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Motorcycle Accident...

07/02/2010 1:02 PM

Hi Everyone,

I was just driving down the 3 lane street nearby, and several firetrucks, ambulances, and police cars were channeling the traffic to a single lane while they cleaned up an accident. As I rolled by, the paramedics had a man on a stretcher... still wiggling, but the remains of his small (crotchrocket) motorcycle were scattered, and there was a large dent in the rear of a minivan next to it. The woman driver of the van was clearly unharmed, but the motorcycle pilot probably had several broken bones and easily could have ended him. Both my GF and I just cringed to see all this.

Let it be said that I am no fan of motorcycles, as far too many people have died or 'gone airborne' that I knew. I appreciate the fact that they offer tremendous excitement and freedom, but they are very dangerous vehicles. That being said, rather than try to police the situation, or rant about it. (my daughter/boyfriend own a pair of them) I thought I would approach this from an Engineering standpoint.

Do any of you have ideas, mechanisms, or suggestions, other than 'training', that can make these machines safer to the rider? (and public) Perhaps the motorcycle industry isn't aware of all the fatalities and injuries, and continue to engineer for the enthusiast? Is there 'aftermarket' technology that could be bolted on that can improve the safety situation?

They are highly susceptible to road conditions, visibility to other drivers, braking responses, turn behavior, performance characteristics relative to other vehicles, etc. I'm hoping that we can 're-engineer' these two-wheeled demons to make them safe.

Please feel free to comment regardless of your background and training, as we are all affected by these vehicles, even if we are not drivers... All ideas and technologies are welcome... even rocket assisted braking or parachutes or ejection seats.

Thank you,

Chris

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#208
In reply to #207
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 3:26 PM

Maybe a simple mercury switch, when the weight transfers, let there be brake lights

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#209
In reply to #208

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 4:25 PM

Possible, but there are many weight transfers on a sport bike, and all the bouncing around it might be erratic.

I don't know if I described my speedo idea well. What I pictured was something extending from the speedo needle down to the numbered plate below. When increasing it would drag on the non-conductive side but during decel, it would flip to the conductive side.

Drew

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#225
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/07/2010 10:12 AM

Already there are pendulum operated switches on motorcycles....ones that automatically turn off signal lights for instance. Off the shelf tech. However, bikes rarely use engine braking for a variety of reasons, most of all because they are so light they don't need to. *

However, the idea of a brake flash whenever the bike downshifts is not such a bad idea since you are normally slowing down when downshifting. That would be a simple brake sensor installed on the left side. I could retrofit that on MY bike in about an hour with off the shelf equipment.

Since a bike often is able to stop a lot quicker than a car, any extra warning to the cell phone texting driver back there is useful. That being said, I note that all the motorcycle courses teach that when you come to a stop, you always keep an eye on the car behind you, and keep an eye on the way out in case the following car doesn't see you. A motorcycle sandwich is easily avoided by the biker IF he follows the habit of looking in his mirror when he slows down. Those that don't become Darwinian statistics. It happened to me once....I just squirted forward between the lanes of cars and the guy behind me tapped the bumper of the car which used to be in front of me as he brake squealed over the spot where I used to be. I have been rear ended on four separate occasions in my long life, and this was not one of them!

* (I don't know anybody who would prefer to burn out engines rather than brakes unless they are driving a heavy detroit diesel tractor-trailer. Moreover, engine braking puts funny loads on the back wheel which might result in skidding. "Funny" in that it is unpredictable, and when folks are slowing down to a dangerous intersection, they don't like "unpredictable". There are no doubt many riders that do, but I suspect that they are the exception and there may be some exceptional circumstances as well, say during a long downhill which might heat everybody's brakes to uselessness.)

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#226
In reply to #225

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/07/2010 10:37 AM

The cell phone always seems to be in the equation...most near misses I experience tend to involve a cell phone! I always watch the guy behind me more than the guy in front of me! The cell phone confuses/distracts them enough. I think that Drew and you are right,and ride the rear brake a little is easier to a solution then reinventing the wheel. May be easier to "engineer" the thought process. Legislation and P.C. don't seem to work in this picture. On a bike even if you had electronic tach or any other process to actuate the rear light, you still have the human element involved. The light would need manipulation/calibration to not confuse the already distracted, and once again the human element and manipulation factor in! Training, period. It's a bike.

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#248
In reply to #202
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/25/2010 6:02 AM

Oh, no. All of us must be careful in driving and always make sure that our engines functions well. And we know that most modern cars accelerate, brake and shift gears using pedals, and that has created some noted disadvantages that come naturally. Unfortunately, nobody has come up with anything that's good enough yet. Jamming the gas when you need to slam on the brakes is a way a lot of people get hurt or killed. Each now and again, somebody comes up with a solution, and that's where Masuyuki Naruse &gt; comes in.

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#196
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/05/2010 8:41 PM

I agree with the brake light idea. Often when I am slowing without braking I will put a little pressure on my rear brake pedal just to light up the back. An old friend of mine had an interesting solution that probably came about by accident. She had replaced the original incandescent bulb assembly for the rear lights with a LED cluster she made. Because of the angle of where the old setup was, the new LEDs tended to point upward. The LEDs had a sort of focused beam, they were bright enough just with the key on, but when you walked behind and into the focused beam it the light was enough to jab you in the eye!. I don't think they were angled low enough to really work for much more than tall trucks, but when they got too close they knew she was there! Perhaps something like that could be combined with a throttle position sensor that illuminates the brakes when you are rolled completely off the throttle.

