The brunt of a crash between a truck and smaller motor vehicle almost invariably falls most heavily on the latter, with the odds of survival or escaping injury for the motorist much poorer than those for the trucker. However, a collision between a truck and a motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian is even more heavily stacked against the nontrucking party, with the chances for a fatal encounter for the latter greatly increased. And San Francisco motorcycle accident and trucking accident attorney Gregory J. Brod notes with sadness that a hit-and-run collision between a truck and motorcycle in Fremont on Wednesday left the motorcyclist dead and the truck driver nowhere to be found.
According to KTVU News, a 61-year-old man riding his motorcycle eastbound toward Warm Springs Boulevard on Mission Boulevard, which is a busy road that connects Interstates 880 and 680, was struck and killed by a semi-rig at about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday. Witnesses reported that the driver of the truck, which may have been towing two chrome-colored tanks, continued on without stopping after hitting the 2004 Kawasaki motorcycle.
The California Highway Patrol has identified the deceased motorcyclist but was not releasing his name until his family is notified. The CHP said that it is possible the trucker did not realize that he or she had struck the motorcycle, and that the collision occurred on a stretch of the road that is under construction, which elevated the hazardous conditions on the busy street.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s most recent statistics paint a grim picture for motorcyclists involved in crashes, including the following:
- In 2012, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, which represents a 7 percent increase from the 4,630 motorcyclists who were killed in 2011.
- In 2012, there were 93,000 motorcyclists who were injured, which is a 15 percent increase from the 81,000 who were injured in 2011.
- In 2012, motorcyclists accounted for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities and 18 percent of all occupant (driver and passenger) fatalities.
- While motorcycles represented only 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States in 2012 and accounted for only 0.07 percent of all vehicle miles traveled, on a per-vehicle-mile-traveled basis, they were 26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in traffic crashes and five times more likely to be injured
- On a per-registered-vehicle basis, the fatality rate for motorcyclists was six times the rate for passenger car occupants in 2012, while the injury rates for motorcyclists and passenger car occupants were about the same.
- In 2012, 2,624, or 52 percent, of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with another motor vehicle.
In addition, the NHTSA‘s most recent statistics on trucking crashes sketch an ominous picture for motor vehicles that are unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision with a truck, including the following:
- In 2012, 3,921 people died and another 104,000 were injured in crashes involving large trucks – those with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds – 333,000 of which were involved in traffic crashes that year.
- The 3,921 fatalities from crashes involving large trucks in 2012 represented a 4 percent increase from the 3,781 who died the year before.
- Of the trucking-linked fatalities in 2012, 73 percent were occupants of other vehicles, 10 percent were non-occupants, and only 18 percent were occupants of large trucks.
- In 2012, 104,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks, which represents an 18 percent increase from the 88,000 who were injured in 2011.
- Of the trucking-linked injuries in 2012, 73 percent were occupants of other vehicles, 3 percent were non-occupants, and only 24 percent were occupants of large trucks.
- In 2012, large trucks accounted for 4 percent of all registered vehicles, 9 percent of the total vehicle miles traveled, and 8 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes.