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Motorcycle Incident - Riding In A Torrential Rain


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I had thought this over several times before posting.  The incident bothers me so I wanted to see if i should have handled it differently.

 

The set up:  evening drive time traffic on a three lane in each direction highway.  Add to that a torrential downpour, almost to the point of being blinding for automobiles.  Some puddling on the road because the water was coming down faster than it could drain off.

 

The motorcycle:  I'm not familiar with Harleys but I do know that's what it was because I could hear it.  The rider was probably in his 50s, had no leathers, no helmet, no head or eye protection of any kind, wearing a t-shirt, jeans and boots.  

 

The situation:  The ramp I used to get on the highway is very long, with a very long blend lane.  I was about 5 cars back in a group entering the highway.  There were several "Seasoned Citizens" ahead of me in this group.  We get to the end of the ramp/start of the blend lane when it starts raining harder and sideways.  The cars already on the highway saw us coming and moved to the middle and left lane to give us room.  Traffic on the highway is moving at about 55.  Several of the cars ahead of me turn on their emergency flashers and slow down to about 30.  They are starting to clog up the blend lane.  I managed to get into the right lane just as the clog runs out of blend lane and starts moving over.  I'm looking to merge into the middle lane and wait for traffic to clear so I can move.  I'm also watching in front of me to make sure the slower cars don't slow down any more.  I look over my left shoulder to the far left lane and see a motorcycle roar up behind an older, large sedan that was about five car lengths behind me.  The sedan proceeds to shower the biker as puddles were forming in the left lane.  I hit my left turn signal just as the last TWO cars are passing in the middle lane, on my left.  I look over my shoulder, clear.  Look in front, enough room to move.  Look over my shoulder again, still clear.  Look ahead again, still enough room to move so I start into the middle lane.  Just as I'm about half way into the middle lane, I hear an anemic horn.  The motorcycle pealed out from behind the sedan and began to roar up the center lane.   With my left turn signal still on, I pulled back into the right lane to keep from colliding with the biker.  He pulled up along side me and began to scream at me but his motor was so loud, I couldn't hear him.  After a moment, he roared ahead and I saw it was once again clear to pull into the middle lane.  About two miles down the road, the rain began to let up and the biker pulled out all the stops and sped away.

 

I realize if there had been a collision, it would have been my fault because I was in a car and he was on a bike.  I do believe, he had some culpability in it as he was riding way too fast for the weather conditions.  Half a mile back before I encountered him, there was a wide underpass where he could have stopped to take shelter.  He didn't have to be on the road.  

 

OK flame away.  What should I do differently next time?

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There is nothing you can do to fix Stupid.
However, my daughter treats the after effects of Stupid... when she gets 'em, they are on the top shelf of the gurney, and their arms or legs are on the bottom shelf.

White lining is dangerous.
Those who do it, take the risks and should STFU when things go sour.

The lack of safety apparel on Old Loudmouth tells you the mind set.
You can't fix Stupid... but you can treat it, or bury it.

Edited by bgavin
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12 minutes ago, Calamity Kris said:

I realize if there had been a collision, it would have been my fault because I was in a car and he was on a bike

Where did you hear that from? I've been living in Florida my entire driving life - more than 50 years. I have never heard that. You hit somebody in the back and it's your fault, even if he backed into you. But you're in a car and he's on a bike so it's your fault, no matter how it happened?

 

I don't suppose you know the statute number for that one?

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The guy is an arsehole and a moron. Forget about it. And Alpo’s right. If he would have rear ended you it would have been his fault. 
Self-righteous bikers are fools when they act like that in bad conditions. 
 

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I was rear ended by a bike. As I pulled to the side of the freeway, he managed to get on his feet. Somebody helped him get his bike up and it started and he took off, slowly. His fault already, hit and run made it his In any event anyway. 
 

very glad you were able to avoid the accident with that moron. 

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Biker without eye protection, illegal idiot.

 

Biker without a helmet, legal organ donor idiot.

