. Wore my flouro mesh jacket with it yesterday and had rubber neck lookers everywhere at traffic lights. Not something you'd choose to have going on but VERY visible.
Yep, the only thing that Conspicuity lighting or HiViz gear does is to stack the deck in your favor. The truly Clue-challenged will be unmoved. You still have to ride-as-if-you-are-invisible, but you get a couple more survival points.

When I first wore my fluoro-green mesh jacket it was shocking to notice the GREEN reflection/highlight on everything in front of me-- fairing, handlebars, windscreen, mirrors-- in bright sunlight. Which is good, come to think of it. The only downside is that when I leave the jacket on the bike for a minute to pop into a store or gas station the jacket tends to attract bees and other flying insects.

--Bill
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homey View Post
Two other things he shouldn't have been doing:
4) a Flintstone stop.
5) riding a scooter.
What kind of moron makes a statement like this. Oh wait, let me guess a head in the sand ignoramus, who has never been to Europe I would think. Keep your stupid comments reserved for the basement!
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolomoto View Post
Making a U-turn from the the road shoulder is seldom a good idea. It's much better to make a left turn (watching for vulnerable road users) into a lot, turn around and make a right turn in your new direction.

Of course you already knew that but you did the most dangerous of the two.

I can't make excuses for the scooter rider, I'm glad to hear that it shook you up. I think your claim of responsibility should stand without qualification (of the actions of the scooter rider).
Ya, what he said, on all counts.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:08 PM   #13
Homey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredgreen View Post
What kind of moron makes a statement like this. Oh wait, let me guess a head in the sand ignoramus, who has never been to Europe I would think. Keep your stupid comments reserved for the basement!
Yeah, I've been to Europe and Asia, doesn't change anything.
You must ride a scooter, or make Flintstone stops...probably the latter.
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:26 AM   #14
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What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the road

This article might explain why you didn't see that scooter. It should be required reading for all drivers and riders.

http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/raf-p...each-cyclists/
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:16 AM   #15
abhibeckert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolomoto View Post
Making a U-turn from the the road shoulder is seldom a good idea. It's much better to make a left turn (watching for vulnerable road users) into a lot, turn around and make a right turn in your new direction.
I have to do a u-turn everyday to park in the side street near work (nessesary due to one-way streets, etc). I always make sure to block my entire lane when slowing down or stopping to do begin the u-turn. That way nobody can attempt to pass.

Requires a good turning circle though, pretty much only works on a bike.
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