Monday, July 8, 2013

Accident Close to Home

Not mine, thankfully, but close enough to make anyone who rides daily on Anxiang Road think about twice about the danger.

This accident must have happened this morning sometime because the wrecked scooter wasn't at the corner when I passed this intersection at 8:30 on my way to the office. I came back in the early afternoon and immediately noticed the scooter and the paint on the asphalt.

When an accident occurs in Taiwan, the police generally mark the locations of the vehicles on the roadway with spray paint, showing the wheels, outline of the vehicle, and often the direction the vehicles were traveling.

In particularly tragic accidents, bloodstains mark the point where the scooter rider (or pedestrian) lay before being removed from the scene in an ambulance.

For this particular collision, I am glad to say there was no bloodstain on the road or on the scooter. The rider's helmet did have visible scratches on the right, above and behind the ear. That and the scratches on the handlebar make me think the scooter went down on its right.

The major damage to the scooter seemed to be the front end, since the nose cone had come off in the impact and the forks and steering column appeared to have been pushed in. The impact was definitely to the front of scooter, but whether it came from the right or left is not clear to me.

The cars's location is pretty clear from the paint on the street. It had been going uphill on Anxiang Road, in the appropriate lane. The scooter, however, seems to have been traveling downhill on Anxiang Road and attempting to turn left onto the expressway. It appears that the scooter went down on its left side as it hit the front right corner of the car. The damage to the right handlebar doesn't exactly mesh with this explanation, however.

Alternatively, the scooter may have been turning right onto Anxiang Road from the expressway and collided with the car that was already passing through the intersection, going uphill on Anxiang. The damage to the scooter seems to suggest that was the case.

The arrow on the ground is therefore ambiguous, since it could indicate the direction of the car or of the scooter. In the end, I am not sure what happened. Either way, this is a reminder of the need to ride safely in Taipei, and everywhere else. That's not style; it's just common sense.