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Discussion Starter #1
I asked this question on another forum, if it has been covered here before excuse me, but I haven't seen it. The scenario is you are riding down the road, whether a rural single lane, a residential street or wherever when an animal large enough(dog ,deer, cow, moose) suddenly runs in front of you that could be a danger and cause serious damage. My question is how do you react? My opinion is that a sudden swerve could potentially be more dangerous in that you could run off the road into a tree, telephone pole or parked car. If a collision is unavoidable the best course of action in my opinion is to try to slow down as quickly as possible but to go straight into it while bracing for the impact instead of a glancing blow that will send you completely out of control and off the road. My assertion is that less damage or injury may occur with my method in unavoidable collisions.
 

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Gone.
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A lot depends on what else is going on around you, such as traffic or other obstacles. (How situationally aware are you when you ride?)

What I have generally tried to do the most is swerve, or lean, towards the side where the animal entered the road from. Aim as far behind him as I safely can. Chances are if he keeps going across the road I'll safely miss him.

I think a person's natural inclination is to try to avoid the animal by trying to "get away" from him. It's almost as if they're trying to run FROM the animal, so they actually end up aiming in front of the crittter, who is running as fast as he can towards the accident.
 

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It's going to depend on how close the animal is when you see it. If farther away, braking might be the best choice. If it's right in front of you, swerving might be best.

Just remember (and practice) not to brake and swerve at the same time. Swerving uses a lot of traction and there's not much left for braking while in the swerve.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The subconscious reaction would be to swerve or try to avoid contact, but my question is if collision is UNAVOIDABLE that going straight at the animal and like I say bracing for the impact may be a better choice than running off the road and into something else, damage to you and the bike may be minimized if you have slowed down as much as possible beforehand. I'm not saying that it is the best action in all situations as each situation is different, running into something hard like a car would be different from running into flesh and blood, that a glancing contact MAY cause more damage after the contact than if you go straight into it. Wiping more of the animals blood off of you and the bike seems better than more of your blood being spilled. Just an opinion, BRC or not doesn't have anything to do with the question as I ask if collision is unavoidable, the BRC isn't a bullet proof shield.
 

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The subconscious reaction would be to swerve or try to avoid contact, but my question is if collision is UNAVOIDABLE that going straight at the animal and like I say bracing for the impact may be a better choice than running off the road and into something else, damage to you and the bike may be minimized if you have slowed down as much as possible beforehand. I'm not saying that it is the best action in all situations as each situation is different, running into something hard like a car would be different from running into flesh and blood, that a glancing contact MAY cause more damage after the contact than if you go straight into it. Wiping more of the animals blood off of you and the bike seems better than more of your blood being spilled. Just an opinion, BRC or not doesn't have anything to do with the question as I ask if collision is unavoidable, the BRC isn't a bullet proof shield.
I asked about BRC because the MSF has an opinion on the answer to your question. I will take you have not attended one.
 

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IN SITUATIONS where I'm on a blind corner, or I have reduced visibility, I have ALREADY REDUCED the speed of my bike. I ride my bike expecting to have to avoid obstacles. That's the deal when you wide in the city these days. Usually I'm not worried about dogs ... I'm worried about Toyota Minivans!!

The primary defense is ... BRAKE and SWERVE.
If SWERVING is too dangerous, BRAKE and GO THROUGH IT.

No matter how big an animal is - it only takes up one side of the street on a two lane road. You've got options if there is no other traffic around.

I always prefer to miss an obstruction ... IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. So that means I will do the brake and swerve maneuver. For animals smaller than a dog - if you can't miss them ... then go right through them. Chances are that you will STAY UP if you keep your head together and maintain control of your bike.

For large animals, like cows (?????????), it's the same as hitting a car. DON'T DO THAT! You must be able to break and swerve around the obstruction. Or you are going down. Probably with serious injuries.

Most riders have problems with animals on rural roads, when they are riding at higher speeds. Around cities, yeah dogs can be a problem. But the serious animal problem is usually deer, and that's rural. It is a big problem because the deer jump out across the road very fast. Other than that - collisions with cows are very RARE. Be careful and don't ride at night, if you think there could be large livestock on the roads.

dT
 

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If an animal darts in front of, you brake and swerve behind it, but keep an eye out for others. If a ball darts in front of you, brake and swerve in front of it, because there's gonna be a kid behind it.
 

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There are going to be times when there is no time to react, period. Deer can and will jump out of a ditch at the last millisecond and bam!

My dog used to come out to meet me when she heard me coming on the bike but would always wait on the side of the road as I went by and follow me on in the drive. One day she turned and ran right in front of me. I was already slowed down, which saved us both, but there was NO time to brake or swerve. Hit her head on. I went over the bike and slid on my forearms. The dog was only sore. We both walked on home.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It is true I did not take a BRC or equivalent rider course, when I passed the license test about thirty five years ago in Maryland it was not required. AS I have tried to explain my question is concerning UNAVOIDABLE collision. And yes I do live in an area that would be considered rural, not as much as it used to be, without as much roadside street lights as in city areas. My contention is that in a situation where you CANNOT avoid collision that keeping the front wheel as straight as possible and t-boning the large animal MAY cause less damage and injury to you and the bike as opposed to careening off the side of the road uncontrollably. EYE your idea of trying to go where the animal has been is the best answer yet, WOW we actually agree on something. Don't worry I won't ask for a bro hug.
 

