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“I have been prosecuting serious injury and wrongful death cases against trucking companies, auto makers and tire manufacturers for more than 30 years. Our firm maintains this blog to share information and insight on transportation safety issues that continue to arise on our nation’s highways and roads.”

Michael Christenson dies in tragic accident on SH 24

HUNT COUNTY, Texas — Michael Christenson, a 64-year-old motorcyclist from Sachse, was killed Nov. 20 in a crash with a pickup truck on State Highway 24, northeast of Campbell.

Christenson was northbound on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle on SH 24 at about 2:05 p.m. when the crash occurred. He struck the passenger side of an eastbound Chevrolet Silverado on Farm-to-Market Road 499 that failed to yield to the right of way, according to a local news report.

Christenson tragically died at the scene of the accident.

The driver of the pick-up, who has not been identified by authorities, did not suffer injuries in the crash. He is a resident of Anna and was charged with failure to yield to the right of way, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

No additional information has been released on factors that may have contributed to the accident.

COMMENTARY ON THE MICHAEL CHRISTENSON ACCIDENT ON SH 24

To learn of yet another fatal motorcycle crash is deeply disheartening, in this instance, claiming the life of Mr. Michael Christenson. I extend my deepest sympathies to the victim’s family and loved ones during this trying time.

When operating a vehicle, a driver has a legal duty of care to other users of the road, regardless of whether they are traveling in passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, motorcycles or bicycles. In other words, a driver is legally responsible to take reasonable care to ensure the safety of other road users. When a driver carelessly fails in that effort, he or she is considered negligent and is financially liable for compensatory damages. Authorities have not released many details regarding the crash at this point. A thorough investigation must be conducted before any determination can be made as to whether the driver of the pickup was negligent in this terrible mishap.

Although motorcycling is indeed an enjoyable pastime, there is no doubt that motorcycles are a very dangerous mode of transportation. In my experience, one of the most common contributing factors in motorcycle accidents is merely the lack of other drivers' abilities to see the motorcycles.

Why are motorcycles difficult for motorists to see? For one reason, they are relatively small and very narrow in comparison to a motor vehicle, even when compared to a compact, which makes them hard to detect. They are virtually invisible when traveling into and through a vehicle’s “blind spot.” It’s hard to judge how fast they are traveling and how far away they are. They often blend in with their surroundings or with the pavement, especially when they are approaching, making it very difficult to distinguish from the road itself. Motorists are accustomed to watching for other vehicles, not cyclists; therefore, the mind does not always register the presence of the cyclist. Lastly, the headlights, taillights, and turn signals on motorcycles are very small and don’t stand out in daylight or at night. All of these factors make it tough for other drivers to see motorcycles.

Knowing that motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to injury, we, as responsible drivers, must be on heightened alert to ensure their safety when sharing the road.

Disclaimer: All information contained within this post was compiled from public sources or constitutes the opinion of the author. Please inform us immediately if you identify any false or misleading information.

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