Drew

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#197
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/05/2010 9:39 PM

every bit helps... something like that would help even in the daylight.

ga.

chris

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#198
In reply to #196

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/05/2010 11:25 PM

I like the angled up beam a lot. It basically means the heaver they are the more the 'warning' distance. GA

And my twopence worth - brake lights should be linked to front brakes. (When I do use the rear brake, it's never "first")

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#199
In reply to #198

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 2:09 AM

Erm...brake lights on every bike I have rode are triggered by either front or rear. I drag the rear a touch because it doesn't change the geometry of the bike as much, plus, my right foot has nothing else to do when I ride (except tuck in to keep from scraping away shoe-leather in nice twisty roads).

Drew

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#200
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 6:11 AM

Erm... Not all bikes are 'modern', or Japanese, or non-custom builds.

But as you observe, the new production line stuff is generally "linked", sometimes in more than just the light switches.

So as we are basically talking "road" and "new" and "eventually legislated", in Chris's context - I'll shut up.

But I still like the angled beam idea.

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#206
In reply to #200

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 2:09 PM

Hi 34point5,

"So as we are basically talking "road" and "new" and "eventually legislated", in Chris's context"

I'm not sure if you are saying that the context of the thread is for future designs only.. but I do think that retroactive upgrades to bikes are possible. Or, if you think I am a law monger... I'm not. It is why I want to engineer solutions, lot legislate them or insure them.

if lighting upgrades are possible, (or roll bars, etc) then I think is a good plan. I'm only the OP... I don't own the thread. cr4 does.

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#214
In reply to #206

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 9:44 PM

Hi Chris, You're author, it follows it's your topic.

I'm was just just trying to stay more or less on that topic, not delve into "can it be retrofitted", or would I fit it to my bikes, when what it is, is not yet defined.

Personally, I think rider training is the best improvement. "Staying Upright" has demonstrated that in Australia. But to make that broadly effective it had to be come a compulsory part of licencing = legislation. I was an agitator for this, as an amazing number simply couldn't ride.

Similarly; any change you make on "brake lights" and switching systems has to go into the "design rules" for manufactures. Like when indicators (turn signals lights) became mandatory on new registrations. The position and separation had to be in certain zones, of a minimum separation, of a minimum wattage, and of a specified visibility quadrant = 'standards' = legislation to enforce.

For engineers how to do it and how to fit it are not the finish. You than have to make sure it is done sensibly so it works as intended. This includes a standard, and a recommended methodology - as you are designing a product for all the manufactures to copy and fit.

So no - I don't think you are the "law monger", just that a solution will have to be measured, standardized and legislated, so there is not much point in something that could never survive that "universality process".

However, so moving back to the engineering systems suggestion topic; strobing lights can trigger epilepsy and related brain function shut downs. I would not care to have that 'newly diagnosed' behind stationary me.

High intensity lights can cause visibility issues and depth perception problems especially in rain. Big change in contrast is what you want - not super bright blindness causing.

A note on Drew's friend not seeing his brake light.

Factors that apply.

A rider is higher than a car driver.

Another rider can be closer (without threat).

The standard brake light is set up for car driver visibility. We could maybe add; if the sun is behind, most bike brake lights 'wash out'.

The following rider is riding 'ahead of himself', not 'by Drew's butt', so Drew is "proximity vision", not in focus.

Add it up, for that situation (and trucks), and the 'contrast change' goal, and what you want is the LED directional source angled up.

For cars (and sports cars) the same but lesser angle.

This, to me, says two angled facets or cylindrical array. Which is not hard with LED's.

The LED contrast is intense - ideal. The watts density emission is low - not blinding - ideal.

On the automatic systems being explored, you could do it with a simple inertial sensor, logic interlocked with throttle trends. I think all the guys who cruse in groups, would immediately disable it.

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#216
In reply to #214

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 11:54 PM

I thought you were in Russia (Vladivostok) ?

solid thinking...

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#218
In reply to #216

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/07/2010 12:26 AM

Eh, he gets around a bit; our 34point5. But I agree with his post above, he got the gist of my close call and is on the money for the disabling factor.

Bottom line being, there isn't much we can engineer to increase safety on two wheels. Roll cages and bars were tried in England and quickly discarded. I do like the idea of an increased intensity slow light on the back and might retrofit something to my bike. But for safety, look to the people who wreck the most, the racers. What keeps them alive? Training. Safe Rider in England and (forgot the name already) in Australia, too bad there is nothing like that here in the U.S.

Drew

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#220
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/07/2010 1:51 AM

Bottom line being, there isn't much we can engineer to increase safety on two wheels.

Maybe there is. It'll take time but I will post something soon. I've been thinking about it for a long time. Reading the posts and seeing how stuck this situation is, I will keep designing (on paper) and work on it. Not what you think it is, for sure.

Not long now, Ky.

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#221
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/07/2010 2:10 AM

Meaning it's nearing 1900 GMT and Ky has to loop the island.

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#222
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/07/2010 2:28 AM

1627 hours east coast to be exact. Bloody vodka must be doing what it does best. Have one on me

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#223
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/07/2010 3:03 AM
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#224
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/07/2010 3:33 AM

Looped right over it Mate, as I sometimes do

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#227
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/07/2010 7:09 PM

Hi Guys and Gals

I have just opened a new thread regarding this topic.

