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Last October on our yearly USA tour my wife and I were riding around rural Louisiana. It was a warm and humid day as is normal for down there as we were following a late model pickup. As we neared the entrance to a gas station/market the pickup slowed and turned into the parking lot. I moved toward the centerline and started around him. Right as I was clearing the truck I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye of a car speeding out of the lot right in front of the pickup with me in his cross-hairs. All I could do was veer as hard as I could to the left and brace myself. Turns out the kid in the car decided not to wait for the truck to complete the turn so he could see who was coming but decided to go ahead and cross the road to make a left right in front of him. Little did he know I was along side the truck as he started off and didn't see me until I was fully past the truck and of course, that was too late. I was already heading for the yellow line when the impact came. He hit the Wing smack dab in the cylinder head pushing us further into the opposing lane where, thank goodness, there was no traffic. I grabbed the brakes and threw my feet down while my wife flew up out of her seat landing on top of me. Unbelievably the bike didn't fall over. He had pushed us sideways a good couple of feet but the bike retained its composure and I was able to hold it up. All I could hear was my wife yelling over and over, "you saved it, you saved it..."

As I sat there I was already contemplating how we were going to get home and thinking, "there goes the vacation" along with some additional choice phrases. Finally calming down we got off the bike and started to assess our situation. Ok, there's a bunch of banged up plastic pieces but shockingly there doesn't seem to be anything really that damaged other than superficially. I rode the bike into the parking lot and looked it over again. It looks fine! Turns out the driver of the pickup was a 6'6" off-duty cop/Harley rider and he was pissed. He got in that kid's face to an extent that I felt sorry for him. He called for a state trooper to come and take the accident report. It took 2 hrs for the trooper to show up and the cop and his wife refused to leave and just sat there and waited with us. Everyone at that market was so friendly and supportive I couldn't believe it. If this had been LA you can believe me that it wouldn't have been the same. The cop's wife took my wife into the market out of the sweltering heat and got her something to drink. I can't say enough about the hospitality and care we received from total strangers. Really something.

After the trooper wrote his report and ticketed the kid we were able to mount up and continue our ride. To think that this bike just got slammed by a car and here we are riding off like almost nothing happened is either a testament to the engineering that has gone into this bike or nothing but blind luck or just maybe a combination of both.

Marc
 

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Glad everyone was OK.
 

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Glad you're ok, and not to cause a fight or anything... but, uh, you were at fault in this scenario. Maybe not legally, but nevertheless. You overtook a vehicle at an entrance where other vehicles could be joining the road. Evidenced by the fact that one did. I was always taught to never overtake by a junction where someone else could be joining the road, as they can't see you when you do. An entrance to a gas station is the same deal, it's a place where other vehicles are turning onto the road.

I'm not sure legally who is at fault, but my riding instructor always told me that knowing you're legally in the right is little consolation when you're lying on the road and your bike is smashed up. You went for a high risk overtake and it bit you in the butt. Really, I'm glad you're alright, but I do think as motorcyclists we have a duty to look after ourselves first and foremost. When a bike goes down, it's not always 100% the car's fault.
 

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Thank goodness you or your wife were not injured! Matt beat me to the same idea.

Im trying to visualize that scenario in my head and the positioning of vehicles involved. Sounds like a two lane road with you following behind a truck which turned into a parking lot to the right. As truck turns you pass on the left and get hit by a car pulling out of the same lot to turn left, coming from your right? So the truck acted like a pick, blocking you from the cars field of vision pulling out of the lot?

If that is the case my opinion is that though you were clearly not at fault legally, but this is an example of how we can place ourselves in a position of danger, unnecessarily. It sounds like the best thing to do is to safely follow behind the truck and maintain a good buffer distance to allow yourself to see and possible dangers and to make yourself be seen. Could you see the car staging to exit the lot? I would guess not as you allowed the truck to act like a pick as well placing yourself in a vulnerable position. Having the right of way may be nice, but it will not prevent a bad thing from happening.

I try to ride by the if/then philosophy, if it can happen then it will.

Happy that it all worked out and you had a good witness to support you.
 

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I am going to chime in here also - as I was reading your post, I thought about how cars in my area "push" everyone making a turn off our main street by doing the exact same thing you were doing. In fact, I have had my RIGHT turn signal on and because the road off our main street is more of a "switchback" than a 90 degree turn, I usually make my right turn from the left track and had someone actually try to PASS me on the RIGHT! I have turn signal LEDs in my mirrors, turn signals in my spoiler light, and of course the turn signals on the back of the bike and STILL this woman was attempting to pass me on the right!

I ALWAYS let the turning vehicle complete their turn before I ever pass them on the bike or in our 4 wheeler. That means they are completely clear of my lane before I get to the turn - whether it is an entrance to a convenience store/gas station, shopping center, or a cross street.

There is no need for the rush - and there is no need to PUSH them thru their turns.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Kind of agree. The road was 2 lane with an exit lane or call it a very wide shoulder that led to the market's entrance. As the pickup pulled to the right and slowed for his turn I continued straight in the center part of the lane. In retrospect I could have slowed down to the truck's speed as he made his turn since I couldn't see beyond him. Of course that leaves me open to getting popped in the rear by a car not expecting me to slow down that much but if I had waited for him to clear I would have had a better view of the driveway and probably would have seen the kid coming. Sometimes its hard to second guess this stuff. Whenever something goes wrong we try to figure out what we could have done differently that might have helped. As a matter of fact, when something goes wrong no matter who's problem I'm always looking for a cause that the rider could have impacted. The situations I really hate are those that we can't control. I don't like the concept of being out of control even though this activity is wrought with it. I've been riding continuously since 1964 and have had my share of what-ifs over the years. This was one of them.

