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Discussion Starter #1
Would you guys say highway or suburb Mc riding is deadlier? Myself, im using my bike to commute to and from school (not very busy roads with no real blind spot areas, generally safe). I hear that your more likely to get into an accident on 'back roads' or town driving compared to highway, but when you get on an accident on the highway your more likely to die, but less likely to get into an accident. What do you think is over all safer, highway or suburb/back road driving?
 

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The way the idiots are driving in their cars today, an accident can happen almost any place. People can look directly at you and still cut you off even when you're wearing a brightly colored safety vest and your bright lights are on.

Too many distractions for car drivers: texting,cell phone use,kids fighting in the back seat for harried moms, drunks,drugs,fight with wife/husband,road rage, the list can go on for a while.......................
 

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I'd have to say off-highway.
Intersections (either true cross-streets or driveways) are where most MC accidents happen.

That said, I've lost 2 friends on the road in the last 6 months.
One to a guy who turned left in front of him, and one on the highway... hit a trailer hitch lying in the road which took him down, and before his wife could get to him, a pickup in the next lane ran over him.

Normally, highway, or rural "back road" accidents are the fault of the rider... running wide on a curve and off the road, or crossing the center line and getting hit head-on, or otherwise losing focus and running off the road.
Interstate and other major divided highways are the safest. You still have to keep your eyes open, but your primary threats are all moving in the same direction you are. You don't have people crossing your path except at onramps and offramps where they'll cut across your lane.

Worst TIME of day is morning and evening when the sun is low. When the sun is at your back, that nice long shadow of your own bike that looks so cool and that well-illuminated scene in front of you is just the opposite to oncoming traffic. They are driving blind.
 

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nu2kawi
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I have a tougher time getting to the highway than when I get to it. I still don't like riding in the morning commute or evening race to get home. I'd take it over riding in the city or suburbs, the way some "drive" around here. Too many people still don't know how to drive and yet were able to pass a test and some without a license that think they can.
 

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Interstate and other major divided highways are the safest. You still have to keep your eyes open, but your primary threats are all moving in the same direction you are. You don't have people crossing your path except at onramps and offramps where they'll cut across your lane.
I have no doubt that roads with intersection are the worst, but riding on the highway gives me a whole new sense of awareness. Maybe it's just my perception, but I become almost fanatical about watching my mirrors when I'm out there on the big roads. I almost couldn't care less about what's in front of me, because I figure it will be something behind me that takes me out. I never feel that way on the secondary or lesser roads that I normally ride on.
 

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I think it depends upon a few factors:

- Are you going on a trip and on unfamiliar roads? In that case I vote for the highway.

- Are you commuting? For me the back roads are better since the average speed during commuting times goes up 10 MPG and the amount of traffic at least triples.

Hazards normally are different in both situations. On the back roads I see more things like construction gravel that comes and goes, roadkill, deer, very slow drivers, farm equipment but I mainly feel like if somethings going to happen it will likely be due to MY ERROR. Where on the highway I am sobered by the fact that the increased speed means increased injuries or worse in an accident. There is less time to react to road debris. There is less time for me to effectively look into the mirrors or over my shoulder since I must look ahead more.
 

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I have no doubt that roads with intersection are the worst, but riding on the highway gives me a whole new sense of awareness. Maybe it's just my perception, but I become almost fanatical about watching my mirrors when I'm out there on the big roads. I almost couldn't care less about what's in front of me, because I figure it will be something behind me that takes me out. I never feel that way on the secondary or lesser roads that I normally ride on.
That's a problem.
On secondary roads you need to be JUST as aware of what's coming up behind you as you are on the interstate.
It's easy to be lulled into a false sense of security because it seems that the road is empty when WHAM some jack-a doing double the limit rips up behind you because he's like some riders on the forum who think that "it's safe because there's no traffic" and scares the crap out of you blasting his horn as he passes.