Have a look if you find the time. Don't blame me blame the loop's a do in my spare time.

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/58332/Protective-Gear-For-Motor-Bike-Riders

See Ya's, Ky.

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#219
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/07/2010 1:04 AM

I'm a "wherever the commission is" person. But so what; Russia has motorcycles, even has cars and trucks. Mind you, I think they learn to ride in Rome.

Which triggers the observation that in places with no road rules and the principal transport is a bike (wall to wall chaos), the injury and fatalities are a fraction of 'developed nations'. The main rule seems; Have Skill or be horribly mocked and thoroughly abused. In general, it is far quieter than US traffic.

When I say no rules - down to not having, or not bothering with, (hard to tell which), a designated 'side of the road'. It all works out similar to the way pedestrians tend to alter speed and course, to avoid colliding in shopping malls - only faster with less 'personal space allocation'.

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#201
In reply to #199

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 10:47 AM

I tend to use the back brake pedal as a "slowing down now indicator" I usually set the switch to trigger at the slightest touch, in traffic on/off in 1/2 second bursts

brakes being one of the last things used to slow down, throttle & gears more primary for me

A built in timer/modulator could be of some use

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#204
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 1:53 PM

"A built in timer/modulator could be of some use."

and then you could go into super-slo-motion mode, to help avoid accidents! great idea.

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#203
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 11:39 AM

Angled lights work very well.

I have a set of high intensity modulated lights that I mount inside the back window of my patrol car when I'm performing Law and Order Missions in the military.

They build in intensity and pulsation gradually... don't want to startle the person behind you. But, they grow to an intensity that absolutely no one wants to be behind you for long.

And they are designed so that as soon as you are clear to ether my left or my right, they're not 'as' annoying. I absolutely love them!

JavaHead

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#210
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 4:39 PM

I've read all the responses generated by your posting and I have really mixed emotions about strobing or flashing lights being turned on by deceleration.

First, it would take some education for the cage drivers to understand what's going on. If those lights come on every time I have a lapse of throttle control it's going to drive someone nuts.

Secondly, if I'm traveling with a group of bikes I don't want to be distracted by a bunch of annoying lights because one person up front slows down (whether on purpose or not) and triggers a chain reaction of slow downs and lights. Personally, I would rather rely on my depth perception and sense of change of motion. Things could get rather dicey on the mountain roads we travel around here, I think.

I'm not totally against the idea. I just think it needs more thought and probably some road testing under varying conditions.

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#211
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 5:27 PM

Ive been on some of those roads you are probably talking about (straight branch). I did some fun riding in southwest Virgina, near Bristol. I have ridden with large and small groups, and while I agree that flashing lights might be a distraction, perhaps a design that turns on an intermediately bright auxillary decel light would help. For the most part, we are talking about increased visibility to car drivers, but I was almost hit from behind by a friend who wasn't paying attention to me in a corner (if he hadn't gotten so close to me he would have gone off the road in the corner). He said he never saw my brakelights ( couldn't recall if I used them much for that corner we were just cruising fast, not sprinting.

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#212
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 8:47 PM

You would certainly need to have a time delay of a 1/2 second or more

I pretty much do it manually with my back brake, when I think there could be danger from behind

I do the same thing in a car when I come up on a line of stopped cars because of an accident or construction, tap my brakes,check my mirrors ready to point it towards the shoulder should there be a 18wheeler on my ass.

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#217
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 11:56 PM

when I was a kid, I lived beside a man who ran a successful driver training school in Ottawa, and so I learned some things at a young age, that I continue to use.. one of those being "360 awareness" and "Defensive Driving"... and that it is usually the slower moving vehicles that cause the problems...

ga.

Chris

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#213

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 9:44 PM

Hello Chrisq288,

I have voted for you with 4 stars. What a great topic.

I have often wondered if the electronics in a car can communicate with those of any bike in the vicinity to alert both drivers, not only that each is present but to automatically slow both vehicles until each is physically acknowledged by the other by way of a "bike alert" acknowledgement switch.

With a system such as this each driver must respond or loose speed. This lack of ability to accelerate will cue the driver to look-out for the cause of the drop in speed. Then they have to physically acknowledge the others presence by switching the 'bike alert' acknowledgement on, before they can regain control of their accelerator.

May be too wild for all the free will lovers eh!.

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#215
In reply to #213

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/06/2010 11:51 PM

"I have often wondered..."

me too.. vehicle-based inter-communicating computers with radar/sonar sensors, seems to offer a lot of hope...

ga.

chris

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#228
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 3:13 AM

I really should do this in a thread on it's own...

Can you imagine a driving scenario where you have a real-time computerized heads-up-display, that shows your vehicle's inertial envelope 1 second in the future (min), overlaid on your trip plan, and mapping out the inertial envelopes/trip plans of all the other vehicles in your vicinity?

