Driver responsible for killing at least four motorcyclists in Phoenix, Arizona, tells police he was distracted shuffling papers and didn’t see the eight motorcycles he plowed into.
This news story didn’t make the news in Los Angeles, where I live, I heard the story from my San Francisco and Bay Area BAM rep Shawn (Free Breakdown and Legal Assistance for Motorcycles) who told me about it when I was with him at The European Motorcycle & Scooter Show in San Jose, California, on Saturday. As soon as he told me about this horrific motorcycle accident we pulled up the news story on the computer. When I first read the story and the drivers reason for not seeing the eight motorcycles (distracted shuffling through papers), I was disgusted. It’s bad enough being slightly distracted and not seeing one motorcycle but he missed eight motorcycles stopped at a red light. But then I had to think of how often I get distracted and may have caused an accident but luck prevailed and no accident occurred. I am NOT defending this guy and his actions. But when you work for motorcycle accident lawyers you hear far to often the biker was hit by someone texting, talking on their cell phone, or in this case shuffling papers.
How many of us still text, check email and talk on the cell phone even though it is illegal in some states? Accidents such as these are the reason it is illegal and yet we still do it.
Some research suggests that the number one cause of motorcycle accidents is the failure of another vehicle to see the motorcycle in heavy traffic or at night. Then, from what I could find, the number two reason for motorcycle accidents is driver error as these are single vehicle accidents. This means the biker was speeding, misjudged a turn, hit bad road conditions etc. And number three seems to be alcohol related. Keep in mind I can NOT guarantee this order. But one thing for certain is, Cagers (four wheeled vehicles) not paying attention to the road is a major cause of motorcycle accidents.
While in Daytona, Florida, for Daytona Bike Week, Carmella from New York Rider Magazine (Syracuse, NY) pointed out a booth set up in the International Motorcycle Show that was educating motorcyclists on the dangers of drinking and driving. Yes, drinking and driving is a major problem facing all drivers but Carmella also pointed out that this booth was paid for with money from the ‘Stimulus Package’. Carmella’s point – If stimulus money was used to educate drivers why would they not take that money and energy and educate the public about being aware of motorcycles (pedestrians, bicycles, etc) which is the leading cause of motorcycle accidents?
It has been a long time since I went through any driver training and I started to wonder exactly how much educating about other vehicles on the road, distractions, the dangers of texting/emailing/talking, etc is being done. Well, it appears to be very little. It is mentioned…but only mentioned. How sad that the biggest cause of vehicle accidents is but mentioned in driver training.
I remember seeing a show a while back about a young boy who killed someone when he collided into them while he was texting and driving. This young boy has made it his crusade to teach others about the dangers of being distracted while driving. I believe they should show videos of “what can happen” to anyone trying to get a driver’s license and make educating about other vehicles on the road and the dangers of ‘being distracted’ a major part of the education and not just a mere mention. And while the powers-at-be see to that they should make the penalty for doing ANYTHING that takes the drivers focus off the road steep enough that hey, maybe people will stop putting on makeup, reading, texting, emailing, chatting on the cell improperly or sorting through papers. Am I guilty of any of the above mentioned? Absolutely. And I need to stop before my luck runs out.
The motorcyclists killed in this horrible accident are Dayle Veronica Downs-Totonchi, 47, Clyde R. Nachand, 67, Stephen Punch, 52 and Daniel L. Butler, 35. And Phoenix fire captain Ernie Lizarraga remains in critical condition. Cianna Harmon, the eldest daughter of Phoenix Fire Captain Ernie Lizarraga posted an update about her Father on the Cyclerides Facebook Cyclerides.com Facebook Our hearts go out to all the families involved in this tragedy.
If you have any questions regarding a motorcycle accident call 1-800-4-BIKERS (1-800-424-5377). Call a personal injury attorney that ride’s himself and motorcycle accident law is the specialty! Brown, Koro & Romag, LLP. Russ Brown Motorcycle Lawyers.