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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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Old 29 Feb 2000
dw dw is offline
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Road Accident - Now what??!

Morning All,

Well, I've had a most exciting weekend. I got hit by a car (or, rather, I hit a car) on my motorcycle. This is my first ever accident (on a motorised vehicle - bicycle, yes many). I was heading south on a somewhat busy street (Pape Ave., Toronto) at 8pm Sunday, in the passing lane. The other lane is used for parking and bus stops. So, doing about 50 km/h I notoiced a large, blue sedan placed perpendicular in the line of traffic - obviously doing a u-turn. Honking, I slowed a bit, and went to go around him, as he had stopped. Suddenly, he started driving, and my only option was to not avoid collision, but rather to find the best place to land the bike. I aimed for the large section of flat hood, just in front of the left driver side wheelbase, jamming my handle bars to the left, hitting the car on a slight angle. Seeing the hood, I somehow managed to jump off of my bike and land on his hood, thus skidding onto the pavement and sliding for about 8 metres. Luckily, I kept my head up (finally, Rugby comes into life in the real world!) and was wearing my Motorbike jacket and MX boots. My right foot was slammed against the side of the car, but nothing other than bruising happened. I love my boots! As for the bike, well, there is some damage. I hit the front right side, where the water reservoir is, along with the front right fork. My gas tank was smashed, thus fuel was leaking everywhere. The radiator shroud, seat, and fairing over the exhaust was also smashed. I assume the carb may be damaged, as the tank was sort of ripped out of place. When I went to push the bike away, it seemed to have difficulty moving, making me think the front wheel is ruined. So, as for me, other than bruises and anger at the potential of my beloved KLR (bought it 6 months ago for $2000CAD, it's 10 years old and only had 10K on the speedo, now 15000). Basically, A 10 year old new bike. Lets hope the chassis is o.k.

So, I really don't know why I'm telling any of this, but now the question arises as to where to bring the bike? Will it get written off? What are the odds od structural damage? Can my confidence be restored to a bike that was in an accident? How many others of you out there have had accidents and then moved onto your travel plans? I guess this is to be expected (a rather fatlistic view, yes) but I do not intend to abandon any plans I had for my future travels. I am just curious as to how psycologically you have coped. An interesting topic for debate, no? Too bad you have to experience it to discuss it.


p.s. It was entirely the other guys fault, which makes me feel a little bit better, but still, you have to wonder, is this a critique against my driving style? Could I have prevented it? And what about my future plans? How will this affect me on the road now? (I am planning an African road journey, so maybe if I can survive the dtreets of toronto I can survive the streets of Africa...?)

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Old 22 Jul 2000
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Seattle,Washington,King
Posts: 3
Hi I am A Motorcycle Saftey Fondation instructor in the US. The only thing I can tell you is what I teach in class. There is right and there is dead right. So even if you are right on what you do you can pay the price and have to remember that. So Always, Always assume that the worst is going to happen and plan for that. Then if it doesn't happen you have a nice surprise rather than if you don't plan that way and you have a bad surprise as you did. Better luck in the future. Mike
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Old 23 Jul 2000
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Location: Victoria, BC, CA
Posts: 509
Well, you _did_ ask for critique so I'm going to give it - but you won't like what I have to say...

>So, doing about 50 km/h I notoiced a large, blue sedan placed perpendicular in the line
>of traffic - obviously doing a u-turn.
>Honking, I slowed a bit, and went to go around him, as he had stopped
> p.s. It was entirely the other guys fault, which makes me feel a little bit better, but
> still, you have to wonder, is this a critique against my driving style? Could I
> have prevented it?

You were going 50 KMH, or about 30 mph. A typical street bike doing that speed can come to a complete stop in about 30 feet, or 10 metres. Unless this guy made a sudden U-turn from less than 10 metres away, you should have been able to come to a complete stop in time to avoid the crash.

I'm not a traffic cop, but I suspect that the police will assess you as being at least partly at fault.

>Will it get written off? What are the odds od structural damage? Can my confidence be
>restored to a bike that was in an accident?

I don't know how insurance works in Ontario, but my guess is that they'll offer you a cash payment equivalent to the blue book value of your bike (ie. not much for a ten year old bike).

You don't mention your level of experience or training. Drivers in North America are far more friendly and law-abiding than those in the 3rd world. My suggestion would be to get a lot more practice riding in heavy street traffic before you go off on your trip.

Bruce Clarke

Bruce Clarke --- 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 250R (black)
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