I chose a diverging cone as the 'envelope', because based on your speed, even if you turn your vehicle's steering lock to lock, you only have a certain field of places that inertia will allow your vehicle to be. It would change based on the type of vehicle you drive, or the configuration, such as tractor-trailer, which can jackknife.. but all that can be programmed.

as we said before.. the trick is finding out what everyone is doing, especially in bad weather, bad road conditions.. etc. I'm sure that with existing technology, that advancements can be made, and provide driver assistance and even audible warnings.

in the first pic, you can see that the leftmost vehicle is travelling the fastest, as the envelope is much larger than the other cars. Also, the tractor trailer has a large envelope, and includes the possible swing of the trailer. (hard to see in cr4)

(if you want to see the larger originals, pm me your email)

in the second image, the traffic on the left is two-way.

the traffic on the right is both in the same direction. (just imagining traffic configurations), and in the middle is of course the T intersection, and the
traffic (below) was really one vehicle, with a decreasing envelope as it slows down
and turns right. (and getting run into)

the last image here is a bunch of vehicle envelopes, keeping the same basic shape (based on vehicle type, road condition etc) but changing the overall size based on speed. I think that even if you are turning, you are still inside that 'straight' tangential envelope.. but I show a curved line in the middle to indicate turn.

I think there is so much that could be done with a really professional system, that it would be very cool project to develop.

I think that it would take a combination of sensors to permit inter-vehicle communications in all kinds of weather. I think that each vehicle will require it's own processor, and manage and broadcast is own envelope data. It will also manage its own trip plan (like current gps systems, but inter-operable with the HUD)

I think that you would have to show your immediate planning (ie.. I'm going to initiate a pass of the vehicle in front of me in the next 10 seconds) with very simple pre-programmed push-button actions. (fast) but otherwise you try to stick to the plan.

I do believe that the 'road awareness' of the system would have to be superior to the current gps system (resolution = 2"), and would have to be ground based (weather, tunnels, etc) so I don't know what that will be like.. but I'm sure it is possible with todays technology.

The real issue is how all the vehicles communicate (with each other and with the road/intersection/weather data). If they are all radio linked, with 250 million cars on the road... you will get cancer from all the EMR. same thing with microwaves.

almost any system we use might lead to a form of pollution (radar, laser, sonar, lidar, radio, microwave, etc..) so it seems to be a large problem to me. Also, once you have this sort of system functioning well, traffic speeds would probably increase. (speed limits would hopefully go the way of the dinosaur) but you have an issue with pedestrians, bicycles, unregistered entities of any kind being on the roadway.

If the basic technology were mapped out.. and slowly implemented over a decade or so.. maybe in the future?

what do you think?

Chris

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#229
In reply to #228

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 3:50 AM

I read some thing like this is happening at Mercedes as an extension of the interactive series 6 system. Might be on the net - don't have time to search - over to you.

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#230
In reply to #228

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 8:10 AM

The navigational network could take the form of rfid. The cars communicating with a smart road, that runs on a solar powered network. The solar cells & circuitry being printed on mylar & hung on the centerdividers & guard rails. a node being a few inches or feet long, only needing enough power to communicate with the next node or across an intersection.

The vehicles would do the communicating with the network & the network communicating with itself. sending information forwards & backwards on the network. The cars providing the data about themselves & whoever isn't on the network. Tie it in with the in car GPS, which would provide information about the most likely route of individuals...

each node wouldn't need much processor power, the intersection of different roads combining to form a 2 dimensional networks

of course this would be the way the computers get together & take over

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#231
In reply to #230

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 11:12 AM

exactly the sort of thing I"m thinking... ga. but if the cars themselves (which are the source of most accidents) are communication with each other, then you probably only need intersection transceivers (nodes)

you won't need the nodes to be close together until you go completely automatic pilot. at least, my intent at this point is a graduated improvement in driving awareness aids, based on a programmed simulator... and at some point in the future, automatic pilot will be a "logical next step", based on a solid infrastructure (hopefully)

my pictures of the inertial envelopes looks a lot like headlight patterns.. which leads me to wonder if the inter-vehicle communications could be pulsed light/infrared..
(I think IR can penetrate fog.. not sure about rain or blizzard.. but the combination might work. ?

chris

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#232
In reply to #231

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 7:25 PM

What I mean is for the nodes on the side of the road to act as the communication link, which would then give realtime info for you entire journey, if you were using limited access roads that would be the ones needing to be within the network

having the nodes much closer together lowers the power needed for transmissions

your car would still be completely autonomous just using the information to augment a gps sort of heads up informational display

another easy device for cars would be suction cup LED scale to stick down low on your windshield to help the driver understand where the edge of the road is. Most cars have sloping hoods that make it hard to have easy visual cues to know what your position in the lane is.

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#233
In reply to #232

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 8:42 PM

good stuff garthh! I'm very pleased to know that you are thinking similar things.

I'm not sure quite what you mean by "suction cup LED scale"... but I understand what you mean by exact vehicle position. that is important.

what I have been thinking is that each vehicle will continuously update its own database. There would be a matrix or database structure which stores vehicle data, and a matrix or database structure which stores detailed intersection data, and another which stores roadway data, but is less detailed, like current gps info.

