Motorcycle riders know that their vehicles make them more vulnerable to serious injury in some types of accidents. For this reason many riders choose to drive more defensively and anticipate crashes that could cause them to be seriously injured. But there are some crashes that can be impossible to prepare for, and the injuries motorcyclists suffer tend to be more severe because they don't have the extra protection of a seat belt or a car frame.
The rider in a motorcycle accident that occurred on San Francisco's Bay Bridge last week may have been extremely lucky in this respect, even though he was injured. He was driving behind a semitrailer on the bridge early in the morning on Wednesday when some debris suddenly fell off the truck's underside. It turned out to be the truck's drive shaft, which is a very large, long, heavy piece of machinery. After it fell off the truck it lay directly in the motorcyclist's path. Whereas a car or truck might have been able to drive over it with little more than a jarring bump and some suspension damage, the motorcycle was no match for the large debris in the road. The motorcyclist crashed upon hitting the large chunk of metal.
Fortunately in this case, the motorcyclist suffered relatively minor injuries. But considering the traffic on the Bay Bridge and the size of the debris in the road, it's surprising that the incident didn't cause a chain-reaction crash or more serious damage to the motorcycle or its rider. Every year people are seriously injured or killed in accidents caused by debris that falls off of trucks or cars. And the victim need not be riding a motorcycle to suffer injuries.
The motorcyclist in this case -- as well as anyone hit by an object that comes loose from another vehicle -- may want to inquire about the possibility of seeking compensation for his medical bills. No matter what precautions drivers take to avoid this scenario, it's nearly impossible to steer clear of deadly road hazards when they happen so suddenly. And drivers who don't properly maintain their vehicles or secure their cargo loads may be held liable for creating these hazards.
Source: KTVU.com, "Injury motorcycle crash on the Bay Bridge slows traffic," Feb. 8, 2013
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