At the beginning of February this year I was on my way home from work when I was hit by a driver attempting to overtake around 11:30pm. He came into the oncoming lane in front of me and we both braked hard before impact. At first I wasn't sure if I was really seeing what I thought I was, I remember thinking, "Are they really in my lane?!" I remember everything except the sound of the impact. When the car hit me I could feel myself flying through the air, and I'm pretty sure I was flipping. Being night time, I couldn't see anything and had no idea where I was or where I was going to land. I remember worrying about landing on my neck and breaking it because a friend of mine broke her neck several years back in an incident not related to motorcycles. I also briefly wondered if this was it. I was thrown clear of the car and landed on the grass on the side of the road. I landed mostly on my back but I think I must have landed slightly left because my left elbow and knee had some minor issues afterward and my thumbs hurt. My crotch felt a little on the numb side too. Not even thinking, I got up immediately and saw the car slowly driving away. I thought it was a hit and run. I turned around and saw the license plate on the road and thought that would be helpful if this really was a hit and run. I took off my helmet and gloves and put them down next to my bike. I realised my helmet camera was missing. I looked around on the road from where I was standing but I couldn't see it amongst the debris and thought maybe it was under my bike which was lying in the gutter on its right side pointing in the opposite direction I'd been travelling. The engine had cut but the headlight was still on.
a number of people stopped and came over to me. A woman asked if I wanted some water and went to hand me a drink bottle but I said I probably shouldn't have any. My thoughts were that I didn't know how injured I was and that if I needed surgery I couldn't be having water beforehand. It was a strange feeling, I could still think about some things like I just mentioned, but at the same time my mind felt kind of cloudy and I wasn't really sure what to do. A man got on his phone and called an ambulance, and another man talked to me, I don't remember what he said but I got confused and thought he was the one who hit me and asked what he was doing on the wrong side of the road. His response made me think he wasn't the driver. I was walking around near my bike and people kept telling me that I should sit down and after a while I began to feel very light headed. That scared me because I didn't know what it meant. I kneeled next to my bike and decided to call my mother. I figured it would be better for her to hear about this from me rather than someone from emergency services because if they called her she'd probably think the worst, whereas at least if she got me she could talk to me and know I was okay. When going through my phone to call her my cloudy and confused mind made it much more difficult to figure out where to find her number, something that would normally have been simple and easy.
For some reason the call cut off on the first try so I rang back and said, "Um, I'm okay, but I've just been hit head on." I told her what road I was on but It's a long road so I began looking around trying to find something that would make it easier for me to explain where I was. One of the people in the area gave me the name of a street we were intersected with so I passed on the information to my mother. I wasn't very far from home when this happened, I'd been looking forward to going home and having a nice bowl of ice cream after work. I explained to my mother that I thought the driver had taken off. I heard someone behind me say "No I didn't." I turned to see a tall man who looked to be in his late 20s to early 30s and I asked him what he was doing on the wrong side of the road. He said, "I don't know, I thought there was another lane." At some point I thought I'd better turn the ignition on my bike off, but the not so fun part about that is that the ignition is on the right hand side near the tank, which happened to be the side the bike landed on, so I ended up having to get on my belly on the ground to get the keys out. It took a bit for me to find the keys because the front of the bike didn't look the way it should anymore so between that and my already confused state it took a while for me to get them. I'd forgotten about it at the time, but the keys to my other bike were on that set. When I finally got them, I put them in my pocket as I usually would.
A police car was on scene very quickly and two male officers whose names I don't recall came over to me. Both myself and the driver of the car were given breath tests on scene but neither of us had been drinking so that was a plus. He appeared fairly shaken up too and although e did something he shouldn't have, it was an accident. I hugged him. When the ambulance got there, two paramedics, and man and a woman came to me. We talked for a bit and before heading over to the ambulance I thought I could feel blood around my crotch so I checked but there was nothing there. The male paramedic checked the area in the ambulance and there didn't seem to be anything major going on. He'd mentioned that he was happy that I was wearing proper gear; I had an armoured kevlar hoodie, kevlar jeans, knee pads, gloves, helmet and my work shoes on. The shoes have carbon fibre in the toes and weren't damaged in the accident. There was also the added bonus of them staying on my feet! My kevlar jeans and hoodie had no visible damage to them, they just had some dirt and grass on them. My helmet had a few insignificant scrapes and the visor had popped off. I replaced the helmet. It wasn't really until I was in the ambulance that the pain started coming through more, I told the paramedic about the light headedness I'd had and he explained that adrenaline can do that. When my blood pressure was checked I was told that it was good so they weren't very worried about possible internal bleeding.
The pain never got too bad and I didn't have any painkillers at all even though they were offered. My reasoning was that they were better left there for someone who really needed them and that wasn't me. I was sitting in a seat in the back when my mother and brother arrived, my mother poked her head in all wide and teary eyed and I waved and said, "How ya goin'?" She later told me she wanted to strangle me after that. Not literally of course! I wasn't taken to the closest hospital because apparently that one doesn't like trauma (they're not a hospital designed for that specific kind of thing) so I was taken to one a bit more than double the distance away which was fine with me; it still only took about 15-20 minutes to get there and it wasn't a life threatening emergency. Both the police and paramedics said that I'd been extremely lucky, and that doesn't surprise me. Normally head on collisions between bikes and cars don't end this well. This happened in a 60kmh zone (37 miles an hour) but since he was overtaking he likely would have been going faster, I'm not sure how fast either of us were going by the time of impact after hard braking but there was only a couple of seconds of that.