The vehicle data would have to include as a minimum

  • Position
  • Size
  • Velocity
  • Weight (Number of passengers onboard + freight + Tare)
  • Steering angle
  • Braking Status
  • Driving Wheel RPM/circumference
  • Signal indicator status
  • Trip Plan data

Intersection data would have to include as a minimum:

  • Number of Inbound lanes (Tee & Merging)
  • Position of Inbount lanes
  • Number of Outbound lanes (Tee & Exiting)
  • Position of Outbound lanes
  • Status of traffic lights for all lanes
  • type of non-lighted intersections (per lane) (ie, yield, stop, through)
  • traction conditions of the intersection
  • visibility conditions of the intersection

anyway.. I'm really just saying that there would have to be a detailed breakdown of all these sorts of things, and a method or structure for encoding all the relevant data for rapid transfer. Some of the data, such as the configuration of all the intersections could be pre-loaded prior to the trip, while traffic would have to be gathered with a much higher frequency. but road conditions can be 'lazy'.. meaning the communications protocol transmits and receives road condition packets only once in a a hundred transmission bursts.

have you worked on similar things before? I don't think this is really rocket science... but I do wonder why it hasn't been done already. (except for conspiracy theory notions)

Chris

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#234
In reply to #233

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 9:28 PM

You can accomplish a primitive scale by having a passenger put a piece of tape on your windshield as a visual cue when you are running on the edge of the lane & repeating the process on the other edge

keep the tape aligned between the lines & you car is centered in the lane

I suppose this, along with some other basic preferences would be built in to the heads up display

It could be set up automatic by seat position & height of the driver from hip to tip of the head

I would have brought all this up before, except the thread is supposed to be about motorcycles & most of it doesn't really apply

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#235
In reply to #234

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 9:35 PM

Oh don't know if it doesn't apply - I see a lot of riders cornering with their head in the on-coming lane. I guess it would just be difficult to stick on the wind shield

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#239
In reply to #235

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 10:47 PM

most guys who ride on the street, only know how to lead with their shoulder & head, riding on slippery stuff, teaches you to be able to lead with you hip & back it in.

of course different bikes lead to different riding styles

A big single has so much engine braking, you almost don't need anything else, but that's not the case on a goldwing or other #700+ touring bike.

riding a bike that weighs about the same as the rider is a much different affair

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#236
In reply to #234

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 9:53 PM

I get you... excellent.

when you said scale.. I was confused with weight.

I was thinking the HUD would have a line and target to steer to, but you are totally right.. lane position would help. If the driver pushes a button, signalling to a car in front they want to pass, the HUD would draw a new steering line and target, and would included of course the 2D display of oncoming traffic, to help avoid head-on collisions. (and other non-line-of-sight issues)

should we start a new thread?

Chris

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#237
In reply to #236

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 10:16 PM

I wonder which member starts the most new threads?

Neither one of us is exactly shy when it comes to starting new threads

something about safety & new technology...

when ever I drive an unfamiliar vehicle, I try to pick out some visual cues to my lane position, frequently the windshield wipers are it. I'm sure we've all followed someone who hugs one line or the other

It can be hard to pick out which part of the lane to ride in on a bike. I try to be in the part of the lane where I can see the drivers eyes...

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#238
In reply to #237

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 10:40 PM

Indeed - and less road grease and a slot to use if they out brake you - as most cars can - (contrary to some previous opinions)

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#240
In reply to #237

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 10:49 PM

I'm interested in defining the basic outlines of a driver's aid system. (proposed technology)

as with this motorcycle thread, I'm thinking that the driver safety training is already well covered, and what I have to offer is imagineering something new. With the 'modular vehicle' thread, I tried to create a structure that would organize different aspects of the discussion.. but you know what happened there. Blogging is a solution, but I don't have the energy to take it on I think, so only a group effort would work.

I'm almost an intuitive driver, and don't think so much about what I am actually doing.. I've been doing it so long. it is an interesting process to translate and digitize what I see and think into someting objective. you have a good tip there though. Perhaps you could start a thread on safe driving tips?

cheers,

Chris

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#241
In reply to #237

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 11:17 PM

My lane position is whatever is best at the moment, I have had friends following me say I am all over the road...and I am. Often I want to be in the outside of my lane in a curve so I can see farther around the bend, but other times, I want to be on the inside so I can see ahead of the vehicle in front of me, or if the road surface is better there. On a straight stretch, I position myself for the best road condition and visibility (not always the same). I never corner where my head is over the center line unless I really need to see around the vehicle ahead (very poor road condition traveling slow).

All this comes from various training courses (MSF beginner and advanced and British Safe Rider) as well as avid reading of Bike Magazine (UK).

I do like the idea of a heads up display in the helmet, but it is very cost prohibitive and I worry it might make the helmet excessively heavy.

Drew

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#243
In reply to #228

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/09/2010 9:43 AM

Might be impossible to totally dispose of the eye-dee-ten-tee error. Lots of good work going into this though.

I think if we really want to save innocent lives I would like to see a cell phone jammer which projects backwards from the motorcycle. I envision an overriding signal which says "watch the road-watch the road-watch the road" every time I touch the brakes. Won't help with the lane weaving double speed limit biker, but then, he's not an innocent now is he?

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#244
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/09/2010 9:50 AM

Nor do they hit from behind.

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#245
In reply to #243

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/09/2010 10:15 AM

How about a cell phone jammer in every vehicle (built in the cell) if you are moving over a certain speed it would only allow 911 calls. You need to talk, pull over. computers already control speeds with engine cut off. Do we really need to go over 100 mph? I think you can pass at that speed!

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#242

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/08/2010 11:34 PM
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#247

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

08/10/2010 7:40 PM

Here is another thread that discusses safety tips for new motorcycle riders.

