Tag Archive for accident

Photo Friday: Prom Accident

Mock Accident

If the photo shocked you, it was supposed to, just as it shocked the students in the background.

This is a mock accident staged as part of Operation P.R.O.M. (Please Return On Monday), a warning to students about drinking and driving on prom night. It was quite the production, including local police and emergency services, the Red Cross, a Lifeflight helicopter, our coroner and funeral home director, and a speaker who lost her son to a drug-related car crash.

I’ve seen a couple of these before, and it’s still tough to watch. I don’t work closely with the students in our district, but a few times I had to remind myself it was just a drill. Even stranger, half the emergency squad were students who graduated within the last couple of years. Watching them load their pretend-dead former classmate into a hearse was a bit surreal.

I think the students got the point. There were several kids in tears in the audience, and I didn’t see anyone joking or laughing. It rained for a few minutes, and I didn’t hear any complaints.

We held our prom four days later. All of our students were back in school on Monday. Did it change any of the students’ behavior that weekend? We may never know. I think it’s a good program, though, and if nothing else it’s a good lesson in what our police and emergency service crews have to deal with.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Motorcycle Rescue

It doesn’t get much more horrifying than that.

This video’s been making the rounds, usually taken from condensed, local news broadcasts and reporting, so I went straight for the raw video after I heard about it. It’s amazing seeing so many people pitching in to help out, and the guy is very fortunate to have survived.

Once again we have an instance where a driver did not see the motorcyclist and pulled out in front of him. Unfortunately, it looks like the motorcyclist made it worse by laying the bike down and sliding into the car.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation teaches laying a bike down is not an avoidance strategy. For starters, there’s more traction in rubber than in metal. This is why riders like to say “shiny side up”: rubber will stop the bike, chrome will not. Second, if the bike’s on its side and the rider is on the ground, both have just become another piece of debris skidding across the road. A rider may lose steering if he locks up the brakes, but there’s zero steering and little hope of stopping if he’s just skidding across asphalt.

Instead the MSF instructs riders to ride out the crash.┬áIf you’re going to hit, you’re better off taking off as much speed as possible before impact. Reduce speed, reduce injury.

I don’t know where this motorcyclist learned to ride and it’s pointless to second-guess what he saw and felt in the last seconds before the accident. Again, he’s very fortunate to have survived at all, especially given he wasn’t wearing leather or a helmet. My takeaways from the accident and the story are:

  1. Wear a goddamn helmet.
  2. If you’re going to ride, get a proper education from the MSF or similar source. Sure, Uncle Eddie may have decades of experience on his beefed-up Harley and he may be a great rider, but that doesn’t automatically make him a great teacher.
  3. Don’t lay the bike down. Better to end up on the hood than under it.

Now I’m reminded I didn’t make the time to take the MSF’s Experienced Rider Course this year. Time to put a reminder on my calendar for Spring.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

On Motorcycle “Accidents”

This is my bike. She’s in good shape.

Lenore is Dead Sexy

I intend to keep her that way.

Last night, a motorcycle accident went down right outside the restaurant where we were eating. We didn’t see it happen, but I could see the bike lying in the street and a couple of other customers ran outside to help and to call 911. I kept my kids in their seats because we didn’t know what was going on, other than someone said the rider is lying on top of the car he struck. A Peoria ambulance was on the scene in less than two minutes from the first call.

The assumption other patrons made was the car pulled out in front of the rider, and I heard at least one person say “So-and-so wants a motorcycle! This is exactly why he shouldn’t buy one!”

It’s easy to assume the car driver was at fault. The most common excuse is “I didn’t see him” when a bike strikes a car, and I even had a van turn across my lane just the other day. Most drivers aren’t looking for bikes, they’re looking for cars.

However, in looking closer, I got to thinking this wasn’t the full story. First, it was a big sport bike. I don’t always generalize about sport bike riders, but there’s a reason their insurance costs are much higher than those of cruiser riders. Second, there was no other traffic until the light changed a moment later, just the bike and the car. Third, there were no skid marks from a hard brake, and while many people heard the crunch of the impact, nobody heard screeching tires. Put it all together, and I guessed the guy was flying down the street so fast the person in the car didn’t see him, and he hit the car.

This morning, I found the article about the “accident.” The biker was speeding, ran a red light, and struck the car when it pulled out in front of him.

This isn’t an accident, this is a pinhead driving dangerously on a busy city street as the dinner rush is winding down. Sterling at this point is six lanes divided by a concrete median and is bordered by a huge mall, two large shopping centers, and several restaurants and businesses. You just can’t predict who is going to pull out of where.

Want to stay safe on a motorcycle? It’s pretty easy: don’t drive like an idiot.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.