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2 motorcyclists killed in head-on collision in Fukui

17 Comments

Two motorcyclists were killed in a head-on collision in Katsuyama, Fukui Prefecture, on Sunday.

According to police, the accident occurred at around 10 a.m. along National Route 157 in rainy conditions, Fuji TV reported. Police said the collision occurred on a curve in the highway and said one of the motorbikes crossed the center line and hit the other one.

The two motorcyclists suffered severe head injuries and were taken to a hospital where they were pronounced dead. They were identified as Takashi Koshizawa, 75, from Nomi, Ishikawa Prefecture, and Masato Furuta, 51, from Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture.

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17 Comments
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I'm willing to bet that either of the motorcycles were going too fast and accidentally crossed the center line. RIP these guys.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I really feel sorry for the guy who did not cross the line.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

157is a Notoriously very narrow, underkept, and hard to drive road in even good weather in both Fukui and Gifu. In rain this road is far worse. I have used this road several times and for bikers you really have to be good at driving before you try this road. Rest in Peace to both bikers and their families

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They really should teach some physics at schools and again at driving schools, before handing out driver’s licenses. The braking distance calculation sometimes is taught , but also centrifugal force and traction considerations etc. should be compulsory.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Rest In Peace. A long way from home, both of them. Not the call the relatives wanted to get from Fukui police.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Sven Asai.......

'They really should teach some physics at schools and again at driving schools, before handing out driver’s licenses. The braking distance calculation sometimes is taught , but also centrifugal force and traction considerations etc. should be compulsory.'

I think you mean common sense.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Why no little wall to make it impossible for vehicules to cross simply center line when it is a highway so by definition fast driving. Some road management wrong there.

RIP to the two motorcyclists.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

They call it a highway, but a national route is usually just two lanes with no separation. Riding a motorcycle in rain is dangerous, both slippery, poor visibility, and those damn manholes that are somehow ubiquitous on Japanese roads.

Sven Asai, have you take the course and the exam for a motorcycle license in Japan? It is more difficult than most of the places I know of in Europe or USA.

Do you even ride a motorcycle, to lecture when two people who lost their lives, without actually knowing what happened?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm curious. The story says they both died of severe head injuries. I doubt helmets would have prevented them from dying, when driving fast, but the story is missing some details.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's really sad news. I went to motorcycle riding school in Japan and in the US. But, there are too many variables that I stopped riding in this country. The roads are really narrow, and people don't take enough care. I feel sorry for the guy who stayed in his lane. I have almost been hit by motorcyclists twice while driving my car, where they came around a corner, without enough care, driving into my lane. In both cases, they dropped their bikes and suffered low speed injuries. It's really easy to become lackadaisical about obeying traffic rules. We all do it. (So, when I say that people don't take enough care, that includes myself.) On a motorcycle, there is not much room at all for error, though. I hope everyone out there riding will take good care, and I pray for both of these guys and their families.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Precast concrete barriers, (aka Jersey barriers, similar to a Lin Tee), can be used between opposing lanes of traffic . . . . Also important to have places where drivers can take a rest stop during long stretches of road.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Quite rare for a head-on accident between two motorcycles. Unlucky indeed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Having driven 150,000+ miles (roughly 3700 hours) since 1968 has taught me a thing or two about riding a motorcycle. My only accident occurred years ago on a quiet, sunny Nagoya street while on my CB1000, driving below the speed limit, when a 90-year-old on a scooter stopped at an intersection suddenly pulled out in front of me at the last instant.

So who was at fault?

I was. I should have anticipated that the scooter would cut me off.

This lesson saved my bacon while stopped at an intersection on my Honda Goldwing on 8 October, when I anticipated that the car approaching the intersection from the left while driving into the setting sun might not see that the signal had turned red (thus, green for me). Sure enough, as I remained stopped in spite of the green light, the car charged through the intersection at the speed limit, oblivious to the red light.

Two guiding principles I live by, as reinforced from the Fukui accident: actively expect traffic to aim for me, and do not drive in the rain.

May other riders learn from this tragedy.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

SZPflyer, its about time Japan installed red light cameras, any one who jumps the red light will be caught and prosecuted.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Placing concrete barriers down the middle of a windy two lane road in the mountains will make it impossible for buses and large trucks, especially tractor trailers, to negotiate the road. Watch how far the rear wheels of a normal transit bus, something most of us encounter on a daily basis, off tracks to the inside of a curve. Same for long trucks and tractor trailer rigs. Buses and trucks need more room that cars to negotiate tight mountain curves. Putting up a concrete barrier will make the road impassable for these vehicles.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One wonders if a car or truck that passed through the road section in question earlier left some oil or coolant on the pavement. With good tires and a little care riding in the rain on a motorcycle isn't hard to do. Uncomfortable perhaps if you don't have the right gear, but not unsafe for the most part. I've lived in places like Oregon where if you were afraid to ride in the rain you might as well not own a motorcycle. But put something oily on the pavement and even the best rider might not be able to recover from the resulting slide. There isn't enough information in the article to make a judgement but the ages of the riders involved to me suggests neither of them was playing grand-prix road racer out there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Quite rare for a head-on accident between two motorcycles. Unlucky indeed.

It happens more than many imagine. I've seen many such collisions in my decades of motorcycle riding. Many years ago (late 1980s) a room mate of mine encountered a similar situation on dry pavement. A bike coming up a mountain road too fast lost traction on the front tire and slid into his lane. The bike was fully on its side and my room mate had no where to go to avoid hitting it. He stood up on the pegs and rode over the sliding bike! Amazing. No damage to his bike and since this was before the advent of cell phones he continued down the hill to the first pay phone to report the crash.

I once avoided a head on collision where two semis were approaching me in the oncoming lane on a bridge on a two lane road. As the distance closed a pick up truck behind the two semis decided it was time to pass. By now we were all on the bridge which had no shoulders. What to do? I put the bike right on the center line of the road and had semis passing inches from my left shoulder while the pickup in my lane passed me inches from my right shoulder. Everyone was doing about 60 mph (100 kph) so the closing speed was 120 mph (200 kph). The pick up was probably going closer to 80 mph (130 kph). There was a long line of traffic behind me and I never looked back to see if the truck hit any of the cars on the bridge behind me. I was alive and when I came to the next stop sign my knees gave out and I almost fell over. If I had been driving a car that morning I would have probably died so that time riding a bike saved my life.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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