Posted on Aug 01, 2011
If you’re a motorcyclist, news of the following accident may interest you. It’s not atypical of many freeway accidents involving a bike and another vehicle. Take a look at the linked video. As you can see, the biker committed no driving error. It was simply his misfortune to be between two more powerful vehicles that did make mistakes.
Zacharie Perez was fortunate. He survived. A U.S. Army veteran, he was properly adjusting his speeds for other traffic. The car following him did not, and rear-ended him at speed. This threw him into the car in front, which promptly ran over him. Mr. Perez lived to tell the tale as a warning to other cyclists. Most are not nearly so fortunate. In fact, government accident statistics show that bikers are 37 times more likely to experience fatal accidents than occupants of enclosed vehicles. Our hearts go out to Mr. Perez. He stands out as an example of the forthrightness and resilience of American veterans and the new wave of modern bikers.
The disparity behind bike and car fatalities derives in part from the inherent lack of crashworthiness of a bike. It’s open, and provides no walls between you and the road, or other vehicles. You probably considered that risk when you bought your motorcycle. Let’s face it: what can compare to the beauty and freedom of riding a bike on a beautiful day on the open road? But look at the disparity between the treatment of car drivers and bike riders. The driver who hit Mr. Perez, a U.S. veteran, was driving without a license. Yet he wasn’t arrested. If the situation had been reversed, and Mr. Perez had hit the car, what do you believe would have happened?