As every motorcyclist knows, a motorcycle rider is at a higher risk of injuries in a crash compared to an occupant of vehicle who is protected in a passenger compartment. This increased risk however, does not change the duty that every user of California highways owes to every other driver, to operate their vehicle in a manner that does not endanger others. Specifically drivers should not operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
When these two circumstances converge, that is, when a vulnerable motorcycle rider encounters a driver under the influence of alcohol, the resulting motorcycle accidentis likely to cause serious injuries. This unfortunate confluence of factors appears to have occurred in an accident last Saturday south of San Francisco.
According to the California Highway Patrol, a motorcyclist was driving his Harley Davidson when the driver of an oncoming passenger car turned left directly into his path. The motorcycle rider is reported to have suffered severe head injuries. No update is yet available regarding the prognosis or current medical condition of the motorcycle rider.
The 73 year-old driver of the passenger was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence. The investigation presumably remains ongoing.
No matter how safely a motorcycle rider navigates California roads, like any other driver, he is at the mercy of other drivers on the road who may act negligently. This risk is, of course heightened when the other person driving while intoxicated.
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, "CHP: Motorcyclist suffers major injuries in DUI crash in Aptos," Cathy Kelly, May 13, 2012