BMWSportTouring BMWST DB
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
#909722 - 10/28/14 01:41 AM Sorry, mate, I didn't see you!  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 4,440
Bill_Walker Offline
Member
Bill_Walker  Offline
Member

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 4,440
San Marcos, CA USA
This came up in another thread and it was suggested I post it on its own. I do think it's been posted before.

The most common car-bike accident occurs when a driver entering or turning across a roadway fails to see an oncoming bike and violates the bike's right-of-way. In the UK and Australia, this is referred to as a "SMIDSY" accident, for Sorry, Mate, I Didn't See You. The problem occurs because the human eye is attracted to motion, and an oncoming motorcycle presents a very small target with very little visual evidence of motion. This video illustrates the problem, and also shows a maneuver we can use in these situations to catch a driver's eye. I have not had a single car pull out or turn in front of me since I started using this maneuver, either on my motorcycle or on my bicycle. That being said, you should of course still be prepared to avoid the car if it violates your right-of-way.

Here's the video: SMIDSY


"Dry-Town" Crew, San Diego
'15 R1200RT
'12 Kawasaki KLX250S
'04 R1150RT (gone)
'02 Suzuki V-Strom (gone)
#909882 - 10/29/14 04:46 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Bill_Walker]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 80
rolandj727 Offline
Member
rolandj727  Offline
Member

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 80
San Jose, California, USA
This was an excellent video because I learned some simple, useful riding techniques. It demonstrates the problems of motorcycle visibility and what you can do counter this problem.

#909975 - 10/30/14 03:22 AM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Bill_Walker]  
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,033
SuperG Offline
Member
SuperG  Offline
Member

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,033
Central Texas
Indeed, interesting video.
Thank you for posting it.

In the past few days I have been finding myself zig-zagging on the road for no good reason. It could be that I am just bored, and thinking about this video; but certainly will try it when I notice a vehicle on the side street (at a stop sign) about to bolt out -or not.

#910072 - 10/30/14 10:07 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Bill_Walker]  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 4,440
Bill_Walker Offline
Member
Bill_Walker  Offline
Member

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 4,440
San Marcos, CA USA
I use it for vehicles entering the road from parking lots, driveways, side streets, parallel parking spaces, you name it, and of course for left-turners.


"Dry-Town" Crew, San Diego
'15 R1200RT
'12 Kawasaki KLX250S
'04 R1150RT (gone)
'02 Suzuki V-Strom (gone)
#910140 - 10/31/14 05:16 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Bill_Walker]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 639
Dave_zoom_zoom Offline
Member
Dave_zoom_zoom  Offline
Member

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 639
British Columbia Canada
Very insightful!

Thanks Bill thumbsup

#910213 - 11/01/14 02:56 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Bill_Walker]  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,779
TEWKS Offline
Member
TEWKS  Offline
Member

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,779
Tewksbury, MA.
Not to sound like a BH but i've been using this technique for years. Actually thought I invented it. smile Ok, that may sound a little blowhard-ish. rofl


Pat


"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do succeed" Curly Howard
#910946 - 11/07/14 08:38 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Bill_Walker]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 397
chrisz Offline
Member
chrisz  Offline
Member

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 397
Cambridge, Ontario. Canada
I've read about this technique in one of David L. Hough's safety books some years ago. On occasion I use it, mostly when riding in suburbia or similar places.

#913022 - 11/26/14 03:19 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: chrisz]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 5,960
Twisties Offline
Boots
Twisties  Offline
Boots
Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 5,960
Brookings, OR
I have heard that in some jurisdictions weaving like that will get you a citation. Never understood that, but have been discouraged from doing it.

Not sure if I quite accept the "looming" concept as described, but I'll buy the rest.


Jan

Sand Beige 2007 R1200RT "Flyer"



Blind Man Images on Facebook
#913400 - 12/01/14 10:35 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Twisties]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 27,247
russell_bynum Offline
bounce
russell_bynum  Offline
bounce
Member

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 27,247
Wildomar, CA, USA
Originally Posted By: Twisties
I have heard that in some jurisdictions weaving like that will get you a citation. Never understood that, but have been discouraged from doing it.

Not sure if I quite accept the "looming" concept as described, but I'll buy the rest.


My attitude about such things is that I'll do whatever the hell I think is most likely to keep me alive.

If a LEO takes issue with any of it, I'll be very happy to be alive to have that conversation with him/her. If I get a ticket...meh. Tickets are cheaper than hospital stays or funerals.


Russell
Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?
#917261 - 01/11/15 03:39 AM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Bill_Walker]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 3,041
elkroeger Offline
Member
elkroeger  Offline
Member

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 3,041
Rochester WA
That one's new to me. Thanks for posting. Makes sense for the most part.

I'm not sure I fully caught that bit about the background moving behind you. I get it, except: Why would it be different in various situations? Seems like the difference would be related to how closely you'll be passing by the car. But generally you'd be riding almost directly at the driver who's waiting to pull out, so it doesn't seem like it would vary that much from situation to situation. Unless you're rounding a bend with an intersection in the middle. Am I missing something?