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#249

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/02/2010 5:42 PM

Hey man, I'm a bike guy. I love riding, and I totally hear you. There isn't much you can do to make the bike itself safer. A motorcycle is obviously a two-wheeled machine with an extremely high power to weight ratio in which the rider is completely exposed and vulnerable. There isn't much you can do to make the machine safer before its no longer a motorcycle. The only thing, aside from proper riding gear, that could make the riding experience safer in my opinion is being mature, responsible, and knowledgeable enough to ride a bike. How ever none of these traits are required to obtain a proper cyclist's permit or endorsement. I am sure that the accident you saw was a result of negligence of some kind. So, the best and most effective way to make riding a bike safer is for the rider to KNOW his/her riding abilities as well as the machines capabilities in all riding conditions including the heat, the cold, the rain, on pavement, on gravel, over/around potholes, in the street, on the highway, and through parking lots. Also, actively anticipating negligent driving habits of other drivers to your sides, to your front, and to your rear is ABSOLUTELY a must. Pretty much everything you should do while driving a car only x1000 because the consequences of not doing so won't result in a cracked bumper, or costly bodywork, or a deployed airbag, or ego-bruising embarrassment. No, it will result in death or if you're lucky, extremely severe debilitating injury(ies). Other than that, the only safety devices I am aware of are air-bag jackets that the rider can wear. They inflate from a small gas filled cartridge that is triggered in the event that the rider is thrown from the bike. The jackets bags inflate instantly covering vital areas of the back and front torso area and it reinforces areas around the riders neck.

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#250
In reply to #249

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/05/2010 12:16 AM

Guest, there are no end to the improvements you can make on a modern motorcycle!

Mono shock absorbers to reduce squirreling due to side to side differences of shocks both front and back, stock large engine guards so you don't lay the bike down on your leg, radar signals to detect rapidly closing vehicles from both front and back which will provide audio signals to alert you to trouble, adjustable seating, a mast on the back with strobe lights which flash when you select your brakes, and cause your headlight to flash as well, run flat and puncture proof tires, an on-star crash detection and check on ya system, flood lighting in front which will illuminate the road properly and NOT blind on coming drivers, fog lights, and maybe that heads up display that Cadillac uses to spot deer in front of you. Tucker headlights (which turn more than the bike does to illuminate the turns), Rain handling on helmet visors, kill switches attached to the driver to turn the bike off when you leave the bike, (like on snow mobiles) pressure detectors which will instantly and completely remove all electrical power if there is a leak or a puncture in the tank,

This is what I came up with just from the top of my head, ....imagine how the biking experience would change if I used a stack of statistics and fixed each "problem" methodically one at a time like a proper engineer should! All I did was take the most memorable close calls of the last twenty years or so I have been biking, and applied some common dog answers to them! I would be fascinated to read YOUR compiled list!

(Of course, some answers are just crazy, like imagine a cell phone scrambler which would stop texters whenever they are within twenty feet of my bike. Come to think of it, that should be standard equipment on all cars as well, it would solve a host of problems alone! Here I speak from the point of view of a guy who has survived another near miss from a texting bozo driver on the four oh one highway last weekend just outside the Toronto Zoo. Dip stick! Of course, I was in my van at the time, but I might 'uv been on my V-star.

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#251
In reply to #250

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/05/2010 1:12 AM

excellent list Yusef1... and totally on point to the purpose of this thread.. (but a lot of them have been mentioned here too. (but don't let that slow you down... this is exactly the attitude I was after.)

ps.. that previous experience I had where the bikers passed me doing 200kmh.. pikering area on the 401.. where those 'chevrons' are on the road..

Chris

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#252
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/05/2010 12:14 PM

The "guest" was bang on in his assessment that bikes need skilled operators. I believe that Sopwith Camels required skilled operators as well, judging by how many of them went tail over prop during WW one. Improvements in aircraft have left the old string bags in the dustbin of time, and we rarely hear of a crop duster (the Sopwith Camel's direct successor) cracking up the same way. I don't think we can engineer a bike to be as safe as a crop duster, though my list (which admittedly mirrors many of the other posts here) would help, and the items on my list will only keep the experienced rider from finding himself in an untenable position, none of it will help him when he finds himself in the aforementioned untenable position.

I believe that on several occasions, the only thing that has stood between me and peridition was my skill as a motorcycle operator. I have a strong and possibly unfair feeling that if you can't handle your machine, then the biking world will be better off without you, an elitist attitude which I developed in the helmetless gravel roads of Manitoba. Out there, torn jeans, ripped off fingers, and mangled metal usually provided enough incentive to become skilled. The skills are easily transferred to four wheel vehicles, and some, who could not cut it, or were too scared to deal with it, went on to drive "cars" or pickemup trucks. (Come January, you don't got a lot of choice come to think of it.)

But I digress.

If you don't have the skill, there is NOTHING you can do with a bike engineering wise to make it safe. Skill is a learned activity, some learn it quicker than others. If you have the skill, there is no immediate or pressing reason to make the bike much safer than it is now; you simply adapt to the situations as they come up. (note that my list deals mostly with how to communicate with surrounding vehicles) One can only learn the skill by pushing the bike to the limit (how else do you know where the limit is?) and therefore I would be in favor of a couple of summers of "off road" or motorcross practical learning before making your momma's hairs white by entering the road with some cute little crotch rocket. Then get on a cruiser with all the bells and whistles, not a cafe racer. That comes later when you can handle it.