 

Illegal organ donor idiot biker drives like an idiot in the blinding rain...and yells at you? It just tells me that the idiot that yelled at you today is destined for a wet red spot on the highway and a cross on the side of the road marking his last act of idiocy.

 

Don't worry about it, you did fine.

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All vehicles on the road have to obey the law. I'm an atgat guy but just cause it rains doesn't mean bikes have to get off the road 

 

My last bike had a great windshield with leg deflectors that let me ride in pouring rain and get only my boots wet. Windshields count as eye protection.

 

Now just cause it has loud pipes doesn't make it a Harley. 

 

If you cleared your lane and knew it was you were good

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Sounds like a real jerk! It would’ve been his own fault not yours!

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For ten years, all I had for transportation was a motorcycle.  I never missed a day at work because of weather.  When I had a windshield, I often went without goggles/glasses.  When I have a choice, I ride without a helmet. My current motorcycle has nearly half a million miles on it and I have owned others. I’ll be seventy years old on my next birthday.

 

With the exception of the biker’s likely excessive speed and his rudeness, that description could be me!  I have been nearly run down more than once because a driver didn’t see me.  Not entirely the driver’s fault, perhaps.  If you don’t ride, you’re not as apt to notice riders as someone who does and having been in the driver’s seat, I know how hard it is to see the motorcycle, so I’m more warry on the road when riding. Many are not!!

 

Thanks for being more aware than most!! He could’ve got dead!!

 

He was an @$$!! 

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Don't worry about it. You didn't do anything wrong.

 

As a guy that rides I know that bikes are hard to see. Even harder in the rain. I can't tell yo how many times a driver in a car looked in my direction but did not see me until I flashed my lights or switched sides of the lane.

 

Guy was an idiot for not riding at a speed that matched the conditions. He was also an idiot for attempting to pass a car with its turn signal on. I too have had to ride in a downpour.

 

Stopping under an over pass might seem like a good idea but it is often a good way to get run over as people will drift towards you as they try to figure out what is on the side of the road. Bikes and cars alike tend to travel where their driver is looking.

You will also get wetter because the passing cars will carry the rain with them as they go by. It is rather unnerving to be passed by a big rig doing 60 plus with only a couple of feet separating you.

 

Wonder if his front headlight was working and on. He should have also had high high beams on due to the reduced visibility.

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Based on your depiction, I second you did nothing wrong and the biker acted and reacted quite inappropriately.

 

I'd just like to add a few general  thoughts that went through my head when I read your post:

  • I had only two trips to North America im my life so far, one to the USA and one to Canada, and I liked both extremely well! I also enjoyed the driving as it is much more relaxed than here. But there's this one thing: for a European it is kind of incomprehensible how poorly one can perceive a lot of the rear turn signals on American cars, especially when the rear lights are on, too. I know it's a design thing with a clear look and less colors, but in terms of safety...? I haven't ever had to drive in such bad rain back then over there, and I don't even want to imagine! Dedicated amber turn signals are so much better to see, just saying.
  • What speed actually "matches the driving conditions" depends on a lot of different factors, like type of your vehicle, quality and type of tires etc., but also personal conditions and abilities. And most important, it's always subjective. Oneself is always perfect. Each driver thinks that faster than him would be negligent and slower a bit overcautious.
  • Turning on a turn signal just shows one's intention, it doesn't give him the right of way, no matter how long he has to wait.

As I said, just some thoughts from Equanimous Phil

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As others have already stated you did all the right things to prevent what could have been a terrible accident, and not your fault.
The one statement you did make that I took note of was the mention of the vehicles in front of you using their hazard lights during this downpour.
Here in Florida, previously this action was illegal.

Snip-it_1658402124422.thumb.jpg.7b7a41460fdb15ef156117d5325ef13e.jpg
However. With the passing and signing of SB1194 by our Governor on June 29, 2021, it is now legal to do so.

