April 30, 2015, this morning, exclusive from Montreal Personal Safety Examiner – at the scene of tragic car versus motorcycle accident with parts and pieces strewn across a busy intersection at 32nd Ave. and Saint Antoine in Lachine. The side of the small silver car was caved in and the front end of the motorcycle was twisted and demolished.
Montreal Police on the scene, holding back traffic and pedestrians said all persons involved in the collision were rushed by ambulance to hospital emergency. One person was on his cell phone to the hospital but no news if there were any fatalities. Police and tow trucks were also standing by waiting for news. If the crash involved a death, the tow trucks could not clear away the wreckage until the scene was examined further by a coroner. Pedestrians were awestruck by how much damage was caused to the motorcycle, one saying: “Who cares if the buses can’t get through here, somebody could be dead.”
One witness said it was a horrific, loud crash with the motorcycle rider rolling across the pavement ‘head over heels’ until he stopped – with no movement seen. The large intersection was taped off by police with no pedestrians, cars, or buses allowed through. Dozens of elderly people at the corner bus stop began walking home after waiting for more than 45 minutes in the humid heat.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 21, 2014, that “Boomer Deaths in Motorcycle Crashes Rise” – with less than 3,000 deaths in 2011 and over 5,000 in 2013. “While older riders may be less reckless in their habits, they also are more vulnerable, said James Hedlund, a traffic-safety consultant in Ithaca, N.Y.
Their reflexes and their vision aren’t as good as they were,” he said, and their bodies are more fragile: “The same impact will cause more damage to a 55-year-old than a 25-year-old.”
CBC New, March 23, 2015: “Ontario Provincial Police released a report shedding light on the victims and factors involved in more than 3,500 deaths on provincially patrolled roads between 2005 and 2014. A total of 279 motorcyclists died during the 10 years, with 190 of them reported as not driving properly at the time.”
As the weather warms in Montreal, drivers can be seen rushing around much more than with driving on snow-covered roads, and noticing drivers of cars talking and texting while driving is common. “In an AT&T-sponsored survey, two-thirds said they have read text messages while stopped at a red light or stop sign, while more than a quarter said they have sent texts while driving. More than a quarter of those who texted while driving believed they “can easily do several things at once, even while driving.”
At press time, the cause of the accident is unknown and the Examiner is not suggesting that talking on a cell phone or texting while driving was the case with this accident, only that this is a common cause of distraction that does increase crashes and fatalities.