But of course that wasn't the reason for the story. It was more about how the bike survived and the grace of the people involved which I thought was extraordinary.

Marc
 

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Glad both of you ok . It happens fast !!!! Sometimes (at the time ) you unwilling put yourself in " a pickle " luckily you could recover enough !
 

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GOOD evaluation of your circumstances - Glad you are ok and glad the bike proved it was no snowflake!

I think you should call the bike Timex - it has proven it could take a licking and keep on ticking!
 

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Fair play man. I have also put myself in situations in the road where I looked back on them and thought "if something happened to me there, it wouldn't have been entirely the other guy's fault." So I know it happens, and everyone makes bad split second decisions on the road sometimes, myself included. I just read it thinking "well wait a minute, it wasn't totally that kid's fault!" But it sounds like you already came to the same conclusion.

The main thing is that nothing worse happened, and it's good to hear how resilient these bikes are!
 

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Last October on our yearly USA tour my wife and I were riding around rural Louisiana. ............... If this had been LA you can believe me that it wouldn't have been the same. .........

Marc
But... you were in "LA"..... Louisiana!!!...... :yes: I kill myself......... >:)

Anyway, yep, welcome to the South.... I'm from Tennessee, not surprised by the hospitality you received. Good folks in LA.... except for those LSU folks..... umm... we'll discuss that later.........

Riding rule... "anticipate the accident that's about to happen..." of course, at times, I've broken it too...

We've all done something similar to what you've done. Learning opportunity.... the advantage is --> you won't do it again!:wink2:
 

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........I'm not going to sit here and tell you you made a mistake but you did
:smile2: I'm sure the OP has gotten an earful here. I won't chime in productively because I have done the same thing on occasion knowing in my case it wasn't the safest idea but my lack of patience overtook my decision for safest route. I'm glad the human and bike damage was minimal.
 
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I’ve read the report, surveyed the damage, and (glad you are both OK) my opinion is . . . . you are both at fault! Neither driver confirmed that it was safe to pass a moving vehicle! You both should have waited for a clear sight line before driving around the truck! JMHO
 

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Glad to hear you two weren't injured, and it makes it even better hearing that your bike also survived what could surely have been far more disastrous.
 

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Very common thing to happen. People around here do this to cars and bikes all the time. Is it not illegal to pull out into a roadway without yielding to oncoming traffic ? The "I didn't see ya" means this person wasn't giving enough effort to clear the way. Still, as said, no matter who has the right away, you still pay a heavy price. Praise God you are all right. I ask Jesus to be my Co Pilot anytime I start the bike. Ride On !
 

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Very common thing to happen. People around here do this to cars and bikes all the time. Is it not illegal to pull out into a roadway without yielding to oncoming traffic ? The "I didn't see ya" means this person wasn't giving enough effort to clear the way. Still, as said, no matter who has the right away, you still pay a heavy price. Praise God you are all right. I ask Jesus to be my Co Pilot anytime I start the bike. Ride On !
The reason I say I'm not sure on the legality is that it's complicated. The car driver pulled onto the road when another vehicle was coming, so at first glance it was his fault. On the other hand, the motorcyclist performed an unsafe overtaking manoeuvre. In Britain, I think the solicitor acting for the car driver would argue that the motorcyclist's actions contravened the Road Traffic Act 1988 which states that a person is to be regarded as driving dangerously if the way he/she drives falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver, and it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.

Being a Brit living in America, I'm not as familiar with US law so I'm not as sure how that would play out here. But I think if it went to court it would be an interesting case!

I know when I used to live in London, where filtering (lane splitting) is legal as it is in the rest of the UK, there were often accidents when motorcycles filter by (so, overtake) buses and hit pedestrians crossing the street in front of the bus. The bus shields the pedestrian from being seen by the motorcyclist, and vice versa. Neither saw each other until they collided. Is it the motorcyclists' fault for overtaking the bus dangerously, or the pedestrian's for stepping into the road when there was an oncoming vehicle? You could make a case either way, though in reality the courts in the UK tend to favour the pedestrian in these cases. For that reason, as a motorcyclist in London I was extra careful when filtering by buses as I knew it was a situation where I couldn't see all the danger around me, or be seen by others. Overtaking vehicles that are turning is the same thing... I'm aware that my visibility and the ability of others to see me is compromised, so I'm careful.

This is why I say legally - depending on how US law treats these things - it may not be a simple case. Even if US law would put 100% of the fault on the car driver, I still think as a motorcyclist you're squishier than most of the other things on the road, so it's best to play it safe in these situations!
 
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If involved in an accident in America, no one is ever considered 100% at fault no matter how obvious the cause of an accident may seem. If it goes to a court trial, they will always divide up the portion of guilt and make a monetary decision from that. It is known as contributory negligence. In other words, the fact that you were involved in the accident makes you partially at fault. If you weren't there the accident would not have happened assuming only two vehicles were involved. Give the lawyers all the praise and glory for this one. :)
 

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"Fault" is a term that insurance companies use when determining who will pay for what percentage of damages.

I could see the car driver being cited for failure to clear an intersection, a right of way violation, or failure to stop when exiting a private drive.....but some amount of fault could be found on both sides of the collision.
 
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