Let me start by saying that there are two types of accidents. The first is the self-inflicted type operator error i.e. speed, improper equipment, etc. etc. The second is when you get involved with another vehicle and you have no say in the outcome. Mine was the second and I am going to reflect my thoughts about it. Hopefully you bike owners will benefit from the information and apply it to your daily riding thoughts. The accident itself was a basic one, it happened at an intersection in a rural setting. I was traveling 45 mph headed west, it was a sunny day at 9:00 in the morning on a Friday. I had just left work early as I was about to start a one week motorcycle vacation with my dad and a friend, destination Minnesota top to bottom and ending up in Door county Wisconsin then back to home. This particular day I wore my least favorite jeans (as the good ones were packed and ready to go), T-shirt, boots and Joe Rocket jacket. No helmet was worn this sunny day as I was only 9 minutes from home. You don't need full riding apparel on short trips. Right???
I leave work heading home to tie some loose end up before leaving and I look down at my gauges and notice my low fuel light was on, remembering that I had already gone twenty miles with the light on. I pondered going the shortest route to the gas station but instead I wanted to take a more scenic route and if I did run out of gas I still had plenty of time to call my dad and get a rescue from him. Now I am chugging up a hill with not a car around riding on a bright beautiful sunshiny day knowing I have just embarked on my much anticipated motorcycle extravaganza week of open road travels.
One mile from work with eight miles to go, approaching the rural intersection I see a lowly 4 door car setting at the stop sign. I get within fifty feet of the intersection when the lowly car pulls out from the stop sign trying to cross the intersection that I am about to enter. At this point my mind goes into slow motion and my thoughts were "Iím going to hit this car". Now as I mentioned I'm traveling forty five mile an hour without
my beloved 600 dollar Shoei helmet so my second thought was to not hit the side of the car head long as human skulls make poor battering rams. I then lock up the rear brake and pitch the rear tire out to the side of me. I should mention a side note at this time because my third thought was how smooth the bike came around, no chattering, no loud tire squealing just a very controllable slide that was compared to water skiing on glass smooth lake.
That was the end of the pleasant thought as I careened into the side of what turned out to be a very solid German made car. The next thing I see is something like a video camera bouncing down a hill. I canít make out my body position but manage to see the cars roof then items that cannot be explained because time has gone from slow motion to real time. The next thing I know is that I have come to a stop with my head resting on the road. Almost immediately I have severe pain in my right leg that is so intense that I start begging for the pain to stop, feeling if it goes on much longer I'm probably going to pass out. Finally the knee goes somewhat numb. I then turn my attention to a person just out of my field of view who is crying and apologizing stating that "I never even saw you". I responded asking to dial 911 but the person is in a state of shock doing nothing. Now the person was standing just within my view I repeated two more times that you have
to dial 911. While waiting for the call to be placed I took the time say a short prayer thanking GOD for being spared of my life being taken away. Just at that time I felt a hand on my shoulder and a male voice that said "I'm a EMT and I just happened to be traveling by and I need for you not to move as I want to look you over". He looked me over and said ďI ride motorcycles myself and was in an accident just like yours and it looks like youíre going to be OK and that it could have been much worseĒ. From there I thanked him for his help and I then noticed some sharp shards in my mouth I spit them out thinking they were pieces of teeth. I then ran my tongue over my teeth inspecting them for sharp edges, relieved could find none and concluded I had a mouth with road rocks. I then look around as a crowd starts to form, I can now hear sirens in the background. Iím still laying on my side and can see blood dripping from my forehead. I now realize that my head is resting on bed of sharp road rocks and are now starting to hurt. Luckily for me a passerby grabs a small blanket and places it under my head. The blanket is a God send and is the first pleasant thing that happened and it feels so nice!
The police arrive as does the ambulance and I start getting a million questions asked. How fast were you traveling?, What year is it?, What have you had to eat this morning?, When were you born?, Have you been drinking?, Did you pass out?. After the questioning I got loaded into the ambulance and hauled off to the hospital where my wife and kids were waiting for me. After talking to my wife explaining that Iím going to be OK I asked the nurse for a dose of pain killer. After the dose of morphine things started to slow down and get much better. I then went in for MRI or a CAT scan and was told I had broken my nose in three places and split my knee cap in half horizontally, and also had big hole in my knee which I guess was from getting pinched between the car and air cleaner of the bike, and a hole in my upper forehead, but not thru the skull. When asked what to expect the Doctor said we will take you to surgery wire your kneecap and you will have a eight weeks to mend before you start your rehab.
So here I sit typing at home in my wheelchair going thru sleepless nights in my temporary bed in the front room of the house with much anxiety from the whole ordeal.
In conclusion looking back I sustained no injuries in the mid portion of my body due to the fact I had my Joe Rocket jacket on that has back, elbow and fore arm protection. My boots protected my feet from damage. So had I wore my helmet I think I would have come out so much better. I now have no confidence in the people I share the road with. Wear your safety equipment as it will save you much grief and possibly save your lifeÖ. Thanks for reading, I hope this helps someone and please, please ride safe.