On Saturday, a motorcycle broke down on Interstate 10 in Pomona, California. The motorcyclist was forced to get off his bike and stand in the middle of the freeway, where he was hit by a pickup truck and a sedan. The collisions caused two other car accidents.
This is likely a case of many factors converging together to create a deadly situation, including:
Malfunction - stalled vehicle: The first and most obvious factor was that something was wrong with the motorcycle which caused it to break down. Whether maintenance or an auto defect was at issue will be determined during the accident investigation.
Visibility - stalled vehicle: It is unclear whether the motorcycle had just stalled or had been stalled for some time. If a vehicle stalls in the middle of the roadway, individuals are usually encouraged to stay in their cars to avoid getting hit by other cars. Motorcyclists are at a disadvantage, however, since they are not much larger while on their vehicles than when off them.
Visibility - motorcycles: Which brings us to our third point: Car and truck drivers often fail to look twice for motorcyclists. Motorcycles are smaller vehicles that can become invisible to drivers that do not look over their shoulders. When a motorcycle is stalled, the danger is even greater, since a car or truck driver may not notice the motorcycle/motorcyclist in time to avoid a collision.
Multi-car collisions: On the highway, when one driver fails to stop in time for a stalled vehicle, it is only a matter of seconds before another driver does the same. Multi-vehicle collisions are all-too common, often the result of distracted driving or speeding.
Since many vehicles and factors were involved in this accident, it will take some time for investigators to determine what caused the accident and who should be held accountable for the motorcyclist's death and other injuries sustained. Depending on the results of the investigation, the family of the motorcyclist may need to bring multiple personal injury lawsuits to recover full compensation.
Learn more by visiting our page on motorcycle accidents.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Motorcyclist killed on freeway in Pomona identified," Jean Merl, June 9, 2013