Snip-it_1658402380917.jpg.f34f7e7a39e81a30215988d46744495d.jpg

"Florida drivers can use hazard lights on highway during rain, fog starting July 1 | WFLA"

 

https://www.wfla.com/news/florida/florida-drivers-can-use-hazard-lights-on-highway-during-rain-fog-starting-july-1/#:~:text=TAMPA%2C Fla.,lights on when it's raining.

 

Thanks for posting your detailed account of the incident. It was enough that I could picture it happening in my mind.
Hopefully the responses you are getting in this thread will put your mind at rest.

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12 hours ago, Alpo said:

Where did you hear that from? I've been living in Florida my entire driving life - more than 50 years. I have never heard that. You hit somebody in the back and it's your fault, even if he backed into you. But you're in a car and he's on a bike so it's your fault, no matter how it happened?

 

I don't suppose you know the statute number for that one?

Hitting someone in the back does not automatically make it your fault.  Nor does hitting a motorcycle with a car.  Nor is it illegal to drive a car barefoot.  

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My bud who drives long haul tells me he sees the most amaaaazing things when ladies driving with the top down pass him on the road.

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I didn't read the above replies as I didn't feel like it. 

As an old Harley biker, I say your biker was at fault and a complete ahole. I've almost hit bikers doing that same stupidity even in good weather. It's hard to keep track of them weaving and zigging thru traffic at twice the speed of traffic. There's always somebody to make the rest of us look bad. Just like with firearms. Sounds like you were being quite diligent Kris.

Edited by Eyesa Horg
Auto correct again!
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I used to ride, gave it up years ago. So I know both sides of this "incident". Cars have blind spots and both bikers and drivers need to be aware. I have had to avoid cars changing lanes because I was cruising in their blind spot and have almost hit bikers because I could not see them when they were in my blind spot, even though I knew there was a bike nearby, as you did, he was hidden in your blind spot.

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5 hours ago, J. Mark Flint #31954 LIFE said:

 But is it illegal to drive a car Buck nekkid?

 

Probably depends on if the car has a standard transmission or automatic.

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6 hours ago, J. Mark Flint #31954 LIFE said:

 But is it illegal to drive a car Buck nekkid?

Remember the television series, back in the late 80s - Alien Nation? When the newcomer ship crashed in the desert and they had 250,000 new immigrants they had to come up with names for, and they got weird towards the end.

 

There was a family. Father, mother, son, daughter. George, Susan, Buck, Emily.

 

They are the Francisco family. Originally George's name was Sam, but the human that he was partnered with refused to work with a man named Sam Francisco, and he changed Sam's name to George.

 

They named his wife Susan B Anthony, and named his daughter Emily Dickinson.

 

The son - his clothing had caught fire during the crash, and he had torn it off of himself. So when the humans found him, he was buck naked. B)

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back when i was young and stupid i often rode without a helmet but never without eye protection , bugs were bad but rain was worse and you could avoid that if you chose to . i have noticed a lot of bikers doing stupid things - i hope they live to say what i am able to say now - i nearly died in a crash , its why i now own a boat and not a bike , 

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23 hours ago, Calamity Kris said:

I had thought this over several times before posting.  The incident bothers me so I wanted to see if i should have handled it differently.

 

The set up:  evening drive time traffic on a three lane in each direction highway.  Add to that a torrential downpour, almost to the point of being blinding for automobiles.  Some puddling on the road because the water was coming down faster than it could drain off.

 

The motorcycle:  I'm not familiar with Harleys but I do know that's what it was because I could hear it.  The rider was probably in his 50s, had no leathers, no helmet, no head or eye protection of any kind, wearing a t-shirt, jeans and boots.  

