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View Full Version : That was too DAMN close!!



Dgrason
05-21-2006, 07:41 AM
Well, I did NOT crash my Harley yesterday. But I sure as the world came close.

Old Hickory Blvd, here in Nashville, is a very busy place. Where I live it has 2 lanes going in each direction and a turn lane down the middle. It curves and winds around and many side streets and parking lots come in from weird angles.

Yesterday, I was aproaching a traffic light at Old Hickory and Highway 70. From a parking lot on my right, a woman in a Buick (on her cell phone of course) pulled out turning left to go the opposite direction from me, back the direction I was coming from. That means that she's going to have to either cross my path in front of me, or she needs to wait until I pass. She spots an opening and punches it. The problem is that I'm in her "opening" and she no more sees me there than the man in the moon. I believe it was the sound of the horn combined with the sound of the rear tire squealing that caused her "panic" reaction to stab the brakes. .... and that's what saved my ass.

Here is the afterthought though. Even though I was riding defensively, was NOT speeding, and was on the brakes and horn instantly, it would not have mattered. She came from out of the side parking lot so fast that had she herself not gotten on the brakes, there's not a thing in the world I could've done. And that scared the absolute PISS out of me. Ok, I didn't actually tinkle in my pants but I sure felt like throwing up. I had to park the bike and settle my nerves down before I made the rest of the ride home. In retrospect, I could have minimized any potential impact by riding even more vigilantly than before. I was doing pretty good but maybe I could have done better. However, I do believe that it is a myth to think that a highly skilled, sober, tip top rider can avoid any and all accidents through the use of his refined riding ability. That kind of arragance can get a guy into even more trouble.

I dare not tell my wife about this because this is the kind of happening that would make her want to sell the bike.

In the end, I chalk it up to "Let that be a lesson to you young man!"

Also, the cell phone problem during driving is really getting to be a pandemic. And I know that there's no telling this woman yesterday that she cannot drive and yak on the phone at the same time. She'd NEVER EVER admit that she's unable to do that safely.

Ok, I'm ranting. I feel better now.

JFN
05-21-2006, 08:05 AM
I'm glad your OK.
As the roads get more congested driving becomes difficult enough let alone when other distractions are introduced. Between talking on the cell phone and eating fast food while driving it seems like people are paying attention to everything but what's happening on the road in front of them.
To me, if someone gets in an accident because of inattentive driving they should be treated the same as a drunk driver with the same criminal penalties including the loss of their license.

FX
05-21-2006, 08:08 AM
First off, glad you're safe and got through it.

Having had the exact same experience from a rider's perspective, I felt every word I read of your's. My incident was not a cell phone, it was just purely the other driver's error, he missed seeing me. However, his wife didn't and I can still see her hitting him and screaming. She saved my ass, he stopped and I was lucky enough to power out of the sideways skid I was in.

Watch them, cause they aint watching us.

Dgrason
05-21-2006, 03:39 PM
Watch them, cause they aint watching us.

That's a fact! But you know, many ARE watching. ...just not ALL. Many times I see drivers approach from the right on a side street or parking lot, look right at me and wait for me to go on by. That's the way it should be. What I need to keep reminding myself is that even though it may be 1 in 100, that 1 person could be THE one person that gets me. So I have to ride as though EVERYONE is that one.

DOGOFFIT
05-21-2006, 05:04 PM
The same female was in Warwickshire (UK) the other day.
Was her car Black?
Luckily my U.S import 'Wing Sidecar Outfit has all lights permanently on and has been mistaken for a chrismas tree.
So she was only half a car length over the white line when she saw me over the top of the mobile phone that was being used illegally.

bufordtpisser
05-21-2006, 07:13 PM
I'm glad your OK.
As the roads get more congested driving becomes difficult enough let alone when other distractions are introduced. Between talking on the cell phone and eating fast food while driving it seems like people are paying attention to everything but what's happening on the road in front of them.
To me, if someone gets in an accident because of inattentive driving they should be treated the same as a drunk driver with the same criminal penalties including the loss of their license.

Close calls scare all of us. Even the close calls of others. I agree with JFN. Driving impaired is driving impaired. It should not matter what caused the impairment. It sure as hell doesn't matter to the person being loaded in the stretcher, or to his grieving family as they are standing around his closed coffin because he is too damaged to have a viewing. Impaired is impaired whether or not you impairment is from a bottle or because you are too damn old to be able to properly pay attention.

Glad you were aware of your surroundings and able to pull this one out. We are losing way too many brothers and sisters to impaired drivers.

flhri03
05-22-2006, 04:23 AM
Glad you're Ok. I can relate to your story. When I lived in NY(long Island) at least once a week on my way to work someone on a cell phone would prove just how impairing it is. Usually they couldn't understand why I was so upset, and pretty vocal as well.

ShawnKing
05-22-2006, 12:36 PM
Old Hickory Blvd, here in Nashville, is a very busy place.
I'm in Nashville too and you're not kidding.