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If a collission is unavoidable, I think I'd still take my chances with going off the road. If you t-bone the animal, you are guaranteed going down, and you're going down on the road where someone can run you over. If you run off the road you're probably going down, but you have that much more room to recover, or, barring that, bleed off some speed.

I could easily be wrong about whether that's safer or not, though. After all, the road is smooth and you're a lot less likely to injure yourself sliding on smooth ground than rough ground.

This is also taking into account my location. I don't really have to worry much about hitting a tree.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Metaldoc I'm sorry to read about your dog, but as it sounds like you got the worst of it, it seems to illustrate my point that animals are unpredictable with deer especially being very quick to change direction.
 

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I have been hit by deer twice while riding cycle - both times at about 45 mph. Once a glancing minor blow that broke a mirror off. Other one happened so fast with a deer jumping off a small hillside with trees. Hit me at 45 degree angle - my reaction was to lean into it and tuck. Deer went over top of my and sent me into oncoming lane - thank God no traffic. I would say slow down but stay as upright as you can and go toward animal - it is bound to try bolt last seconds before contact.
 

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I have tried begging for mercy but usually I just let her have her way with me.
 

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In the BRC Course "I" took many years ago, they taught us "S.I.P.D.E." (Scan, Indentify, Predict, Decide, Execute).

Being fully "aware" at ALL times, is really the watchword from SIPDE. Running thru options, based on the probable or likely, finding alternatives, and making decisions about what you need to do, to reduce or minimize the potential for trouble; even the unexpected. If you can't avoid the accident, the trick is to find the least impact way out (for YOU and for others AROUND you).

I escaped certain death one day, because I noted a van going past me on a busy highway, with bald tires. I "supposed" that his rear tire blew, and decided to slow down just a tad, and move to the right side of the center lane. Just after I made my move, the right rear tire blew, and flew past me, on the left side of the lane where I just was!!

Whether you imagine a deer, or a massive pot hole, if you anticipate and plan and consider your options BEFORE they are required, you just MIGHT get out relatively unscathed.

-Soupy
 

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I live in an area where White Tail deer are as thick as flies and within 10 miles of home 3 or 4 deer are killed every week on the highway. They come out of nowhere and are totally unpredictable!

4 years ago I lost a perfectly nice truck to a deer. Wee hours of the morning on my way to work on a country road being vigilant for the 'bush rats' I saw two does grazing in the ditch by the road. Not knowing whether they would move or which way, I had already slowed down from 70 to 20 KPH and was keeping an eye on them when a HUGE buck jumped out of the opposite ditch and landed right in the middle of my path about 10 feet in front of the truck. Needless to say there was no way to avoid it! I didn't even have time to say ****! Wrote off a really nice truck. If I had been going 70 or 90 KPH, he probably would have come over the hood, took the cab off, and my head with it.

Just last night a friend was riding her bike down a dirt road less than a mile from my place when two young deer walked out in front of her and stopped. She had just completed the BRC this week - good thing because she had practised emergency stops and was able to stop before hitting the deer.

If a collision is imminent, all you can do is try to dump as much speed as possible before you hit.

For me, if it was a really big animal like a cow or a moose, it is going to be like hitting a brick wall - they can go 1,200 to 2,500 pounds! If I couldn't avoid it, I'd be tempted to aim for the middle and lay the bike down in the hope of sliding under it, between the legs.
 

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................... I couldn't avoid it, I'd be tempted to aim for the middle and lay the bike down in the hope of sliding under it, between the legs.

Anyone care to demonstrate HOW to "lay a bike down" in an emergency? I once heard a biker talking about how he had learned (in some sort of Advanced Riders Course or something) to "step off the seat of the bike in an emergency situation, to put as much distance between he and his bike as possible.



-Soupy
 

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Rubber stops the bike much faster than skin and exhaust pipes do, it's just not the light show if you use the brakes.

People that say they can avoid a collision with deer have never been around them. They are nearly invisible at night and are so fast that you don't have time to do anything before you are on top of them. Good lighting is a good thing to have, you can sometimes see the eye reflection when they close. Not outdriving your light is more help, but with deer, it's 99% luck because there is no time to do anything else other than watch the show.
 

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Anyone care to demonstrate HOW to "lay a bike down" in an emergency?
I have done it once but it all happens so fast I am not exactly sure the sequence. It seems to me that the sequence is to lock the back wheel and turn slightly. When the bike is 90 degrees to the direction of travel (now slide), get your foot out from under it and let it come down toward you. It puts the mass of the bike between you and what you are about to hit.

Rubber stops the bike much faster than skin and exhaust pipes do, it's just not the light show if you use the brakes.
I wasn't talking about a panic stop but about trying to survive an imminent collision.

Good lighting is a good thing to have, you can sometimes see the eye reflection when they close.
That's why I have 4 auxiliary spot lights on my new truck and the-grill-guard-from-hell! The spots light up the road and ditches for a mile ahead - looks like a 767 on approach! If I don't see 'em, hopefully the grill guard will deflect the. Of course the lights only for backroads with no oncoming traffic.
 
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