Once at the hospital a neck collar was put on me and man, those things are uncomfortable! It made me feel extra sorry for my friend who had to wear one for 6 weeks. It was precautionary because even though I hadn't had pain in my neck and could move it fine sometimes you can still have done damage without knowing it. My friend walked into the emergency department when she broke her neck, not having a clue she'd broken it! My crotch, hips, and knee were sore and the latter two felt very stiff after a while, especially since I wasn't supposed to move much. I was admitted to the hospital fairly quickly, and this was the first time I'd been in hospital for myself. The most uncomfortable thing besides the neck collar was having to use a bed pan but the nurses were really nice and one in particular had a great sense of humour. At one point when she came to check on me I asked her how she going and she said "Better than you, I'm up here and you're down there!" I replied, "Well, that happens to me anyway because I'm 5 foot one!" Eventually I scans and X-rays and was lucky enough to be put in a room with only one other person. I didn't sleep much in there, too much going on and being in a strange place makes it more difficult. I wasn't allowed to eat or drink in case I needed surgery but I did hear nurses talking to each other and one said that the chances of me needing that were nil. Even so, I had to wait for clearance from a particular doctor. My mother and brother stayed until the early hours of the morning but I was happy for them to go home, it wasn't serious and there wasn't any need for them sit around for hours. The next day I had visits from 4 of my biker friends which I really appreciated. Late in the afternoon I was told that I didn't have any organ damage and I didn't break any bones. I'm thinking being thrown clear of the car and landing on grass with an armoured hoodie helped there. The armour did a great job, I wasn't even winded after hitting the ground! A policeman had found my helmet camera and given it to my brother; he found it on the front of the car that hit me. It has one scratch on it and still works!
I was very happy to get the neck collar off, I hated that thing! They told me that if I could walk okay I could go home. They said I should be careful of light headedness. With my hips and crotch being as sore as they were, sitting up and moving to the edge of the bed to get up was much more difficult than usual and walking was very slow but I could do it well enough for the medical staff to be happy so I was allowed to leave. My stay there was only about 17-18 hours. Getting into and out of the car to go home wasn't great and when I got home I had to laugh as I remembered that my bedroom is upstairs! I still wanted to sleep up there though, getting into your own bed after a hospital bed is amazing. I sleep on my side and for a few weeks I had to position myself differently to be comfortable, or at least as comfortable as I could be in that situation. When I got home I was interested to check the camera footage and see if I caught the accident. I was worried because I thought maybe it hadn't recorded and looking at the thumbnails of the videos of the computer I didn't think it was there but it was.
Two days after the accident we went to see my bike. It was at a towing yard and had been put laying on its right side in the back of a wrecked ute. The damage I could see was as follows: the forks were twisted and the handlebars had been pushed forward and almost all the way around to the front of the forks, The sissy bar was bent, a chunk had been taken out of the right hand grip, the front fender was twisted, the casing on the top of the engine was snapped, the exhaust pipe was bent in near the engine, and worst of all, the frame was snapped almost the whole way through near the engine. I had a phone mount on there and I think I hit that and either a handlebar or mirror on my way over the front of the bike because I had an abrasion in the middle of my chest and a bruise on the right side of my chest. I also ended up with a bruise near my right knee where I think I hit the air filter. It turns out that my crotch soreness was due to me hitting my bike's fuel tank on impact. I'd left a decent dent in the tank from that. I still don't know how I didn't break my pelvis doing that! The bruising from that was insane!
The car that hit me was also at that tow yard and they moved it so I could see it properly. This was the first time I'd seen it properly since the accident. The front of it was caved in significantly and the letters and numbers on the license plate were indented into the bumper from the impact, as had the tyre tread from my bike. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, I'm not really sure what I expected the car to look like but it was a surprise. I actually laughed when I saw my bike's tyre imprint on it. Apparently the car belonged to the grandfather of the man who hit me. Oh dear! Although I had another bike at home, I was sad because this broken bike in front of me was my favourite. I'd only had it 19 months and had not long had the handlebars changed to make it more comfortable for me. The phone mount on the bars was still in tact so that took that off for me and I took it home. I posted the footage of my accident on a facebook page for my local area and it wasn't long before two local news stations were calling me wanting interviews which were done 3 days after the accident. They came separately to my house and filmed me with my other bike. That and the footage from the helmet camera were used in the news reports. The next day I went to see the bike again because it had been moved out of the ute for the news crew to film it. They had it sitting upright and I could see more of the damage, the fuel tank had some serious dents from hitting the road. My mother and I took pictures but after a while it got too much for her and she said "I've gotta get outta here."
Just 17 days after the crash I was riding my other bike; (1998 Virago 1100) it would have been sooner but I'd been waiting for a new battery since the other one had gone flat. I had a doctor's appointment and I really wanted to ride so I went helmet hunting, then put the new battery in the bike and got going. I was really happy to get back on and had been missing riding. I hadn't had nightmares about my accident but I'd had happy dreams about riding again before I got back on so I thought that was a good thing. Only my housemate was home when I went out for my first ride but he was upstairs playing computer games and I didn't want to make a big deal out of it anyway. I enjoyed the ride and was happy, I had a smile on my face as I rode up the street after leaving the house. My insurance company paid out and I went hunting for another bike. This time I wanted a V Star XVS 950a, it's better for long distance travel and carrying luggage. I found one interstate and drove my car up there with a friend. I took it for a test ride and had a mechanic look over it. I bought it and rode it home 1,022km (635 miles). It's beautiful but the downside is that it needs a new fuel pump which I didn't find out about until after the stock pipe was put back on; nobody had picked up on it since the previous exhaust covered the noise of the pump. The other bummer is that I recently pulled a decent size stone out of my drive belt. replacement belts aren't cheap either but I'll post a different thread about that. Besides this I'm loving the V Star and am enjoying riding. I'll include a link to a news report. Stay safe out there and have fun!