Crash report


Bike:  '97 BMW R1100RT

Date: 7/15/03 6:15pm or so

Location: Braintree Ma,  rte 128N aka IRte 93S

Cause: Hit by Drunk Driver

Traffic Conditions:  Light traffic, dry roads, no debris, four lanes in my direction.

Weather:  Sunny, cool temps in the 70's

The story

I was in traffic in the HOV lane as there must have bee a break down because the traffic stopped for a minute or two then moved on. While waiting I noticed how nice the weather was, and what a great day for a ride even though it was a commute. While stopped I changed my gloves from Akita rain gloves to a summer weight pair by Olympia. At the split I headed right onto to 128N and was surprised to find no traffic. What is usually stop and go was very light traffic. I just cruised along in the second land from the right enjoying the weather and the wide open road.  Something must caught my attention to my left, I looked to see what it was. I saw the grill of a car facing me. With no time to react this guy traveled across two lanes and into my rear wheel. I was hit.

Bike and rider were violently separated on the slight bend to the left just beyond the first on ramp. I impacted my left shoulder as I was thrown to my
right. I was was forced into a fetal position. I slid, tumbled flipped on my head for a long time and came to rest in the edge of the woods.  Just a few feet to my left was an interstate sign that I luckily avoided, but my bike took out. I came to rest on my back facing up.

I did a quick assessment. I found left foot and shoulder hurt LOTS.  Right middle finger had an owie, but other than that nuthin'. I check for extremity sensation and determined all was intact. Just the foot and shoulder were concerns. So I removed my helmet without getting up.  I was able to slide it off without moving my head too much.  And I called the wife to tell her I was alright, but going to wait for the ambulance. I wanted her to hear about the accident from me. I wanted to minimize her stress, being 5 months pregnant. After that I lay absolutely motionless as everyone did their thing.

Witnesses were very good. "Do no move." "Were you riding with a passenger?" etc. Excellent. I told them I was ok and they milled about. Nobody touched me until the ambulance people came to take me away. Xray's, Cat Scans, and rectal probes were liberally applied in a vane attempt to locate injury. No broken bones, no spinal or neck injury. Just some very well bruised contact points. I was kept for observation, passed with flying colors and was released noonish today. I left the hospital on my own power only aided with crutches. The crutches were my choice. Foot bruise is painful, but shoulders do not hurt too much for crutches.

The person who hit me was arrested for DUI., disorderly conduct and negligent operation. Well family is visiting no so I gotta go. But I am merely bruised and stiff. The status of the bike is unknown.

The gear:

I was wearing:
           RoadCrafter Darien without liner:  The brunt of the damage was to the left shoulder.  As the fabric wore through.  Only jacket related road rash was on my right wrist where the sleeve rode up a little.
           Jacket LHS Front
           Jacket LHS Front (a)
           Jacket LHS Inside
           Jacket LHS Inside (a)
           Jacket LHS Inside (b)
           Jacket RHS Front
           Jacket RHS Front (a)
           Jacket RHS Front (b)
           Jacket RHS Inside The Shoulder pad deformed inside out.
           RoadCrafter Darien:  The brunt of the damage was to the seat.  Hole wore through on the bum and below the left knee.  Only pant related road rash was on my left knee where the leg rode up a little.
           Pants Front
           Pants Front Left Knee 8" from cuff 4" from pad
           Pants Back
           Pants Back Right Hip Hole about the size of a dime.
           Pants Back Right Hip (a)
Arai Quantum Helmet Scuffed up a whole lot, but no signs of hard impact.
           Helmet Front
           Helmet Left Profile
           Helmet Left Profile Close up
           Helmet Right Profile
           Helmet Right Profile
           Helmet Top

Olympia summer weight gloves

     Turns out the gloves were worn through in two places on the knuckles of the left hand.
  Alpinestar stage boots

  Other pertinent data
           There were no skid marks left at the scene
           I would wear all of this equipment again.

Hindsight would have made the difference.

Since I didn't crash it myself I'll simply conclude that basic bike operation was fine.  But the one thing that would have made a difference is backward visibility.  I check my review mirrors very frequently bordering on constantly.  In fact I think I was in the process of checking again when this all took place.  Only I started on my right since the on ramp was there.  When I returned to center I noticed something to my left and you know the rest of that story.  You may be wondering why would I bring up backward visibility if I was actually checking behind me. There is a simple reason. Mirrors.  The mirrors on all RT's are below the handle bars.  They have sufficient clearance to see well on each side, and are only slightly impaired when camping gear is loaded across the back seat.  The problem lies in that when my head is up at the road these mirrors are hidden behind the chin bar of my full face helmet.  I have to look at the mirrors to use them at all.

If the mirrors were placed on stalks and remained in my  line of sight I would probably have noticed the fast mover coming up.  I know for a fact that I saved my own hide on more than one occasion on my Suzuki because I noticed movement in my mirrors while looking done the road.  Now in retrospect I would suggest people check their mirror placement to see it they are in the rider's line of sight.

Damage to Bike:

           Bike Front
           Bike Front (a)
           BikeFront (b)
           Bike Left
           Bike Left 2
           Bike Right Jug