We've had two motorcycle/car accidents in the last week here in town. I don't live in a particular large city so it's news here.
One was a Harley or a cruiser of some sort. From the very limited details on the news and by looking at the photos it appears as if the car turned left in front of the bike. It looked like front end damage on the car, guy wasn't wearing a helmet and died at the scene. The one two days ago a sport bike ran into the drivers side back tire area of the little Ford Escape. The bike was on a road with the right of way and it appears that the Escape pulled out in front of it. This rider was wearing a helmet and later died at the hospital. I don't and won't know anymore details than that as our local news stations don't follow up on stories at all.
I know all the lame excuses of "well I didn't see him" or the other clinical excuse of "drivers just aren't used to looking for bikes so" Personally it doesn't wash with me. Bike are on the road 8 months out of the year here and in fairly large numbers. They all run a headlight at the very least. We spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars installing additional safety features like horns, lights, reflective tape and flashing brake lights our bikes and nothing seems to help. When are people going to man up and simply admit to not paying attention to the task at hand... which is driving.
I wonder how driving would change if people's freedoms and livelihoods were at risk with an at fault accident on their hands. Currently the only issues the two above mentioned drivers have right now are replacing their car and getting dropped by their insurance carrier... if they even had insurance to start with.. meanwhile two other families are missing a loved one.
Kinda pisses me off to be honest.
Rather hard on the cage drivers aren't you when you don't really know all the details of each crash? Yes one of the most common excuses for a cage driver to say is that he/she didn't see the motorcycle they pulled out in front of, but in many instances that's true. Bikes have a small profile compared to almost anything else out on the road and it's real easy not to see them especially in busy areas. A motorcycle can literally disappear behind an A-pillar because the pillars are so wide today. And yes SOME bikers doll up their bikes to be seen more readily which is great, but it still doesn't completely protect them from harm. Now compound that problem if the bike is a small sport type bike with a lesser profile or if the rider is exceeding the speed limit. Ever have a bike approach you at a higher speed than you thought he was going, or a car for that matter?
Also compound the problem with all sorts of gadgets in cars AND on bikes today that somehow take all our attention away from our primary job of operating our motor vehicle. The screens get bigger every year on the in dash navigation units and the touch screens drag our eyes off the road and it's NOT just cage drivers at fault here, motorcyclists are just as negligent in many instances. And lets not forget drivers that text while operating their cars. In many instances its the high tech stuff some rave about that causes the most problems.
So what can help us survive out there on a motorcycle?? How about some good old fashioned common sense, use your God given gift of judgement, cover your controls when in traffic and mandatory helmet laws? It is completely insane that all states don't require helmets to be worn by motorcycle riders and passengers. A biker says a lot about themselves when they ride a bike without a helmet on. It tells me they don't give a dam* about their own safety nor do they give two shi** about their loved ones. All the crap about "I just wanna be free and be in the wind" anti-helmet stuff is BS.
And if you think the drivers of the cages in the two crashes you referred to are out of the woods because they survived you are sadly mistaken. They are in for a long legal and civil court procedure that will seem endless. If in fact they did wrong they will pay a big price that will have lasting effects on them and their families. If the drivers really didn't see the motorcyclist many times they end up committing suicide later on because they can't live with themselves and these suicides are never in the press because it isn't really news. Regardless what you may think, no one ever wins in these situations except people that have no conscious. It would be wise to wait until the crash investigation is complete to render judgement as to who is really at fault.