 

The situation:  The ramp I used to get on the highway is very long, with a very long blend lane.  I was about 5 cars back in a group entering the highway.  There were several "Seasoned Citizens" ahead of me in this group.  We get to the end of the ramp/start of the blend lane when it starts raining harder and sideways.  The cars already on the highway saw us coming and moved to the middle and left lane to give us room.  Traffic on the highway is moving at about 55.  Several of the cars ahead of me turn on their emergency flashers and slow down to about 30.  They are starting to clog up the blend lane.  I managed to get into the right lane just as the clog runs out of blend lane and starts moving over.  I'm looking to merge into the middle lane and wait for traffic to clear so I can move.  I'm also watching in front of me to make sure the slower cars don't slow down any more.  I look over my left shoulder to the far left lane and see a motorcycle roar up behind an older, large sedan that was about five car lengths behind me.  The sedan proceeds to shower the biker as puddles were forming in the left lane.  I hit my left turn signal just as the last TWO cars are passing in the middle lane, on my left.  I look over my shoulder, clear.  Look in front, enough room to move.  Look over my shoulder again, still clear.  Look ahead again, still enough room to move so I start into the middle lane.  Just as I'm about half way into the middle lane, I hear an anemic horn.  The motorcycle pealed out from behind the sedan and began to roar up the center lane.   With my left turn signal still on, I pulled back into the right lane to keep from colliding with the biker.  He pulled up along side me and began to scream at me but his motor was so loud, I couldn't hear him.  After a moment, he roared ahead and I saw it was once again clear to pull into the middle lane.  About two miles down the road, the rain began to let up and the biker pulled out all the stops and sped away.

 

I realize if there had been a collision, it would have been my fault because I was in a car and he was on a bike.  I do believe, he had some culpability in it as he was riding way too fast for the weather conditions.  Half a mile back before I encountered him, there was a wide underpass where he could have stopped to take shelter.  He didn't have to be on the road.  

 

OK flame away.  What should I do differently next time?

You were trying to deal logically with an obligate organ doner. His time will come. 

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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Thanks for all the info.  I'm glad to hear I'm not the evil driver I thought.  I hope he continues to evade death until The Lord is ready for him.

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For those of you who haven’t overdosed on the mainstream kool-ade, here are some rough statistics that the government and the insurance companies would prefer that you didn’t know.

 

Motorcyclists tend to ride 10 to 15 mph faster when wearing a helmet.

 

 The weight of the average helmet is enough to break the neck of a rider with the momentum of a 35 mph crash.

 

More motorcyclists are killed by injuries sustained to other parts of the body due to excessive speed than by head trauma.

 

The average helmet restricts vision by thirty percent. A full face helmet is much worse!!

 

The average full face helmet reduces hearing by half.

 

These are published facts. I won’t take the time or effort to quote scripture and verse. It isn’t worth the effort. Each of these facts are a matter of record, having been read into various state and national congressional records during sworn testimony.

 

You can call names and ridicule those of us who prefer to ride without a helmet.  Most of those that do, don’t ride anyway.  Those that ride should have the right to make that choice.

 

All of us who carry a gun don’t demand that everyone else does.  Motorcyclists should be given the same respect!!

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10 minutes ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

You can call names and ridicule those of us who prefer to ride without a helmet.  Most of those that do, don’t ride anyway.  Those that ride should have the right to make that choice.

 

All of us who carry a gun don’t demand that everyone else does.  Motorcyclists should be given the same respect!!


I used to ride without a helmet. No longer. My helmets have saved my noggin numerous times. 
If people want to ride without one, that is fine with me. It’s called “Freedom”. 
 

 

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This September Will Mark my 54th. Year Riding Bikes of Varying Types, on the Track, ( Motocross, Flattrack. Roadracing ) and on the Highways and Byways...

This fellow Was riding like the Rude Jerk he is, not your fault Kris.

I have always used a Helmet, even when Not required by law, I prefer to keep my Brains inside my head and not smeared on the ground ....

Today While riding I was thinking my full-face Helmet was pretty Hot, perhaps time to dig out my open-face Helmet and safety Glasses....

My full-face Helmet allows me to Ride 12 months a year, even here in Canada ...

 

Keep it Rubber Side Down ....

 

Jabez Cowboy  

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