Graduated licencing here in Ontario is a start...when you get your licence, there is a zero alcohol tolerance, and you can't take anybody on the back of your bike for a year. And you can't go on the four hundred series highways. (interstates, limited access carriageways), so the idiots who passed you outside Pickering had to be experienced drivers. Experienced doesn't translate to smart of course. It is telling that every M-1 licence has a donor card attached to it.

Keep up the good fight Chris. You sending a compilation of this list to Honda, Yamaha, or Harley Davidson?

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#253
In reply to #252

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/05/2010 1:24 PM

"You sending a compilation of this list to Honda, Yamaha, or Harley Davidson?"

Oh no... I'm committed to the value of CR4, and believe that when it gets good enough that companies will come here for information.

As for you going to perdition... given your solid contribution to CR4.. I at least, will put in a good word for you, or join you there.

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#255
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/05/2010 8:20 PM

Chris,

I wish that were true.

I think that the people who matter in those organisations don't know we exist.

Except as the great mass called "customers".

You need to tell 'em.

Cheers,

Stu.

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#254
In reply to #250

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/05/2010 7:32 PM

There are some good tings about texting I'd not like to fore go though...If I'm stuck between a car an bike and the bike is on but I can't reach the switch my phone is out of range but texting would get me help.

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#256
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/06/2010 4:00 AM

An emergency nine one one button doesn't have to be on a cell phone. Such a panic button should be standard equipment on ANY licenced vehicle, not just "on-star" equipped ones. Emergency services use "police bands", not cell towers.

I think of the number of times I needed my cell phone when I was driving. Oh wait, I have never needed it EVER! Right. Somehow I have managed to drive for forty years without using a cell phone! How did I EVER survive! Oh woe, oh the humanity! How did I ever call for help! Oh I know...I used a radio the one time in four decades I needed to call for help.

There is no excuse whatsoever for EVER texting while driving, and very very VERY little excuse for talking on a cell phone while driving. Hands free doesn't seem to help. The fact is, cell phone use while driving accounts for 2,600 deaths every year. three hundred and thirty three thousand injuries directly caused cell phone use while driving! And that statistic comes from nearly eight years ago...lots more cell phones now and LOTS more deaths. Compare that to the odd time when you have to call for help! I mean, DUDE! Twenty six hundred dead! (read that again slowly as you try to come up with an excuse for carrying a cell phone into the car. But what if need to....TWENTY SIX HUNDRED DEAD....but what if I have to .... TWENTY SIX HUNDRED KIDS who have lost their parents! But what if I have to....TWENTY SIX HUNDRED DEE EEE AYE DEE DEATHS! Makes handguns seem pretty tame don't it!

Compare to the once a month that I have to dodge some dipstick with an ear tag. Of course, active blocking of cell signals is technically illegal, but thats just a stroke of legislator's pen. Since making the act of being a damned dangerous fool illegal does not seem to be working, I have reluctantly come to believe that I have the right to protect myself from the eye dee ten tee error. That means that cell-blocking technology may well be my solution to surviving the jungle of axxxole drivers out there. What a co-inkedink, one of the main companies seems to be based right here in Ottawa. How cool is that.

Gonna get me one. Install it on my bike. Blocks everything within twenty feet. My survival trumps your call to your bookie. Yeah, that means I have chosen to be judged by twelve rather than carried by six assuming they can every catch me. So there ya go, a positive way to improve my odds while riding on a motorcycle. Might bring it in with me when I go to that movie after my ride....grin!

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#257
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/06/2010 6:19 AM

Have you considered that when your thing cuts their call, that their attention will be on pushing buttons - or 100% NOT; on driving? or you?, or anything else?

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#259
In reply to #257

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/06/2010 10:35 AM

Naw, when they drop the call, they will look up and around, to see if there are any cops who will bust them for driving while celling. As long as I break their concentration on the person on the other end. Can't be all things to all people. When they look up, I usually wave at them, and they wave back, puzzled, but aware.

(twenty six hundred mangled torsos. Twenty six hundred mouths hanging slack with blood dripping out of them. Two thousand and six hundred screams of agony from crushed rib cages. What does it take to shut this horror down!)

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#262
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/06/2010 2:56 PM

(twenty six hundred mangled torsos. Twenty six hundred mouths hanging slack with blood dripping out of them. Two thousand and six hundred screams of agony from crushed rib cages. What does it take to shut this horror down!) Public transit?

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#263
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/06/2010 3:26 PM

Recently when entering a restricted zone I was supposed to have the phone off but oops! and the phone began to squeal and with a message to switch off.

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#258
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/06/2010 6:30 AM

My mate, Big Pete, sent me some attachments vividly displaying the consequences of 'texting while driving'.

Small sedan head-on into a semi.

Damned if I can load the pics into this thread tho'.

I'll send it to Chris. He's technically savvy (young) enough to do it.

Bit gory tho'. Hope you've had dinner.

It's our thoughts that EVERYONE should view it.

Might just make a few think first.

Stu.

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#260
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/06/2010 12:59 PM

This guy was texting a friend when he crossed the center line!!!!

YUP!!! A CAR (0) vs A SEMI-TRACTOR TRAILER

I'm pretty sure the following will get pulled.... but that others may live... here goes.

CR4 Admin: Inappropriate pictures removed. If you want to show pictures of bad crashes, go ahead - but mangled bodies seems over the line. Just link to the pictures instead please.

