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Original post made
on Nov 27, 2012
This is so tragic but I drive 85/101 every day and encounter these motorcycles that weave in and out of lanes and pass cars on the dotted lines. I know about this so I triple check all my rearview mirrors before I change lanes. These bikes are fast and can accelerate into your blind spot in a flash. I suspect this terrible accident was caused by this dangerous riding behavior.
Anon, I get your point, but why do you start with the assumption that it is the motorcyclist's fault??!! We know NOTHING about what caused the accident! Motorcycles are much more vulnerable to damage (bike and rider, of course!) than cars, and yet cars move aggressively all around motorcyclists. Please don't blame someone before the facts are in!
According to the DMV, over two-thirds of motorcycle-car accidents are the fault of the car driver.
However, motorcycles are smaller and less visible, and have to maneuver around potholes and other small road obstructions that a car can easily, safely drive over. They can also accelerate and stop faster than a car.
Still, it is really foolish of any motorcycle rider to dart in and out of traffic, or ride between two cars. I see these things all the time and it is a major accident waiting to happen.
claim: "According to the DMV, over two-thirds of motorcycle-car accidents are the fault of the car driver."
6. In the multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.
7. The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle involved in collision with the motorcycle did not see the motorcycle before the collision, or did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision.
I was delayed from this accident last night and when I passed the accident I was shocked at the condition of the motorcycle. The others are correct about the weaving of the cyclists and they come up behind you out of the blue. I try to be observant of them but a few times I was amazed at how they appear from your blind spot and scare the heck out of you. While I am not blaming the cyclist, they appear to be an accident waiting to happen.
spotz: Thanks, but sorry, not valid.
Duc said "According to the DMV, over two-thirds of motorcycle-car accidents are the fault of the car driver."
You went to a for profit website, "Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Online is a resource for those seriously injured or killed in motorcycle accidents" that puts up a bunch of numbers without any clue where they came from.
Not only is it invalid due to the complete lack of documentation (I would accept it from the DMV site if even slightly documented) it addresses a complete subset of what Duc claimed.
It's just another spurious, unsubstantiated claim from you-know-who.
My husband rides his motorcycle to work every day. He doesn't take chances. And he has come home with SO many stories about motorists who either don't watch out for motorcycles or just do STUPID things that would get anyone killed. Share the road.
I used to ride daily for over 10 years back in the 80s. Yea, cars do not see motorcyles, then and now. However, a lot has changed since then. Now, drivers have a lot more distractions (cell phones, GPS, video, sat radio, etc) so a bad situation got worse. I stayed alive and accident free by trying to anticipate what the car driver sees or doesn't see, and what he or she is likely to do next. You have to try to get into their heads. It's a tough thing to do, and tougher now.
As a bike rider, you also have to increase your odds of survival. I've commutted to Palo Alto from South San Jose for over 20 years in a car and man, the stories I can tell. It seems like some of the bikers out there think they have unlimited lives!
Just about every day, I see lane splitting at a high rate of speed. If that is not dangerous enough, I see it in situations where the driver is likely to change lanes right in front of the bike. I mean, if there is an offramp coming up and an opening in the number two lane from the communter lane, there is a chance that the car in the commuter lane will exit. BIKES, DON'T PASS THERE!
The fact of the matter is, a fast moving lane splitter (yes, today's article states that this poor sole was lane splitting) is not easily seen by cars. We don't see you because you come up too fast. We don't hear you (the whole "pipes save lives" mantra is nonsense).
Lane splitting is legal in California. It is not legal, or safe, when traffic is moving at 60 mph!
Do yourself a favor, stay alive to ride another day. You have loved ones (friends, spouses, kids) that depend on you coming home every day. Think of the pain and aguish they will endure if you come home dead! Saving 10 or 15 minutes is just not worth it. This is not a video game, you only get one life.
Be safe out there and I will do my best as a car driver to not be the one to kill or mame you.
My source is the DMV itself, the DMV motorcycle handbook, and the DriversEd.com traffic school online course. You can google any of them, or go to the Redwood City DMV and pick up a motorcycle handbook.
Lansplitting is legal in California, for the purpose of improving visibility, but riding between two cars is not. A lot of riders think they can do unsafe things because they can fit in small places, and a lot of them ride in drivers' blindspots unwittingly.
I have been riding since 1977 and I do know a thing or two about it.
I knew this guy. He was Japanese, very cautious type of person. We don't know the details, but knowing him, I'm pretty confident that he was not driving recklessly.
If he was riding at night, as reported, visibility may have been an issue. That's why we say that loud pipes save lives. I am so sorry for your loss, danos, it sounds as if it were indeed the fault of a car driver.
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