San Pablo Police Officer William Zink Was Riding Own Motorcycle When Fatal Collision Occurred
Vallejo, CA (September 29, 2016) – A motorcyclist riding a 2001 Harley Davidson motorcycle was struck and killed by a Freightliner heavy truck on Interstate Highway 80 just before 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 29, 2016.
This week’s question comes from Valentino in Sausalito, who asks, “I recently read that Gov. Brown signed a bill legalizing the practice of lane-splitting for motorcyclists. Hasn’t this always been legal?”
Yes and no. Lane-splitting refers to the practice in which a motorcyclist passes other vehicles by riding between them along the lane line. Typically, this maneuver is undertaken so that motorcycles can overtake slow-moving or stopped vehicles, but the maneuver is also frequently performed when traffic is moving at higher rates of speed.
This week’s question comes from Rob in Foster City, who writes: “I was in SoMa last weekend, and got in a motorcycle crash. Coming home late at night on my motorcycle, when a van in the left lane beside me swerved into my lane nearly hitting me. I jammed on my brakes and hit the back of the van. The driver said he had no insurance. The van he was driving belonged to the company he worked for. I broke my wrist, and my bike is a wreck. What can I do?”
Motorcyclists often have a difficult time explaining why they ride to people who don’t ride.
“Driving in a car can be like watching the world go by on a TV screen,” Matt Gramly, one of the leading motorcycle accident attorneys in California, states. “The car itself is a barrier between you and the world outside, nothing touches you, and nothing invades your space. When you are on a bike you are alive, one with the road and world outside.”
Riding a motorcycle can be freeing; you feel the elements, have more freedom to maneuver and can go places larger vehicles can’t. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle doesn’t offer you the same protections as a larger vehicle. For instance, if you slide on the road, it’s more likely that you’ll be thrown from your vehicle than be able to recover and continue on your way.
Motorcyclists have never had it easy on the roads; drivers who don’t see them can hit them and cause serious or fatal injuries. The motorcycles themselves don’t offer protection against being hit, and the weight of a vehicle against a human body can be devastating. Even if the motorcyclist is thrown, hitting the ground at a high speed can result in broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and other injuries that need to be covered by the negligent driver’s insurance coverage.
There are many things drivers need to remember about motorcyclists and their vehicles. Those who aren’t careful around these motorists may cause accidents, and those negligent drivers can be held accountable by the victim and his or her attorney.
Drivers of passenger vehicles or commercial vehicles need to keep in mind that smaller vehicles like motorcycles can be hard to see on the roads. Motorcyclists don’t take up as much room on the road, and they can quickly fall into blind spots and areas where it’s hard to see that they’re nearby.
Using the right kind of tires on your motorcycle can help prevent accidents and damage to your vehicle. If the wrong tires are used, are over-inflated, or are not inflated enough, you could be at risk of injury. Worse yet, if they’re installed incorrectly, you could lose a tire and be thrown from your vehicle.
During the hot, sunny days of summer in San Francisco, you’ve probably enjoyed many days out on your motorcycle. Maybe you were cruising when you were struck by a dangerous driver, or you were hit while you were stopped at a light. Whatever happened, someone else’s negligence is to blame for your accident, and that means you have a right to make a claim for compensation.