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Motorcycle in accident with bus on the 101 early Tuesday morning

Around 6:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, a motorcyclist was severely injured when his bike collided with a 36-passenger bus on U.S. Highway 101. The serious motorcycle accident took place before morning rush hour, but several lanes of southbound 101 had to be closed down for two hours. The crash occurred on the Southbound 101 just north of the Silver Avenue exit, according to a spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol.

The motorcyclist, who has not been identified by CHP officers, was taken to SF General Hospital with injuries that were likely life-threatening. The driver of the bus was not injured, and there were no passengers on the bus at the time of the crash.

News reports did not give any indication as to whether actions by either driver were the cause of the accident, and we will not speculate in a blog post. What causes most motorcycle accidents, however, is that drivers of other vehicles simply don’t notice the biker, which is the reason for those bumper stickers you’ve probably noticed that say “Start Seeing Motorcyclists.”

The bus driver in this particular case, although uninjured, did not give a statement to reporters. The size of commercial buses and trucks can make it harder to see motorcyclists, but commercial drivers are supposed to be trained on how to overcome the sight-line limitations.

Many drivers find it challenging even to notice the motorcycles that share our roadways every day. The smaller, fast-moving vehicles seem to come out of nowhere when drivers aren’t paying attention. As we know from the deadly impact of distracted driving, though, drivers simply must pay attention. Every driver has the responsibility to know what’s going on in the nearby traffic — including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists — and be ready should conditions suddenly change. Failure to do so is more than foolish — it can cause a catastrophic accident.

Source: KGO-TV San Francisco, “Motorcyclist hospitalized after SF Hwy 101 crash,” June 18, 2013

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