In retrospect, I could have minimized any potential impact by riding even more vigilantly than before. I was doing pretty good but maybe I could have done better.
Glad to hear you're OK and you're right - that's a good lesson to have learned.

However, I do believe that it is a myth to think that a highly skilled, sober, tip top rider can avoid any and all accidents through the use of his refined riding ability. That kind of arragance can get a guy into even more trouble.
Agreed.

I dare not tell my wife about this because this is the kind of happening that would make her want to sell the bike.
LOL I've had a couple of close calls that I haven't told my wife about either. :)

Also, the cell phone problem during driving is really getting to be a pandemic.
Yeah - hopefully, Nashville will soon pass the law banning their use.

subsailor
06-16-2006, 08:29 PM
Thank god you are still with us, down here in Austin, cell phones are just part of the problem, lane changes without looking or signaling, coffee drinking, while on the phone, and putting on eye makeup in the sunvisor mirror, at 65 mph. Worse yet, is the driver who rides my ass because I am maintaining a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of me. I have found a small plastic vial(like those that earplugs come in) of birdshot removed from a shotgun
shell, and carried in my vest pocket, opened and shaken over my shoulder gets the tailgating driver to back off. The nice thing is, they scatter and there is no evidence of what you tossed at them. Hee Hee

bigwater
06-16-2006, 10:33 PM
I have found a small plastic vial(like those that earplugs come in) of birdshot removed from a shotgun
shell, and carried in my vest pocket, opened and shaken over my shoulder gets the tailgating driver to back off. The nice thing is, they scatter and there is no evidence of what you tossed at them. Hee HeeI can only ask you what the F#@$ are you thinking? How is your fumbling around to open a vial of birdshot any more responsible than somebody fumbling around with a cell phone? IT'S NOT! If somebody is tailgating you, slow down. They'll pass you. If they don't, slow down more. There comes a point where the closing distance between the person behind you vs. the speed you are travelling becomes in balance. Somebody travelling fifteen feet off your rear fender at 60 mph is a hazard... but the same distance at five mph is not nearly the hazard. Slow down to the point where the person behind you either passes you or the distance between you is no longer a hazard. I don't care if you have to park the bike. Two inches off of your fender isn't a hazard if nobody is moving.

Tossing crap on the person behind you to try to get them to back off is just plain stupid. It can cause hazards for other people behind them as the person you are throwing it at freaks out and starts swerving all over the road, and it makes you as the biker look like an asshole in the eyes of the cages. It's a no win situation.

God I just can't stand stupid solutions to simple problems. Live to ride and ride to live. Don't make things harder on yourself and on everybody else who rides because you have a vendetta against somebody who's driving closer to your personal space than you feel comfortable with. Handle it in a responsible manner, and that *doesn't* mean throwing *anything* at a cage. That's just plain *stupid*. They're bigger than you are, and the first time you throw a vial of bird shot at a F350 who's driver just happened to have his coffee pissed in that morning, you're likely to find your ass laying in a ditch.

subsailor
06-17-2006, 12:35 AM
You know what? You are right. From now on, I'll keep my thoughts to myself and read. Thank you. Feel free to delete that post.

joebasta
07-03-2006, 02:19 AM
I have found a small plastic vial(like those that earplugs come in) of birdshot removed from a shotgun
shell, and carried in my vest pocket, opened and shaken over my shoulder gets the tailgating driver to back off. The nice thing is, they scatter and there is no evidence of what you tossed at them. Hee Hee

The bird shot sounds like a great idea. However I prefer marbles, the shooters. Those are the big ones. You can flip it over your shoulder and with a little practice it will bounce once and then you hear a "ping" as it bounces off their windshield. I have tossed more than a hundred of them over the past 30 years. Only broke 2 windshields that I know about. Could see the spiderwebbing in my mirror. They all back off very quickly.

joebasta
07-03-2006, 02:43 AM
Tossing somethiing over your shoulder is not stupid in my opinion. It is a safety mechinism. They do back off. As for slowing down, That's plain crap. An elderly couple was riding through and a Yukon would not back off their ass. They slowed down more and waved the idiot to go around. The Yukon drove right over them. Both of them were killed and nobody who witnessed the murder thought to get a plate number. They were never caught. Not that it would have mattered.
4 weeks ago I attended a funeral for a friend I had yet to meet. We, the Patriot Guard Riders, were asked to attend.The retired sailor was riding to work one morning. A dumb young bitch made a left turn across oncoming traffic and did not "see" him. The State of South Carolina decited it was not worth prosecuting her. A ticket for $260.00 and 2 points against her licence is the norm for maiming/killing of bikers in this state.
If you think fumbling with something in your pocket will cause you to get into an accident, park the bike and walk, run or take a bus. If that's all the control you have over your machine you have no right being on the road.
I will do whatever is necessary to ensure as safe a ride as possible, but will not get my ass run over without a fight, and so far I'm still alive and well and helping to keep the windshield repairman very busy.
Hell I used to keep a short 9 in a holster attached to the left side of the bike just under my leg. When cagers see that they give you all the room you need. Unfortunately the feds frown upon me with a gun so now we opt for only marbles.