Status: Undetermined (but probably true)
Alex Palmer forwarded me the following email which is circulating around, consisting of the following text and four pictures:
Subject: Picture is worth a thousand words.
The Honda rider was traveling at such a "very high speed", his reaction time was not sufficient enough to avoid this accident. Swedish Police estimate a speed of ~250 KM/h (155mph) before the bike hit the slow moving car side-on at an intersection. At that speed, they predicted that the rider's reaction time (once the vehicle came into view) wasn't sufficient enough for him to even apply the brakes. The car had two passengers and the bike rider was found INSIDE the car with them. The Volkswagen actually flipped over from the force of impact and landed 10 feet from where the collision took place.
All three involved (two in car and rider) were killed instantly. This graphic demonstration was placed at the Stockholm Motorcycle Fair by the Swedish Police and Road Safety Department. The sign above the display also noted that the rider had only recently obtained his license. At 250 KM (155 mph) the operator is traveling at 227 feet per second. With normal reaction time to SEE-DECIDE-REACT of 1.6 seconds the above operator would have traveled over 363 feet while making a decision on what actions to take. In this incident the Swedish police indicate that no actions were taken.
The images and text are posted on quite a few sites, including one that shows a picture of the actual accident scene
. I haven't been able to confirm any of the details, but this doesn't surprise me given that the incident apparently happened in Sweden, and I don't speak Swedish. (For instance, I don't pull up any references in Lexis-Nexis to a Stockholm Motorcycle Fair.) But it seems reasonable to me that if a motorcycle going 155mph hit a car side-on, it would definitely have enough force to flip the car (which is the detail that Alex Palmer was suspicious of). After all, that's a lot of energy, which has to go somewhere.