February 27, 2012--San Mateo County, CA--Traffic was delayed for an hour on California Highway 84 in San Mateo County when a motorcycle rider hit an oncoming car after losing control of his bike. The car accident in San Mateo took place west of Portola Valley on February 25 at around 1:30.
The unidentified motorcycle operator was a 20-year-old man from Stockton who was traveling westbound on Highway 84. He apparently tried to negotiate a left turn and lost control of the bike. The California Highway Patrol states that the motorcycle crossed the dividing line and traveled into the eastbound lane, where the rider struck a 2007 Lexus head on. The driver of the car, an unnamed 67-year-old man from Menlo Park, was not injured. The motorcycle operator suffered severe injuries and was taken to a local hospital. However, the CHP stated that his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
I want to extend my sincere wishes for a speedy recovery to the motorcycle operator.
Due to the rising number of motorcycle accidents, the federal government has finally issued an order for a new report to be done on motorcycle accident statistics. The Hurt Report in 1981 was the last full-scale investigation of motorcycle accidents, and the new report, conducted by the Oklahoma Transportation Center through Oklahoma State University, is expected to take until 2013 to complete.
Current statistics show that motorcycle fatalities decreased from 5,312 in 2008 to 4,462 in 2009. However, the death rate has risen every year up until 2009 since the Hurt Report released its findings. It is clear that motorcycle fatalities are a problem that will not simply "go away."
What Happened In This Accident
According to the California Highway Patrol’s report, the motorcycle operator lost control of his vehicle when trying to negotiate a steep turn. It is possible that some obstruction in the road contributed to the accident, although this is not recorded in the police report. It is also possible that the motorcycle rider was traveling at too high a rate of speed for the conditions.
If the accident was indeed the motorcyclist’s fault, he will be liable for the damages to the other person’s car. However, if some road obstruction caused the accident, it is possible the motorcycle rider may be able to pursue a case against the State Highway Commission that is charged with keeping the road safe for drivers. The question of signage may also enter into this case, as there is no indication if there were warning signs about the dangerous curve.