So. as most of you already know, I received a phone call that a family member had been taken to the emergency room. Mr T and I had to unexpectedly make a trip to Southern California and travel through a pretty nasty storm to get there. We made it there in one piece and spent the next four days out there with my cousin. It was my cousin’s husband that had been taken to the hospital. This is not the cousin I have previously blogged about in Gene Pool, but a cousin I recently connected with after the death of my grandmother last year. We have stayed in contact since the funeral and have visited on a few occassion. The kids love her and her husband and we have had some great times. With the insanity of the family, she has taken a similar to road to what I have. Although she has been kept in the loop of it all throughout the years, she currently keeps to her self in an attempt to hang on to any piece of sanity that she may have left. Maybe that’s why we get along so well.
So what happened? A horrific motorcycle accident is what happened and the whole experience has made me question my thoughts on the motorcycle laws in this country. I decided to blog about it because I am hoping to get some feedback on the motorcycle laws in your area and your thoughts on them. Here’s the story…
He was traveling on a major freeway in the southern California area and was riding in between cars that were in the carpool (HOV) lane and the number 2 lane. In the state of California, a car traveling in the carpool lane may only exit that lane when the solid yellow lines are no longer solid. However, a large van decided to exit it’s carpool lane and clipped the front of his motorcycle. This sent him head first over the handlebars. His head made contact with the back window of the van and his body came to a rest on the freeway. Thankfully, there were numerous witnesses to his accident and an ambulance arrived rather quickly. My cousin arrived at the hospital and she was asked to wait while he was stabilized. She was only told that it was a horrific accident but that he was alive. She was handed a bad of his personal affects that they had taken from him. His clothes had been cut off of him and his helmet was given to her in a bucket. The nurse’s assistant handing her his things didn’t understand why his helmet was in a bucket and attempted to pick it up and hand it to her. As blood flowed from his helmet into the bucket, she quickly understood and put it back down.
He survived the terrible accident but has a long recovery ahead of him. He suffered a brain bleed that was minor, and although he has no recollection of driving on that freeway or any of the events of the accident, he has no permanent brain damage. He has broken ribs which punctured one of his lungs and required a chest tube to relieve a pneumothorax. He broke his arm, his wrist and had bruising that covered his entire torso, all the way down to his knees. His “man-hood” was swollen to the size of cantaloupes.
Considering the damage caused in the accident, he is doing quite well. He is expected to make a full recovery but will need some physical therapy.
In the state of California, it is perfectly legal for motorcycles to ride in between cars. Even though the accident was not his fault, this whole experience could have been avoided had he been riding in a lane behind a car. In the state of Nevada where I live, it is illegal for a motorcycle to ride in between cars. Although two motorcycles may share the same lane, they must not ride in between two cars. We constantly see motorcycles with California plates that are riding in between cars.
I grew up in Southern California and seeing motorcycles in between cars on a freeway, or even on the street, was a normal occurrence. I never thought twice about the safety of it all until now. So whose fault is it that horrible accidents like these continue to happen? Is it the fault of the state who makes the laws? Is it the owners of the motorcycles who are abiding by the laws but need to take extra precautions? Is is the owners of cars who don’t take the extra time to be aware of their surroundings?
What are the motorcycle laws regarding lanes in your area? What are your thoughts?