With 3 Dead, Does It Matter Whose Fault It Was?
The story and accompanying pictures have been making their way around social media for nearly 20 years.
"The Honda (motorcycle) rider was traveling at such a "very high speed," his reaction time was not sufficient enough to avoid this accident. Swedish Police estimate a speed of 155 mph before the bike hit the slow moving car side-on at an intersection. At that speed, they predicted that the rider's reaction time (once the vehicle came into view) wasn't sufficient enough for him to even apply the brakes. The car had two passengers and the bike rider was found INSIDE the car with them. The Volkswagen actually flipped over from the force of impact and landed 10 feet from where the collision took place. All three involved (two in car and rider) were killed instantly. This graphic demonstration was placed at the Stockholm Motorcycle Fair by the Swedish Police and Road Safety Department. The sign above the display also noted that the rider had only recently obtained his license.
And while the story, passed on from Facebook page to Facebook page, became somewhat legendary (a lot of the details have become incorrect or exaggerated), the actual story is very much true ... and the facts are scary.
At 155 mph, the motorcycle operator was traveling at 227 feet per second. With normal reaction time (to see, decide and react) of 1.6 seconds the above operator would have traveled over 363 feet (21 yards more than the length of a football field) while making a decision on what actions to take.
In this incident the Swedish police indicate that no actions were taken at all. There just wasn't enough time.
So whose fault was it?
The driver of the Volkswagen clearly pulled out in front of the motorcycle.
But the biker was traveling at such a high rate of speed, the Volkswagen driver may not have had any indication of how quickly the bike would arrive.
The only thing that really matters is that three people died in the tragedy.
The biker was going too fast. The VW driver was distracted ort just made a bad decision. The weather may have been inclement.
There are lessons to be learned, for sure. Distracted driving is just plain stupid (BTW, I see people on their phones while driving EVERY DAY on the streets of St. George).
Driving too fast is dumb. Anyone with common sense knows riding a motorcycle at least twice the posted speed limit is just a death wish.
Unfortunately, while this social media story continues to make the rounds, the fact remains that we still haven't learned a thing.