Driving is a necessary component of modern society, but it unfortunately carries many risks. Not a day goes by that a person is not injured or killed in preventable vehicle accidents. Incidents between cars are bad enough, but the statistics just get worse when speaking about motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle safety is every bit as important as vehicle safety, but often more difficult to enforce. Men and women who ride motorcycles must share the road with car, van, and truck drivers who don’t always see them or provide them with road sharing courtesies. On the other hand, motorcyclists have a responsibility to themselves to follow all traffic laws and ride with care.
A chilling tragedy took place in Tacoma, Washington in August when a motorcyclist lost his life after colliding with a box truck. What makes this accident even worse than many others like it is the fact that the motorcycle driver was pulled over for speeding just five minutes before his death. It was a Thursday afternoon when the motorcyclist was pulled over by a Washington State policeman for riding 81 mph in a 60 mph zone. The trooper thought he had a productive conversation with the motorcyclist by emphasizing the need for him to watch his speed and drive cautiously. However, less than five minutes later, the man was dead.
In the words of Washington State Patrol spokesman Todd Bartolac, “He already had a history of speeding. Even if he was doing the speed limit and hit the back of a 26,000-pound box truck, there’s no winning.” He continued, “It’s tough on the troopers because they look at it, and you just talked with this person five minutes ago, and now they’re dead. We’re not stopping people out of spite. We’re stopping people to change the driving behavior. We’re out there trying to save lives.”
This accident is a call to all drivers, of cars or motorcycles alike, to follow the rules of the road and remember that accidents can happen in a split second.