As we approach the holiday season, there is a greater likelihood that fun and holiday cheer will result in tragedy on the road. In modern life we have become somewhat used to the hectic nature of the season and the losses made more poignant by this season. And when loss occurs during this time of year, families suffer a greater sense of this loss because this is a time when families gather. Sadly, a Cobb County incident involving a DUI, resulted in the death of one person and injuries to the allegedly drunk driver and a bicyclist just before the holiday season in late October. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that charges have already been filed against the driver in this incident and an arrest is likely to follow.
The nature of the charges including the most serious first degree vehicular homicide which is found at Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-393 , derive from an incident that occurred earlier this fall. The reported facts are that the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and struck the bicyclist, then hit a tree. His passenger was killed also the man riding his bicycle on Riverside Parkway was seriously injured. Unfortunately the bicycle rider sustained injuries that involved the spinal cord and cervical spine, but were said to be survivable. The driver also sustained some level of injury.
Additional charges against this driver are reported to include possession of cocaine and related charges of DUI and misdemeanors, including failure to maintain lane of travel and speeding. He was allegedly traveling at twice the speed limit in the area which was set at 45 miles per hour, at the time of the crash. According to reports, he was traveling in excess of 85 miles per hour in the area. The bicyclist is actually lucky to have survived based on the speed at which the car was traveling
The support needed to ensure the safety and ease of travel for bicycles, is the subject of a film Ride Free made by a University of Georgia student. In this film, he and others involved with Bike Athens, advocate bicycle safety for both recreation and transportation. They discuss the need for infrastructures to enable cyclists to ride more safely on the road with other vehicles and the values that cyclists have in sustainability and the environment, avoiding the use of a car. The film makes it clear that riding is both a desired way to travel and a necessary way to travel for many.
Ride Free also shares the fact that dangers for cyclists are real and rider safety is important to communities. Many people want to use bicycles as transportation and the film and its advocates are quite knowledgeable about what riders face. Although there are efforts being made to create safe riding opportunities, developing a better infrastructure to allow bikes to share the road more safety with cars and other motor vehicles, is said in the film to be less costly than other infrastructure projects.
Riding a bicycle is fun and inexpensive, but cyclists know that cars can be quite dangerous to their traveling safety. If you or someone you know has been injured by a driver of a motor vehicle or an unsafe road condition, please contact me at my law offices for a free consultation about your legal rights.