So many things can go wrong when traveling down the highway in a motor vehicle that it sometimes amazes us more people are not involved in passenger car and commercial trucking accidents more often in this country. Actually, to say this does not acknowledge that there have been huge strides in automotive safety over the past several decades, to the extent that we forget how hazardous it used to be for our parents and grandparents when they were in their youth.
We say that things can go wrong when driving a car or truck on the road these days, but these are relatively stable vehicles when compared to motorcycles. And although bikes have gained in the area of safety due to the improvements in braking technology and other traffic safety enhancements, the fact still remains that motorcycles are about as raw a driving experience as one can get nowadays, having changed very little from even fifty years ago. As Baltimore personal injury attorneys, we also know that riders simply don’t enjoy the cocooning quality of today’s sedans, SUVs and even light trucks.
So when something does go wrong on the road, with either the vehicle itself or the outside conditions affecting that car or truck, the driver and passengers have a large amount of designed-in safety features that hopefully will protect them, or at the very least, reduce the extent of their injuries should a collision occur. Not so with motorcycles and their riders and passengers.
If a heaved chunk of pavement conspires to blow out a bike’s tire at 50mph or more, the odds of a serious crash are quite high for the motorcyclist and his mount. As we have said, in a car this kind of unexpected event might likely prove to be, at worst, a tremendous inconvenience; however, the chances of being killed or permanently disabled would hardly cross the mind of a passenger car driver. The biker, on the other hand, may see his entire life flash before his eyes.
It is because injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are often severe that riding a bike is an exercise in risk management. The mere size and lack of protection offered by these relatively Spartan motor vehicles present unique dangers that only a motorcyclist can truly appreciate, or fear. As one of the least crashworthy machines on the roadway, bikes present their riders with a unique problem: How to survive a potential crash while trying to enjoy the wind-in-your-hair experience unequaled in any automobile, even a convertible.
Aside from the “normally expected” broken bones, compound fractures and severe skin abrasions, most commonly referred to as road rash, riders can suffer from potentially debilitating spinal cord injuries as well as life-threatening closed-head trauma. These are all risks faced by riders everywhere who take to our highways and byways nearly every day of the year. And every once in a while one of these individuals does die from injuries sustained in a crash.
That’s the way it appeared in a crash that happened last year to a 41-year-old Rockville man who was traveling along a stretch of the Great Seneca Highway. The fatal accident happened on a Sunday evening last August as the rider was heading northbound on the highway not far from High Gables Dr. At some point, and for reasons not immediately known by police accident reconstruction experts, the man’s late model Ducati ended up hitting a curb on the right-hand side of the road a little before 9pm. This impact, which would have likely caused a minor traffic accident had it happened to a full-size automobile, caused the rider to be thrown from the bike directly into a nearby utility pole off to one side of the roadway.
Emergency responders arriving at the scene of the motorcycle wreck found the rider on the ground and took him to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, MD. Unfortunately, doctors apparently could do nothing for the victim and he passed away not long after being admitted to the emergency room.
Rockville Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash in Gaithersburg, Patch.com, August 14, 2012
Saharath Rochanavichit Of Rockville, Md. Dies In Motorcycle Accident; WUSA9.com, August 13, 2012