Rider fighting for life after vehicle changes lanes

DayGlo Queensland Police witnesses mick road safety week single 70 lanes life vehicle ute

A Townsville rider is fighting for his life after being seriously injured in a crash last night when a vehicle changed lanes.

Police say the rider was travelling northbound on the Ring Road at Douglas about 7pm (10 June 2019) when a vehicle is believed to have changed lanes.

The rider was forced to take evasive action, lost control and was thrown from his motorcycle.

He was located by passing motorists unconscious on the road and taken to the Townsville Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

His condition is described as serious but stable.

The driver of the vehicle stopped at the scene and spoke with police.

Forensic Crash Unit is continuing its investigation.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Our sincere best wishes to the rider for a speedy recovery.

Lane-changing crashes

The lane-change crash is one of four common accidents involving motorcycles and other vehicles as shown in the above NSW Transport video.

It is often the combined result of a rider being in the driver’s blind spot and the driver failing to look before changing lanes.

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

It can be haste, ignorance, arrogance and even the lack of fear for the consequences. After all, hitting a motorcycle is less damaging than hitting a truck or another car.

Detecting a vehicle that is about to change lanes can be difficult, especially at highway speeds as it only takes a small movement to make a car change lanes.

However, riders can take these steps to avoid such accidents:

  1. Spend as little time as possible riding in another vehicle’s blind spot;
  2. If you can see the driver’s eyes in their wing mirror, then they can (but not necessarily will) see you;
  3. Look for any movement in the driver’s head or hands as this could indicate they are about to change lanes;
  4. Be aware of slight changes in the vehicle’s lane position as it could mean they are leaving the lane;
  5. If you’re lucky, they will indicate first, so you have time to slow and take evasive action;
  6. When passing vehicles take a wide berth, look for an escape route and pass them promptly, even if it requires a bit of extra speed; and
  7. Check your own mirrors in case another vehicle is following you as that will affect your avoidance strategy.

You can also alert drivers to your presence by blowing your horn or flashing your lights.

However, these may be illegal in some jurisdictions and could give the false message that you are letting them merge into your lane.

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, your pipes are facing away from the driver.

2 Comments

  1. “When passing vehicles take a wide berth, look for an escape route and pass them promptly, even if it requires a bit of extra speed”
    It’s common sense to increase your speed when passing another vehicle especially as most drivers unconciously speed up when being passed. Unfortunately the law doesn’t support common sense and you’re increasing your chance of getting a speeding fine because you want to reduce your time on the wrong side of the road.

  2. Thanks heaps Mark for giving us a bit of an idea how these accidents happen, we should all be made aware of the cause of accidents so we can learn from them.
    For far too long the media just says every accident is caused by excessive speed and no one is any the wiser of how to improve their own riding/driving, after 60 years riding I’ve always learnt and continue to learn from my own and others ‘mistakes’ . Awareness is everything to avoid accidents.

    Regards Arnold

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