Avoid a SMIDSY crash by riding a Z-line

This topic contains 7 replies, has 624 voices, and was last updated by  Gryphon Rider January 27, 2016 at 4:31 am.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #13137

    Gryphon Rider
    Member
        • Junior Member
        • Posts: 23

      As a former motorcycle instructor and current every-day rider, I try to keep on top of the latest information pertaining to motorcyclist safety.  Something I found out about and have been practising recently is the "Z-line" manoeuvre to avoid a "SMIDSY" crash.

      What does SMIDSY mean, you ask?  It's am abbreviation for the British excuse, "Sorry, mate, I didn't see you!"  This excuse, or the Canadian equivalent, "You came out of nowhere!", is given after a driver pulls out or turns in front of your motorcycle, which you had been riding in a straight line fully within their view.

      Of course, there are many things you can do to improve your conspicuity, such as keeping  your headlight on bright in the daytime, using an headlight modulator, adding auxiliary lights, wearing brightly-coloured gear, and positioning yourself in traffic so you are easily seen by other drivers.  But the fact remains that you are smaller than other vehicles, and because we are in Canada where all vehicles have daytime running lights, it's easy for our single or narrowly-spaced headlights to get lost against a background of other lights.  If an observer, such as the driver wanting to turn in front of you, is almost directly in front of you, your motion relative to the background can be difficult to detect, and it can be difficult to judge your speed.

      The Z-line manoeuvre can make you stand out against the background by making your bike move sideways in their line-of-sight.  Here's what you do.  Start in the tire track within your lane that is farthest from the driver whose attention you want to get.  About four seconds before the intersection, take about one second or a little less to move into the other tire track of your lane.  Immediately move back to your original position within your lane, farthest from the other driver.  This leaves you about two seconds to be riding in a straight line before the intersection, and you can be ready to take whatever action you need to if something untoward happens.

      This does a few of different things from the viewpoint of the other driver:
      1. When you move towards the tire track nearest him, your headlight gets brighter, putting him in the centre of its light pattern.
      2. He thinks, "Aaa, that bike is coming straight towards me!"  He has a reason to pay attention to you.
      3. When you move back, there is a sideways shift in your position relative to the background, making you break camouflage.
      4. When you move back, your position changes dramatically relative to him, and you appear to be moving faster than you actually are.

      Think about this as you ride, and decide if it's something you wish to begin practising.  If you do, it might prevent someone from pulling a SMIDSY on you as you lie on the pavement.

      For further reading:
      Z-line introduction
      Part 2
      Part 3
      Part 4
      Part 5

      For those who prefer video:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqQBubilSXU

      #13136

      ABLE
      Member
          • Full Member
          • Posts: 101

        Watched the youtube video … thanks for sharing.  It’s a great idea.  Now, how do we get a cell phone jammer installed on our bikes so anything within 150 feet gets crashed so they’re not distracted?  Wouldn’t that be nice …

        #13142

        Gryphon Rider
        Member
            • Junior Member
            • Posts: 23

          Watched the youtube video … thanks for sharing.  It’s a great idea.  Now, how do we get a cell phone jammer installed on our bikes so anything within 150 feet gets crashed so they’re not distracted?  Wouldn’t that be nice …

          You mean they would be less distracted if all of a sudden their phone stopped working?

          #13150

          madjak30
          Moderator
              • Senior Contributor
              • Posts: 1521

            I think the police just need to be more diligent on enforcing laws on the books about bad driving habits and not worry as much about speeding…excessive speed yes, but not worry about the guys just driving fast. Worry more about the tailgaters, no signals, three lane changes, distracted driving, impaired driving, etc!

            #13152

            Gryphon Rider
            Member
                • Junior Member
                • Posts: 23

              I think the police just need to be more diligent on enforcing laws on the books about bad driving habits and not worry as much about speeding…excessive speed yes, but not worry about the guys just driving fast. Worry more about the tailgaters, no signals, three lane changes, distracted driving, impaired driving, etc!

              I’ve never heard of anyone cited for following too close who hadn’t rear-ended the car in front of them.  In other words, let’s get that one especially properly enforced!  That and cell use, whether talking, texting, or surfing.

              #13159

              ABLE
              Member
                  • Full Member
                  • Posts: 101

                All in all I think that Madjak is right, there needs to be better enforcement of the existing laws, which adequately cover traffic safety.  Problem is that when there’s a white Crown Vic in the rear view mirror, people are near perfect angels.  At the end of the day it’s on us to keep our heads on a swivel and maintain a constant state of awareness.  It’s possible to enjoy the ride too, but you gotta keep watching.

                #13169

                madjak30
                Moderator
                    • Senior Contributor
                    • Posts: 1521

                  Old saying: ride as if everyone is out to kill you!
                  Trust no one…

                  #13656

                  Captkerk
                  Member
                      • Junior Member
                      • Posts: 18

                    Good posts, Folks.  I agree;  One has to assume that all other drivers are idiots and will without a doubt do something stupid that could harm you.  Defensive driving is key!
                    That outlook has saved this old biker many times.
                    Pete

                  Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

                  You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

                  Back to Top