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#264
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/06/2010 6:32 PM

Thanks Chris.

Stu.

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#267
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/09/2010 6:15 PM
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#261
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/06/2010 2:53 PM

Haha! Thanks for the chuckle (:... I don't recall ever needing a cell phone while driving and I wasn't advocating texting while driving I believe texting while parked or crashed is relatively safe. Oh! Wait you block the signal as you're passing or being passed an the driver loses his concentration with the signal loss and takes you out; oops! shot the foot again. How's it working for ya? Though I don't advocate texting or computer usage when operating a vehicle as a professional driver I handle radios and phones while driving as a matter of course but the average commuter has a very limited field of view and shouldn't be distracted by a CD player let a lone a radio/phone etc..

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#265
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/06/2010 7:15 PM

Well when I get one I will report back. One close call per week is about my limit of tolerance. I hit that number this week.

I figure if enough people have blockers, then the cell dumbskis will just give up using their primary distraction device (the PDD) as a lost cause. My day would be made if I heard somebody say "ahh, don't bother calling me, I'll be on the 401, and its a world of dropped calls there....so I'll have my phone turned off". I can hear the angels singing now!

But no man, or idea is an island. I had a pile of other things which went along with this. Refer to the list! This whole thread started when Chris pointed out how dangerous it was to ride a bike, and wanted a way to prevent "accidents". I have more than forty years experience riding motorcycles, and by far the most dangerous thing I have ever seen is other vehicles cell phone use. A close second would be impatient drivers, and tied for third place would be gravel coming off of dump trucks, the cigarette butt flying out the window, road debris such as mufflers and rubber chunks from disintigrating tires, slippery paint lines, gravel over pavement, angled railroad tracks, black ice and those pesky ungulates which seem to infest the woods around here.

Makes me wonder how professional truck drivers can natter all day on their cee bees, and still keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down. Maybe because they are professionals?

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#268
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/13/2010 9:14 AM

You haven't lived (as a biker) til you've been in the southern US behind a tawbacky chewin' redneck in a pickup truck.

<UGH!!>

Hooker (who thankfully had a face shield that day)

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#269
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/13/2010 10:21 AM

Thankfully I never had that experience

I did pull up next to a car after a fag end bounced off me in England. Can't pull up next to them as easy in the states.

Drew

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#270
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/13/2010 1:50 PM

one of these bounced off you in England??

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#272
In reply to #270

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/13/2010 5:25 PM

Nope, was only one of these. I was wearing leather from the neck down and a helmet on top so wasn't that bad, I did give the driver a bolloking for tossing one at me though.

Drew

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#266

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/08/2010 11:21 PM

I've started a new thread, pertaining to a vehicle design, that you riders may or may not like. At any rate, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

chris

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#271

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/13/2010 2:34 PM

Traffic fataities lowest since 1950. Motorcycle-related deaths were down 16 percent The largest reductions of motorcycle fatailities are in states without helmet laws or states that have repeal the Mandatory Helmet laws.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a division of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). has released the 2009 yearly traffic fatality numbers, reports the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF). The report shows that traffic fatalities are at the lowest in this country since 1950.

The DOT said that traffic deaths fell 9.7 percent in 2009 to 33,808, the lowest number since 1950. In 2008, an estimated 37,423 people died on the highways. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the new data "a landmark achievement for public health and safety," but cautioned that too many people are killed on the road each year.

Forty-one states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico saw reductions in highway fatalities, led by Florida, with 422 fewer deaths, and Texas, down 405.

Motorcycle-related deaths were down 16 percent, the first drop in the past 11 years, from 5,312 in 2008 to 4,462 in 2009. "Of course a one year drop is encouraging but can hardly be called a trend," said Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs. "We in the motorcycling community need to continue to push for proper rider education and motorist awareness campaigns in order to establish a true trend." Motorcycle related injuries were also down 6.3 percent from '08 to '09, more encouraging news.

Pinning the fall in deaths to a single source is difficult. Some will say that the economic slowdown reduced vehicle travel, but that's just not true. The vehicle miles traveled for 2009 is slightly higher than it was in 2008, about 0.2 percent.

Other vehicle segments can point to manufacturer-based safety solutions such as airbags, electronic stability control systems and anti lock brakes. However, motorcycles have very limited widespread use of such technologies, leaving safer riding and better motorist awareness of motorcycles as more plausible explanations.

Read the government's full report here: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811363.pdf.

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#273

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

01/16/2011 4:17 PM

Hey Chris.. I'm not sure if this has made it onto here or not, but I thought it was rather pertinent. I don't think there is anything more safe than a well trained rider with his/her eyes on all around him..

German engineering... at least it sounds impressive..

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#274
In reply to #273

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

01/16/2011 6:59 PM

yes thanks, we've seen that here and elsewhere on cr4 recently.

an oldie but a goodie. (popular opinion is that it is staged)

Chris

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#275
In reply to #274

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

01/16/2011 7:40 PM

Bloody Krauts, I should know

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#276
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Re: Motorcycle Accident...

01/16/2011 7:55 PM

always scheming...

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#278

Re: Motorcycle Accident...

09/08/2011 1:19 PM

Hi there,

Just came across this (no pun intended)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv4oLzN9Tns

Yesterdays tech at tomorrows $

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izzlN2zC8PU

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