Early Saturday, June 1st, a 44-year-old motorcyclist died on the H-1 freeway after crashing into another vehicle. Authorities said the accident occurred near Waipahu.

Motorcyclists Dies After Rear-Ending Car on H-1 FreewayA Honolulu Police Department report stated that around 1:55 am a 50-year-old male was traveling west on H-1 Freeway in his vehicle when he slowed down due to a previous accident that had occurred on the road. When he slowed down, he was rear-ended by a 44-year-old male motorcyclist traveling west at a “high rate of speed”. 

The 44-year-old man driving the motorcycle was ejected from his bike in the collision and died at the scene. Officials from Honolulu Emergency Medical Services said paramedics responded to the scene and assisted with the pronouncement of death. 

Honolulu Police stated there is an ongoing investigation, though it does appear that speed was a factor in the collision. They do not yet know if alcohol or drugs were factors. 

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,932 motorcyclists killed in traffic fatalities in 2021 in the US. The Hawaii State Department of Transportation (HDOT) data shows that in 2022 there were 33 fatal motorcycle, motor scooter, and moped accidents. Of those 33 fatalities:

  • 22 of the riders were not properly licensed to operate the vehicle
  • 18 tested positive for alcohol, drugs, or both in preliminary toxicology screens
  • 19 of the fatal accidents had speed as a contributing factor
  • 24 riders were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash

“Our hearts go out to the family of the motorcyclist involved in the fatal accident that occurred on Saturday morning,” says Paul Starita, Attorney at Singleton Schreiber, “as a personal injury lawyer, I’ve seen firsthand how a devastating accident like this one can affect all those involved. It is important that the victims involved and their families know that they may have legal recourse and could consider contacting a personal injury lawyer to learn more.”

Unfortunately, fatal motorcycle accidents are not uncommon on Hawaii roads. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Speeding: traveling at excessive speeds can reduce the motorcyclist’s ability to react to hazards and traffic flow changes, and increase the severity of collisions when they occur. Similarly, vehicles traveling at excessive speeds significantly decrease the driver’s ability to react, and increase the force of impact should they collide with a motorcyclist. 
  • Alcohol and Drug Use: being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause impaired judgment and delayed reaction times in both vehicle drivers and motorcyclists, and can contribute significantly to motorcycle accidents. 
  • Road Hazards: potholes, uneven pavement, debris, and other road hazards can cause motorcycles to lose control more easily than cars.
  • Distracted Driving: both motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers who are distracted by activities like texting, eating, or using other in-car technologies increase their risk of being involved in an accident
  • And more

Possible Course Of Legal Action For Those Involved

Those involved in accidents like the one that occurred on Saturday may be able to file claims such as:

  • Wrongful death claims: if the motorcyclist’s death was a result of another person’s negligence. For example, if the car that slowed down for the previous accident did not have functioning brake lights, or if government entities failed to adequately signal to slow down for the accident, or their delayed response to the initial accident played a role in the fatal crash. The family may be able to obtain compensation to cover funeral and burial costs, along with other damages. 
  • Personal injury claim: if the driver of the vehicle that stopped for the initial accident sustained injuries or damage due to the rear-end collision.

If you have been injured, or tragically lost a loved one, in a motorcycle or car accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Singleton Schreiber by calling (808) 582-8062 or by emailing us at info@singletonschreiber.com.