Last edited by elkroeger; 01/11/15 03:39 AM.

I'm a man, and I can change, if I have to, I guess.

Eric
#926769 - 04/13/15 05:34 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: elkroeger]  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 586
graydude Offline
Member
graydude  Offline
Member

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 586
Temecula, CA and Camano WA
I have installed headlight modulators on all my bikes for years. I can't tell you how many times I've seen them grab a motorist attention. I can't figure out why these are not standard equipment on bikes. The added benefit is people often confuse me with a LEO and make extra room for me. Plus, for those in California, the modulators are very effective when lane splitting.


IBA#22266


05 K1200 LT,

Real bikes have radiators



"Dry Town Crew" in training
#927436 - 04/19/15 08:18 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: graydude]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,228
mneblett Offline
Member
mneblett  Offline
Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,228
Fairfax, VA
In addition to the eye being attracted to motion, it is also attracted to differences -- differences in color, differences in contrast, differences in shape, differences in brightness, etc. Of course, minor differences or differences hidden in a busy background are less likely to be picked up.

I mention this to suggest taking whatever advantage you can. The three primary forward visibility enhancements I use are (i) a Schubert hi-viz yellow helmet (particularly useful in dense commuting traffic, where sometimes only my head is visible over the adjacent cars), (ii) a broad "triangle" of front lights, and (iii) recently, the use of amber filters over the bright LED lights that form the left & right corners of the triangle. The amber is unusual in my area, and even at low power the LED lights (Clearwater Ericas) are pretty darn bright. I've received unexpected thumbs-ups after the addition of the amber filters (and yes, I checked closely which single digit was being held up grin )


Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
#938019 - 07/24/15 12:07 AM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: mneblett]  
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 124
WBinDE Offline
Member
WBinDE  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 124
Delaware
I came across the video some time back and think of it often. I'm probably overthinking the weave, but I try to make my first zig away from the other driver, my thinking being that I'm getting a little extra bit of motion across the background and perpendicular to his line of sight, as early as possible. Then I zag and am pointing more nearly at him, so all I have going for me at that point is looming (and lights).


2016 R1200 GSA
#943469 - 09/22/15 03:01 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Bill_Walker]  
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 46
DJ_Fission Offline
Newer Member
DJ_Fission  Offline
Newer Member

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 46
Council Bluffs, IA
I always ride with the assumption that *nothing* that I do will cause the other person to see me all of a sudden. I don't ever want to rely upon someone else seeing me; many people drive distracted or are simply oblivious. I take responsibility for myself; I don't expect anyone else to care, and I ride accordingly.


2012 BMW R1200R (Sabine)
Member of: BMWMOA #189688; BMWRA #40273; IBA #55835.
My fuel economy -- powered by Fuelly
#943661 - 09/24/15 12:22 AM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: DJ_Fission]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,194
EddyQ Offline
Member
EddyQ  Offline
Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,194
Lexington, Ma
Good video!
I tend to move all over the lane, which isn't really the SMIDSY, but has a similar effect. I do believe drivers notice side motions.

I also think drivers are looking for cars, meaning two headlights. So, I have a set of aux lights that do help.


2007 BMW R1200RT
#943683 - 09/24/15 03:46 AM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: DJ_Fission]  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 4,440
Bill_Walker Offline
Member
Bill_Walker  Offline
Member

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 4,440
San Marcos, CA USA
Originally Posted By: DJ_Fission
I always ride with the assumption that *nothing* that I do will cause the other person to see me all of a sudden. I don't ever want to rely upon someone else seeing me; many people drive distracted or are simply oblivious. I take responsibility for myself; I don't expect anyone else to care, and I ride accordingly.


All of which is good. But my view is to do everything you can to make yourself visible, and then still ride like you're invisible. Anything that reduces the risk of collision is probably worthwhile.

Further, at many of these sorts of intersections, you can't really "ride like you're invisible" without holding up traffic or getting rear-ended, since riding like you're invisible pretty much requires letting the cross traffic go first.


"Dry-Town" Crew, San Diego
'15 R1200RT
'12 Kawasaki KLX250S
'04 R1150RT (gone)
'02 Suzuki V-Strom (gone)
#943755 - 09/24/15 07:27 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Bill_Walker]  
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 46
DJ_Fission Offline
Newer Member
DJ_Fission  Offline
Newer Member

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 46
Council Bluffs, IA
Originally Posted By: Bill_Walker

All of which is good. But my view is to do everything you can to make yourself visible, and then still ride like you're invisible. Anything that reduces the risk of collision is probably worthwhile.

Further, at many of these sorts of intersections, you can't really "ride like you're invisible" without holding up traffic or getting rear-ended, since riding like you're invisible pretty much requires letting the cross traffic go first.


Sure, I see what you're saying. That's why I have Skene Design visibility lights and extra riding lights on my bike.