Like I said... on the interstate, your threat is moving the same direction as you. You might get taken out by the guy off your bow making an abrupt lane change, but yes, it's more likely to be the guy blasting up behind you... or blasting up behind the car in the next lane who makes a sudden lane change into you to pass.

Those same threats exist on secondary and city roads as well, PLUS you get cross traffic, driveways, etc...
 

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guys......lets just say............be ANAL with ur eyes. I am always checking mirrors no matter where i am. you are NEVER safe with ur bike until it is parked and you are off of it. I just started riding 5 days ago.........but i use this when driving my car also. And even tho i am a newbie...........i want the rest of you newbies to remember one thing. Even if it's the LAST thing you ever remember in life.............................

YOU R NEVER SAFE AS LONG AS YOU R TOUCHING UR BIKE!!!!!!!!!!!! weather it is running or not!!
 

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Politicians' Nightmare
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Divided roadway freeways probably are the safest with traffic moving in the same direction and no cross traffic to worry about, but in the San Francisco Bay area I commuted for years on freeways and with lots of stop-and-go traffic there were numerous rear-enders. Also I used to be shelled occasionally by gravel trucks dropping rocks onto the roadway. In the San Diego area I rode to work on two lanes in each direction roadways with traffic lights and a landscape it was easy for a biker to blend into, making us virtually invisible and vulnerable to being crunched while stopped at a traffic light by someone not paying attention or DUI, probably the most dangerous riding I've experienced. Here in Oregon the main highway is two-lane with occasional cross traffic and some older drivers who don't look for motorcycles. Seventy miles away on I-5 a local judge riding his Harley was killed apparently by a semi which moved into his lane to pass without seeing him and crashed him into the center fence. On a two-lane road a friend's friend was killed a couple of weeks ago because he took a curve too quickly, ran off the road and hit a rock wall. Every type of road has its good and bad points - we need to ride with sharp eyes and with due awareness and caution.
 

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TV Guru
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By far, surface streets are the most dangerous. People left turning into your path, people turning right into your path, people perhaps not stopping behind you, people stopping in front of you without warning, pedestrians, bicycles, etc...

That doesn't even take into account rough pavement, construction, oil slicks, pavement markings, litter and other hazards.

Second most dangerous are those winding country roads where you have sharp shoulder drop-offs, blind curves, rough pavement, farm equipment, farm animals, wild animals, poop slicks, tar snakes, lawn clippings, hay and straw clippings, leaves etc...

Limited access highways and interstates are the safest provided you ride responsibly, watch for stuff that may have come off a vehicle and stay out from beside vehicles that may merge in on you. Most of those can be avoided by increasing your following distance and using the appropriate lane for the circumstances. Obviously, there is always the possibility of wild animals, rough or slippery pavement or a tire blowing out, but no more than anywhere else. In the end, your safety the highway is more on you personally than anyone else, unlike with other roads.
 

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my god......i had some 16 year old kid almost run me over today. the lanes veer to one side and go straight again, but this idiot kept going straight and almost clipped my rear end. Idiots.......... i tel ya.
 

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You can get killed anywhere...but statistically speaking, intersections are the most dangerous areas for riders (and in general) because that's where most accidents occur. I can't remember the exact percentage but I was suprised to hear the number in the MSF course; it might be like upwards to 70% of all accidents occur in intersections. Though much fewer accidents happen on the highways, more people die in those accidents (percentage-wise) because of the speed factor (again, an MSF tidbit).

Just pay equal attention on all roads. Don't think that one is safer than the other--they're all equally dangerous.
 

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I believe that all roads are equally as dangerous. I remember when I was teaching my children to drive, I told them that driving was like playing chess...anticipate the move and plan your next move in advance. I ride anticipating the cars around me to do something stupid and in my head I have already planned my move if it occurs. No matter how much I plan ahead there will always be something unexpected that will cause me to have to alter the initial move, but it seems to keep me alert to the dangers istead of just cluelessly riding thinking nothing will go wrong creating a knee-jerk reaction.
 
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