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Rider injured as ute turns across path

DayGlo Queensland Police rammed evaded

A 28-year-old rider has suffered serious injuries after a utility vehicle turned across his path in Brisbane’s north yesterday afternoon (1 July 2019).

UPDATE: We have been advised that the rider sadly passed away almost exactly one week after the accident. He had multiple surgeries, but his head injuries were too critical. He remained on life support for a few days before a decision was made by his family to pull the plug.

Police say their preliminary inquiries reveal that the rider on an “orange motorcycle” was heading south on the multi-lane Gympie Road, Kedron, about 5.20pm.

“A Holden Colorado was travelling north and started to turn right into Edinburgh Castle Road when the motorbike has collided with the car,” police say.

The rider, a 28-year-old Aspley man, was transported to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital with critical head and chest injuries.

His condition is unknown. Our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

The driver of the car, a Redlands woman in her 40s, was not physically injured.

Police have not laid any charges and are appealing for dashcam vision to contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

Common crash

Most accidents involving motorcycles and other vehicles occur when the other vehicle is turning across their path.

The result can be lethal as the rider hits the car in a t-bone fashion, rather than a glancing blow.

There are a number of scenarios of turning-vehicle crashes where the rider is completely blameless and others where they are at partial or complete fault.

But in the end, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is if the rider is dead.

Most common turning crashes

These are the four most common crash situations where the other motorist is turning, often without looking for motorcycles:

  1. Oncoming driver turns across the rider’s path to enter a property or side street;
  2. Vehicle pulls out of a side street into the path of the motorcycle;
  3. Motorist pulls over to perform a u-turn without looking; and
  4. A vehicle in front suddenly turns without indicating just as a rider is overtaking them.

Look for these signs

We all know drivers don’t look for motorcyclists for a variety of reasons.

So riders need to assume the worst and look out for these signs in the above impending SMIDSY (Sorry Mate, I didn’t See You) situations:

  1. If an approaching vehicle has its indicators on, assume they may turn without giving way to you and look for movement of the wheels and the driver’s head turning;
  2. Be suspicious of all vehicles coming out of side streets (left or right) and again check their wheels and the driver’s head to see if they have seen you;
  3. Treat any vehicle that pulls over as a possible u-turn or at least that they will suddenly open their door and step out in front of you; and
  4. If the vehicle in front suddenly slows, don’t take the opportunity to pass them. Be cautious that they could be about to make a turn, even if they haven’t indicated.

How to avoid SMIDSY crashesTurning crash

In all the above four situations, slow down and be prepared to take some sort of evasive action, looking for a possible escape route.

If the driver is on a side street or oncoming, try to make eye contact with them.

Make yourself seen by moving in your lane.

You can also alert drivers to your presence by blowing your horn or flashing your lights, although these may be illegal in some jurisdictions and could give the false message that you are letting them cross your path.

Don’t trust loud pipes to save you. Most drivers have their windows up, air-conditioning on and the radio turned up loud, so they may not hear you, anyway.

Besides, in all these situations, your pipes are facing away from the driver.

  1. Excellent article.I doubt a car driver has ever deliberately turned across a motorcycle. They just don’t “see” us. Even when we’re in “plain view”. Why? Lots of reasons but the bottom line is we haven’t registered on their radar. The onus falls on us to make sure we register. As Mark says, no use having your dying words being “I was in the right”. So many riders still wear predominantly black. So many riders still adopt poor lane positioning. So many riders still riding too fast in potentially hazardous situations. So many older bikes with very poor headlights. There’s a hell of a lot going outon th e roads – car drivers have their hands (brains) full trying to deal with it all. We riders are the least of their worries. They don’t deliberately try too to get us but we’re not a threat to them so we register down the pecking order. We have to GET IN THEIR FACE to stay safe. There you go, a new slogan: “STAY SAFE, GET IN THEIR FACE!”

    1. Many drivers are just not trained in the skill of f driving and never develop proper driving skills? And really have no business holding a license!

      1. And so the cycle continues…

        What you say is true but irrelevant. They’re out there and they will always be out there. Railing against it won’t change it. It’s up to us riders to accept that and ride accordingly. If we’re not prepared to take 100% responsibility for our own safety and stop complaining about poor drivers it’s probably best we hang up our keys.

  2. What is described in the “4” above is what I have been doing for decades, if we all do that then we stand a better chance of arriving home in one piece, and it has saved my life many times.

  3. Unfortunately, the motorbike rider mentioned in the crash has passed away July 11th due to serious head injuries.
    He was the partner of my co-worker and he was travelling home after dropping her off at work just minutes up the road. It’s an absolute tragedy.
    We don’t all just own bikes, we’re car drivers as well and in this case I suppose there’s hardly a point in pointing the finger at anybody really.
    What we could do though is educate our kids to not be numb nuts on the roads and be even better drivers ourselves – on the bike or in the car.

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