A Napa off-duty California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer has been identified as the victim of a fatal Fairfield head-on collision between a Toyota pick-up truck and a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle.
According to reports, the CHP officer was driving his motorcycle westbound on Highway 12 near Red Top Road. He worked at the CHP truck scales on Interstate 80. The pick-up was driven by an Esparto man, travelling eastbound from Napa into Fairfield. While the investigation into the motorcycle accident continues, the Mercury News reports that the truck driver was attempting to turn into a residence and had cleared the first lane and was partially across the second lane. Unfortunately he was not able to safely cross both lanes and the CHP’s motorcycle clipped the back of the pickup. The Napa man was thrown from the motorcycle and died from his injuries. A more thorough investigation is ongoing, including whether alcohol or drugs were a factor.
If you have or a loved one has been in any type of motor vehicle accident, seek the advice of an experienced Sacramento motorcycle accident lawyer right away. Many times, it may be possible to recover compensation for your injuries. In the event of a wrongful death, the surviving family members may be entitled to medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
This accident serves as a tragic reminder about motorcycle safety and precautions all drivers and riders should keep in mind. According to statistics, more than 100,000 motorcycle accidents occur each year. Further, more than two-thirds of deaths from motorcycle accidents involve motorcycle collisions with another car on the road – often because the car doesn’t see the motorcycle at all or is unable to avoid the crash once they do see the motorcyclist.
In order to increase safety on the road and decrease the incidence of motorcycle accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has created rider safety initiatives including:
- Always wear a helmet. Although California has mandatory helmet laws, many motorcyclists continue to ride without this top safety consideration. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), for 2008 (the latest years’ statistics available), more than 1800 lives were saved as the result of wearing a helmet.
- Share the road with motorcycles. Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway. Drivers should be extra alert to keep motorcyclists safe. Motorcyclists should wear protective clothing and make themselves visible to other motorists.
- Both car drivers and motorcyclists should avoid “distracted driving.” This means avoid using your cellphone!
- Avoid drinking and driving. Just as in drunk driving car accidents, alcohol plays a large role in motorcycle fatalities. Alcohol affects those skills essential to riding a motorcycle – balance and coordination – which contributes to statistics showing that the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on our roads.
While the motorcycle accident in this situation remains under investigation, it serves as a reminder to all drivers to share the road and be safe this holiday season.
For more information or if you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident contact an experienced Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney and personal injury attorney at Sette Law Office for an immediate appointment.