A near collision between a van and a motorcycle on I-64 in Virginia Beach during morning rush hour of April 15, 2015, turned into a fatal crash for the motorcyclist. The deadly wreck occurred in the Twin Bridges section of the interstate.
According to police, the man behind the wheel of the van changed lanes suddenly while approaching a traffic backup. The motorcycle rider attempted to avoid hitting the larger vehicle but had to lay down his bike. After losing control, the biker got ejected from his seat and suffered fatal injuries when slamming into the pavement. Unspecified charges are pending against the van's driver.
An almost identical, equally tragic situation involving a van, a motorcycle and a negligent, unsafe lane change unfolded on I-95 through Richmond about a week earlier. Both accidents highlight the dangers bikers face from inattentive, distracted and impatient drivers, especially at highway speeds and in heavy traffic. No one on a crowded interstate may have enough time or space to react safely to an unexpected lane change, but motorcycle riders also have no protection from a car or truck's body against disabling and deadly injuries.
With spring already begun, and summer soon to arrive, drivers must increase their awareness of motorcycles. While checking one's blind spot and looking both ways more than once before merging and turning are always good practices, making extra efforts to do so when it is likely that motorcycle riders are nearby is essential to avoiding wrecks and saving lives.