Two accidents in early October underscore the need for driver safety in motorcycles and automobiles. In the first, Matthew Dominic Munoz, a 25-year-old man from Fort Stockton, was killed when his motorcycle crashed into the rear-end of a John Deere backhoe loader.
According to a Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman, Munoz hit the backhoe while traveling on 42nd Lane “at a high rate of speed,” as reported by Odessa American news. He was taken to Pecos County Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The national trend in motorcycle accidents clearly shows that any accident involving a motorcycle is likely to cause serious injuries or death. Motorcycle drivers are relatively unprotected, either by the sides of the vehicles or by protective devices such as airbags.
In a separate incident, a resident of Carlsbad died after his car veered over the center divided and hit a car going the opposite direction. The driver, Jack Michael Riley, 40, was taken to Stanton Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the other vehicle, Agustin R. Velazquez, of Midland, was taken to Midland Memorial Hospital and later released. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Riley was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Velazquez was using a seat belt.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), use of seat belts reduce traffic injuries and fatalities by roughly 50%.