A North Carolina motorcycle rider trying to wait out a Fourth of July rainstorm under an overpass on U.S. 321 in Gaston County suffered fatal injuries after getting struck by a hydroplaning car. The motorcyclist had been cruising north of the town of Dallas when the weather turned dangerous. He pulled onto the shoulder under Cloninger Bridge and was hit by the out-of-control car within moments of doing so.
According to the Gaston Gazette, the woman behind the wheel of the car has been charged with driving too fast for road conditions and causing a death with operating a motor vehicle. The newspaper cites police who found that the tires on the car had gone bald, making them unable to maintain adequate contact with the rain-covered roadway. Also, while no evidence showed that the woman was speeding in excess of the posted speed limit, investigators determined that she may have been able to avoid the deadly collision by slowing down.
This tragic loss of life highlights the importance of keeping one's vehicle in proper repair and under control. Had the car's owner replaced the tires once they became excessively worn, the wreck may not have occurred. Similarly, if the woman driving the car had lowered her speed to facilitate more traction and better braking, the motorcycle rider could have arrived home unharmed. Putting off maintenance due to concerns over costs and beliefs that other activities are more pressing can be easy. So can rushing to meet real and self-imposed schedules. Sadly, when everything other than safety becomes a priority, people get injured and killed.