Last week, a pedestrian walking his bicycle was hit and killed by a driver in southwest Atlanta. The Atlanta police are searching for the suspect who may have owned the vehicle that killed the man … the vehicle was abandoned nearby. This situation may have been intentional, as the driver turned on the road and hit the cyclist while he was on the sidewalk. Or perhaps it was some sort of road rage. We do not know at this point, but what is true is that pedestrians and bicyclists are vulnerable to careless drivers not only in Atlanta, but all over the country.
Recently, the League of American Bicyclists studied how bicycle accidents and fatalities occur and how they are reported. Their study which was called “Every Bicyclist Counts” determined that by far the greatest danger to a bicyclist is a rear end collision. A stunning 40 percent of those bicyclists who lose their lives on their bikes in this way … the vehicle essentially overtakes the bicyclist. Additional factors that contributed to these bike crashes that were attributed to the driver involved were revealing as well. In over 40% of these fatal accidents, the driver was inattentive or careless. And other sobering statistics included that the drivers causing fatal injury to bicyclists were under the influence in about 12% of the accidents studied and had left the scene or hit and run in about 36% of the accidents.
The study also made it clear that it is important for governmental entities to ensure that roads are safe for those riding bicycles. It is also clear that the media and law enforcement need to do a better job in reporting facts after these accidents. Often critical data is not reported regarding these crashes and that makes it difficult for researchers to study why and how such fatalities occur.
Since so many bike crashes involve vehicles rear-ending bikes, distracted driving may well become a major factor in such accidents. As we see our roads becoming filled with distracted drivers, we know that there is a greater risk to those who are riding on two wheels. This too makes bicyclists more vulnerable to catastrophic injury and to fatal injury as well. If a driver is talking on the phone, reading a text or writing a text, they can veer out of their lane of travel or fail to apply the brakes when traffic is stopped or slowed and they become less aware of their surroundings which is one danger with distracted driving.
If you or a loved one has been injured while riding on a bicycle or motor cycle, often another driver or an unsafe road can be a factor. To find out why a crash occurred, injured victims need legal representation that will work to ensure that the facts are investigated and determined. Please contact Scholle Law to talk with a lawyer about your situation. We are experienced, highly rated legal professionals here to help those riders on two wheels who are most vulnerable to being struck by cars and trucks on our roads and highways.