April 8, 2014

A pickup truck rear-ended a Thousand Palms man on Sunday, killing him.

The accident happened in Anza at the intersection of SR-371 and Homestead Road.

The man has been identified as 50-year-old Carlos Estrada by the Riverside Coroner’s Office. He was described as a “beloved security guard at Nellie Coffman Middle School in Cathedral City.

The incident is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol, who have not yet released additional information.

This accident comes a day after an LA police officer was left in critical condition following a rear-ending accident.

As mentioned in the report about the LA officer who was rear-ended, these types of incidents are all-too-common given their implications. It means that a driver must be moving forward, looking ahead, seeing a traffic light and yet still failing to see a motorcycle rider in front of them. Not to draw from the tragedy at hand, but consider what this means for these same drivers when a rider is beside or approaching them from the rear.

When I advise riders to pretend they’re invisible on the road, I wish I didn’t need to mean it so literally. The only defense we have against drivers like this is to watch our mirrors once at a stop for anyone who appears to be approaching too quickly. Unfortunately in southern California this can be difficult, as many drivers tend to brake very late, making false alarms common. Additionally, we have the option to split lanes at stop lights (even when we’re in the front of the line), but keep in mind that not all jurisdictions allow for lane-splitting on surface streets. If pulled over you can explain the reasons for it, but it’s up to the officer whether or not he’ll be understanding.

The San Bernardino motorcycle lawyers here at RiderzLaw offer our deepest condolences to the affected family and friends of Mr. Estrada, and beg you, our readers, to please look out for yourselves out on the roadways.