It doesn't take a mathematician to calculate which object will sustain more damage when a large, heavy object collides with something smaller and lighter. No wonder vulnerable motorcyclists can be unnerved by just about every other vehicle on California roads.
The risks of being injured or killed in a motorcycle accident are widely publicized. Bikers are warned to ride defensively, wear protective gear and remain as visible as possible. Unfortunately, a motorcyclist can often do little to control the behavior of a negligent driver.
A former Los Angeles Lakers basketball player was involved in a motorcycle accident recently. Robert Horry, a well-known Laker until 2003, was driving along the Glenn Anderson Freeway near Inglewood when his Infiniti collided with a motorcycle.
The crash occurred in afternoon traffic while Horry was shifting lanes. The motorcycle had been approaching the car from behind along a double yellow line. The 44-year-old Long Beach motorcyclist was hospitalized with what the California Highway Patrol described as "moderate" injuries; Horry was unhurt. Police have filed no charges.
Officials who track accidents can only speculate on why motorcycle fatalities have increased nationwide despite an overall drop in other traffic deaths. The Governors Highway Safety Association reported that life-ending motorcycle crashes soared at least nine percent between 2011 and 2012. This finding was based on nine months of data from each year. When record keepers looked at 14 years' worth of data, they noticed a more than 50 percent spike in motorcycle deaths. Between 1997 and 2011, the annual motorcycle fatality rate jumped from about 2,100 to above 4,600. At the same time, the total of all accident fatalities fell 23 percent.
Drivers often complain that motorcycles are too hard to see. The complaint is legitimate, but it doesn't absolve other drivers of their own negligence. Motorcyclists have road rights, the same as cars and trucks. Victims of motorcycle collisions also have the right to file liability claims when accidents are caused by driver carelessness.
Source: CBS Los Angeles, "Former Laker Robert Horry Involved In Injury Collision With Motorcyclist" No author given, Jan. 15, 2014