Sorry mate I didn’t see you


Sorry mate I did not see you

Sorry is no help when you have been knocked off your bike by a driver who did not see you.

Not seeing a motorcycle is so often the cause of accidents, and we hear it from Your Key members all the time. You can complain and swear about it but that will make no difference. The best course is to do everything you can be seen on the road.

Motorcycles are not always seen by drivers at junctions

There have been two important studies, and we will pull out a few conclusions to illustrate our point.

From the Hurt report:

  • 75% of accidents were found to involve a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle, while the remaining 25% of accidents were single motorcycle accidents.
  • In the multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.
  • The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. Visibility of the motorcycle is a critical factor in the multiple vehicle accidents, and accident involvement is significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps-on in daylight and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets.

Dr. Hugh H. Hurt, PhD. (January 1981 (Final Report)). Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures, Volume 1: Technical Report, Hurt, H.H., Ouellet, J.V. and ThomHurt report on motorcycle safetyHurt report on motorcycle safety, D.R., Traffic Safety Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90007, Contract No. DOT HS-5-01160. U.S.

The report was a while ago, but what has changed?

More recently the MAIDS report, a large scale study in five European countries in 1999 – 2000.

The MAIDS report supported much of the Hurt report saying “69% of the OV [other vehicle] drivers attempted no collision avoidance manoeuvre,” suggesting they did not see the motorcycle. And further that, “the largest number of PTW [powered two-wheeler] accidents is due to a perception failure on the part of the OV driver or the PTW rider.”

The ability of a motorcyclist to avoid a collision is an important theme in these reports. There is an interesting explanation of counter steering which is worth a read.

You must be noticed, you must read the road, and be able to avoid a collision in an emergency.

motorcycle high visibility in yellowHe has the high visibilty gear idea, but not sure about that cape.