Doesn't mean that people shouldn't be responsible for themselves when they're riding. Too many videos are on the Internet where the rider is blaming someone else for what happened, instead of looking at what they could have done to avoid the situation in the first place. I know that's not a very popular opinion, but I think that as riders, we already know that most people don't see us riding, and we have to be extra vigilant on the road.

I'm not saying "ride like you're invisible;" I'm saying "ride like your life is your responsibility, and ride accordingly."


2012 BMW R1200R (Sabine)
Member of: BMWMOA #189688; BMWRA #40273; IBA #55835.
My fuel economy -- powered by Fuelly
#944602 - 10/03/15 03:19 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Bill_Walker]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 8,882
AdventurePoser Offline
Member
AdventurePoser  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 8,882
Newport OR
I will occasionally zig zag in my lane when coming up to suddenly stopped traffic. Mostly I just try to ride like I am completely invisible. So far, so good. smile


Check out my latest ride tales and culinary adventures here:
Rides, Roads, and Eats
#945798 - 10/18/15 04:40 AM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Bill_Walker]  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 955
chrisd Offline
Member
chrisd  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 955
HI
Terrific video, and thanks for posting. However, I don't understand his point about looking for background movement relative to the car.

No background movement = likely SMIDSY situation. Background movement = less likely.

Can anyone explain this concept?

#945799 - 10/18/15 05:24 AM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: chrisd]  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,212
szurszewski Offline
Member
szurszewski  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,212
Portland, OR
I'm not Mitch, but I'll try. smile

It's about perspective (remember basic design, or intro to drawing/painting that maybe you took in school?), and what you're really to figure out, as the rider, is if you are moving across the driver's perspective. To be most visible, we want to move across the driver's perspective, or horizon, as opposed to moving straight at them.

To tell if we're doing this, we can see if they are moving across our perspective. Imagine you're looking at a car stopped at intersecting cross street, and that there's a row of trees in the background. As you are approaching, if your angle to the car is pretty small, the same tree will appear to stay in the same place in the background relative to the car. If your angle to the car is larger, the trees in the background will shift toward the rear of the car as you approach.

If the trees are staying the same place, you're basically a little dot getting slightly larger as you approach the driver. If the trees are shifting, you're more like a slightly growing dot that's drawing a line across the driver's vision (think of the tracer you can see behind a laser point as it draws a quick line along a wall).

The video in the OP shows this well at 5:40 and on.

I like to think of it (it being us, on our bike) like a baseball. Imagine you're standing at one end of a football field and someone is launching a baseball at you from the other end zone. If it's fired at a level trajectory, it's going to be hard to see, and it's going to be really hard for your brain to tell how fast it's going. Imagine then watching the same baseball, fired from one end zone to the other, except now you're watching from one side of the field at the fifty yard line. It will be easier to see the ball because it's basically now a line or a series of points instead of just one, and it's going to be much, much easier to see how fast it's going.

Our brains and eyes are set up to detect motion, changes in light and that sort of thing - we're not very good at seeing stationary points (or what appear to be stationary points) unless we're trying really hard to find them. (And the whole SMIDSY idea is that driver are looking for hazards in general but not motorcycles...and we have this tendency to mostly find what we're looking for...)

Any help?
josh

Last edited by szurszewski; 10/18/15 05:29 AM.

*insert witty remark here*
#945802 - 10/18/15 05:37 AM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: szurszewski]  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 955
chrisd Offline
Member
chrisd  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 955
HI
Thank you, excellent write-up. I get it now. Makes a lot of sense. thumbsup

#945858 - 10/18/15 11:18 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: szurszewski]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 639
Dave_zoom_zoom Offline
Member
Dave_zoom_zoom  Offline
Member

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 639
British Columbia Canada
Very good effort on your part! clap

Dave

#946833 - 11/02/15 03:25 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Bill_Walker]  
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 10,324
Mike Offline
Administrator
Mike  Offline

Administrator
Member

Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 10,324
Chicago area, IL, USA
I tend to think that being aware of our invisibility is 90% of the battle. The evolutionary truth is that the human brain does not do all that well with processing small objects moving straight at the viewer at 100 feet/second.

Being aware of this and adopting some affirmative strategy--weaving, a triangulated lighting system, modulators, high-viz clothing--are all helpful, but most helpful is riding with the attitude that you're invisible.

Fundamental to that is playing the "what if" mental game--constantly anticipating the unanticipated, and factoring in at least one "escape," whether it's hard braking or a steering maneuver.


Mike The Moderator
Born to be Mild
#964185 - 06/22/16 10:05 PM Re: Sorry, mate, I didn't see you! [Re: Dave_zoom_zoom]  
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,016
Francis Offline
Member
Francis  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,016
New York City
Great posts. Some times, while traveling in a straight line, I'll rock my bike side to side in a small arc so as to break the stationary plane and create headlight movement. This is especially helpful when I'm in small and close together traffic lanes and have no room to weave or make other directional changes

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.013s Queries: 14 (0.002s) Memory: 2.9253 MB (Peak: 3.2274 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-11-23 16:27:30 UTC