Versys vs SUV. Guess who won? (an accident report)
Yesterday I decided popped into work, for few hours, to catch up on a few things. As is my normal routine I rode my bike (motorcycle) on a route I’ve taken hundreds of times, around the edge Oregon State University. The posted speed limit is 30 MPH, and being the dutiful citizen I am I was doing 35 (or perhaps as high as 40) MPH.
As one approaches the main intersection, which leads to the football stadium, there is a left hand turn lane and lane to proceed straight. I was heading straight through the intersection and noticed, for a split second, a mini-van/SUV in the left hand turn lane with its left hand turn signal on (and gave it no more thought). But then, as I was approximately 20 yards from intersection the driver of the SUV (whom I learned later was from a small town in southern Oregon and a bit confused by the “big city” streets of Corvallis) decided he needed to turn right, rather than left. So, in order to attempt this he began to exit his lane and enter the lane I was in.
At this point I had two choices. I could try to swerve around him on the left (and likely end up in a lane of oncoming traffic) or swerve around him to the right (and hope I was fast and skilled enough to accomplish this maneuver or that he might, somehow, see me and stop.) I went right, but I fear none of the things I hoped for happened. He didn’t see me or stop and despite my best efforts I wasn’t able to maneuver my way out of the problem. The outcome was I side swiped the front corner of his vehicle (just another 10 or 12 inches and I would have made it!)
After I and the bike banged into, off and then past his vehicle (bashing in my cowling and leaving behind a myriad of bits and pieces that had been sliced off) I was still upright. However, both I and the bike were off balance and flopping about like a tattered flag in the wind....and down we went, sliding to the other side of the intersection. I ended up having a leg pinned under the bike, but thanks to some young and strong students, who happened to be walking nearby, it was quickly lifted off me.
As you can see from the pictures my beautiful bike (and the love of my life) is a bit worse for wear. Since the gear shift lever is bent completely backwards (how that happened, I have no idea?) I had to have her towed to a shop. As far as me, I’m bruised up and down my left side, sore as hell and my guts feel a bit wonky but I’m sure I’ll be good as new (or at least as good I was before the accident) in a few days.
All and all I think the accident could have been much worse, were it not for three things.
1. My gear. My armored clothes and helmet prevented what could have been some very nasty road rash and broken bones (including my skull).
2. The crash bars, although now bent, prevented what would have certainly been more damage to the bike, and me.
3. The MSF course I took last August (when I decided to return to riding after an 18 year hiatus) help drill into my head things like: don’t panic, how to swerve (which prevented me from T-boning the SUV, instead of hitting it on the corner) and trying to maneuver the bike rather than locking up the brakes and hoping for the best.
The fellow who hit my turned out to be a decent guy (although still a crappy driver) He admitted, without hesitation or argument, that he was at fault both to me and to the trooper who arrived to write up the accident report. Hopefully insurance will cover everything and I’ll be riding again soon.
Be careful out there my brothers and sisters. And wear your gear!!!
Last edited by Bluegenes; 05-15-2011 at 12:56 PM.