04 May 2010

BikeAccident@KawasakiZX14 (BJH 71)

That's the risks you take - riding motorcycle. Eventually it caught up with me, after 22 years of safe riding... I experienced the inevitable… bike accident. Though it wasn't my fault I've to pay for the stupidity of others… ending up in KLGH with hairline crack to the ankle bone, bruises, tissue injury, swollen spine, body ache all over plus torn pant and damaged leather jacket.... Considering the situation - I must say... I'm very very very lucky. Alhamdulillah thank to Allah.

Though my Riding Principle is Support Safe, Clean, Healthy and Courteous Riding and Love Life, Ride Right, Stay Upright ... the unexpected finally happened...

Wednesday 14 April 2010, morning of our 26th Wedding Anniversary… heading toward KL for work, after the Sg Besi toll, on the fast lane. Nice morning, comparatively not many vehicles on the road. Lunch appointment with the wife and dinner appointment with the family…. Out of no where a trailer carrying cars shift lane, and the car up front jammed his brake… and there absolutely no option for me but to also hit the brake, and all hell “brake” loose.

Within seconds, I’m laying on the fast lane with all the bikers around me eager to move me to the emergency lane… luckily I’m fully conscious and declined the offered, worrying about any internal injuries… Within minutes a GH doctor passed by and offered to take me to the KL General Hospital.

Everything was fine at the hospital… by noon head back home. Reaching home – every strength in my body just drained out suddenly - and I just "shut down". A week flat on my back, second week on wheel chair, third week on 4 legged support… now learning to walk again. Alhamdulillah I CAN WALK and insyaAllah I CAN RIDE again…. Soon.

Per mile travelled, the number of deaths on motorcycles is about 26 times the number in cars.

The Solid Factor
Television often shows guys coming off their motorbikes on the track. Most times they dust themselves off and walk away. There is a truth here - it is not the coming off your motorcycle that does the damage. Injuries occur when . .

1) You hit something solid.
2) You are trapped between the motorcycle's solid mass and something else that is solid - like the road surface or another vehicle.
The message here is simple. When the bike goes down or is about to hit something - get away from it! This is why bus and trucks are dangerous (OK, we can write a book here!). The vehicle is high, flat and long and thus effectively blocks any escape route. A modern sedan car however is low and with its curves and smooth lines usually offers an escape route over the top leaving the motorbike behind.

Choosing a line that avoids this area also results in a better, faster line through the corner as a whole as it avoids an early entry

Factors that work for you in potential accident situation
� High visibility from the front is critical
� Approved helmets effectively prevent disabling and fatal head injuries
� Full face helmets offer better protection than those that offer less coverage
� Helmeted riders are less likely to sustain neck injuries
� An expensive helmet does not offer better protection than cheap DOT approved one
� Attending a riding school does improve your chances in avoiding an accident
� Regular practice of swerving techniques is important as bikers often steer the wrong way in an accident situation
� Regular practice of hard braking techniques (this means the front brake and the back brake together)
� Suitable protective gear does make a big difference
� Bikers with off road riding experience are less likely to be involved in an accident.
� Wearing bright, solid coloured riding gear avoids accidents

Riding in Traffic
The ability to read the traffic and then take a defensive line is a critical survival skill.
Factors often present at the scene of an accident
� In the urban environment as much as 75% of accidents involve a motorist who although facing the motorcycle, does not see it and cuts in front of it.
� Multi-vehicle accidents often occur when the biker had the right of way
� Many accidents could have been avoided if the rider had been properly trained in hard braking techniques (this means the front brake!)
� In non-fatal accidents, studies have shown that the most permanent injuries are sustained to the legs, ankles and feet.
� In one study of fatal accidents, 41% of the time the motorcyclist ran off the road, 18% either the motorcyclist or another vehicle ignored a traffic control, 11% were head-on collisions, 8% a car turned in front of a motorcycle and 7% a motorcycle went down in a roadway 2 . This study in particular hints that riders are more responsible for their own safety than is generally accepted.
� 24% of all fatally injured motorcycle riders in 2002 did not have valid licenses to operate their motorcycles.
� A thorough pre ride check is an important aspect of accident prevention. An amazing number of mishaps occur as a result of trying to ride off with the disc lock still in place! This can result in a very expensive repair bill . . . both to yourself and to the bike!
� Intersections are dangerous for motorcyclists especially when an oncoming vehicle wants to make a right turn in front of the motorcycle

� For the first 10km from home you are at your most vulnerable especially if you do not ride every day.
� Chopper-type (cruiser) motorcycles are more likely to be involved in an accident.
� Experience is choosing an appropriate line is an important skill.
� You are more likely to have an accident in the first six months or during your second year of motorcycling.
� Fast, smooth and safe cornering is a vital skill which should be learnt at a bike school or race track

Factors that work against you in potential accident situation
� Excess speed in an inappropriate situation is a major cause of accidents.
� Surface hazards e.g. gravel, oil etc is a major cause of single vehicle accidents.
� Bikes with modified exhaust systems are more likely to be involved in an accident (do loud pipes save lives?)
� Stray animals are a significant factor.
� Not wearing a helmet. Helmets are 29 % effective in preventing a motorcyclist's death and 67% effective in preventing brain injuries.

Conclusion (Personal)
Bikers are more in control of their own safety than is generally accepted. Responsible riding habits, professional training and the correct use of safety gear goes a long way to ensuring many years of fulfilling riding pleasure.

1 comment:

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