Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

Two serious accidents in the Carolinas have safety advocates calling for tougher penalties for motorists who injure or kill cyclists. Meanwhile, tourism officials are searching for ways they can invest in bike safety to boost biking numbers in both states.bicycle

A South Carolina woman has been charged with DUI following a fatal bicycle accident in North Augusta, little less than 2 hours Southeast of Anderson. Authorities say the suspect struck and killed a bicyclist in Aiken County while driving a late-90s model Chevrolet Luna around 8:30 on a Saturday night. The cyclist was a 60-year-old man.

And then in Johnston County, North Carolina, four bicyclists were struck and two suffered critical injuries after they were struck by a vehicle on a recent Saturday afternoon. The crash occurred shortly before 3 p.m. on Massengill Pond Road. The 50-year-old driver reportedly approached the cyclists from the rear while traveling the same direction and struck all four of them. Each of the cyclists was ejected. The cyclists range in age from 34 to 60. Continue reading

While we hear about bicycle riders being hit by cars all the time, these often serious or fatal accidents normally occur on an open public roadway, especially in a city. However, according to a recent report from WYFF News 4, a cyclist was injured in the sanctioned race known as the Assault on Mt. Mitchell.

cycling-2005-in-nuernberg-3-372280-m.jpgThis event is an annual bike endurance race that occurs in North Carolina and South Carolina, and was first held in the 1970s. The bicycle endurance event starts in Spartanburg, South Carolina and the finish line is at Mount Mitchell State Park, which is located in Yancey County, North Carolina. It takes the average rider around 12 hours to complete the race, but the top riders can finish in less than half that time.

Authorities say this rider had left Spartanburg to start the roughly 110-mile endurance race and later hit a reflector mounted in the road surface and lost control of his bicycle. He then is believed to have crashed into a truck with an attached trailer. The accident occurred shortly after 7 a.m., and emergency personal were immediately called to the scene. First responders provided immediate medical assistance to injured race participant and transported him to a local hospital in the Spartanburg area. This accident occurred in North Carolina but not far from the race start in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It should be noted authorities have not filed any charges against the operator of the truck in connection with this accident.
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South Carolina bicycle law mirrors many states with regard to bicyclists’ rights and responsibilities as shared users of the road.
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Firstly, Section 56-5-3420 states cyclists must be granted all rights and are subject to all duties applicable to a driver, except where the law expressly states otherwise. Further, Section 56-5-3430(A) states that “as practical,” cyclists shall ride as near to the right side of the road as possible.

It’s that “as practical” section that many cyclists base their decision to ride in the middle of the lane. The reason is because when traffic is allowed to pass a cyclist who is to the right of the road, there is greater potential for injury to the cyclist. This is why absent a bicycle lane, many cyclists opt to ride in the middle of the road, with motor vehicles having the option to pass either using the left lane or crossing the center line when there is no oncoming traffic.
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An Elon University freshman riding her bike to class, turned to enter a crosswalk on campus and WHAM! – she was struck and knocked off her bike by an oncoming car the victim said didn’t even slow down.

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“I thought he was stopping and I went ahead into the crosswalk, and he kept going and he just hit me,” the student told Elon Local News. She ended up with a gash above her right eyebrow, a mid-range concussion and lifelong concerns about riding her bike in a crosswalk, no matter how clearly marked. “Don’t assume that people see you,” she was quoted as saying. “Always be careful. You’ll be glad that you stopped.”

The driver of the car was cited with entering a crosswalk or hitting a pedestrian at the crosswalk.

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So often when we discuss bicycle accidents, we’re talking about incidents in bicyclist was hit by a motor vehicle.
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However, there are instances in which dangerous road design or other hazards may have played a part in the crash. In these cases, it may be appropriate to seek action against those entities responsible for maintaining the property where the crash occurred.

This was the case in Camicia v. Howard S. Wright Constr. Co., a matter that was recently litigated before the Washington state Supreme Court. Here, the question of liability rests largely on how the land on which the crash occurred was formally classified.
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Technological advances involving lasers have been applied to everything from eye surgery to military strikes to accurate lunar measurements.
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The latest invention is a bit closer to the ground, and safety advocates are hoping it could serve to significantly reduce bicycle crash injuries in Greensboro and beyond.

It’s called “Blaze,” and it was invented by a British physics graduate student who recognized that the greatest problems for bicyclists include being sideswiped by vehicles or being struck because they were in a blind spot where a vehicle turned into a cyclist’s path.
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For decades, bike culture has dominated Europe, creating public incentive for bike lanes and other initiatives to promote cycling. The Tour de France and other international events shed light on the public benefits of biking. Throughout the U.S., cities are investing in shared bike programs and many have urban planners who accommodate cyclists. This means changes in law, creation of bike lanes, and other incentive programs that favor bike culture.

Biking has a significant number of public health benefits. In addition to being a healthy alternative to commutes sitting in a vehicle, cyclists are reducing traffic and cutting down on air pollution. Despite the positive benefits of cycling, many motorists find cyclists reckless, menacing, and have difficulty sharing the road. This summer, both cyclists and motorists have to be aware and follow the law to prevent accidents and injuries. Our Carolina injury attorneys are dedicated to promoting road safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

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Many drivers see cyclists as a threat to road safety. Where drivers are forced to follow the law, some cyclists believe they are above it–running stop lights, red lights, speeding, or cutting through traffic. In some accidents, reckless cyclists have caused death to other pedestrians and cyclists sharing the road.

Nationwide, cities are changing infrastructure to accommodate an increasing number of cyclists. For many, this is a positive change, shifting the way that commuters get to work, students get to school, and how Carolina residents spend their weekends. You should not be surprised to see an increasing number of bike shops and other commercial endeavors tailored to meet the needs of a growing population of bike enthusiasts. Both public and private entities are working to promote bike use as well as keep drivers and cyclists mindful of road safety.

Even with public awareness initiatives and campaigns, many motorists can become frustrated or outraged by the behavior of some cyclists. There are even a growing number of opposition groups that see cyclists as rude and ignorant of local road laws. This can create additional danger for motorists as well as other cyclists and pedestrians. Bike rides “en masse” can cause severe traffic congestion and prevent motorists from using the roads.

Some bike culture advocates claim that the world is trending towards cycling and that motorists need to adjust and get used to it. A shift towards bike culture means that motorists will have to slow down, reduce distracted driving, yield to cyclists and take additional precautions when on the road. It also may mean increased traffic for motorists as cities designate “bike only” lanes on many already congested streets.

Cities have already spent millions creating shared bike programs, adjusting roadways, installing bike racks, and creating public awareness campaigns to promote shared roads. The deaths of cyclists nationwide have prompted lawmakers to ensure that motorists remain aware that they are a serious threat to bikers. Tension on both sides–cyclists and opposing motorists–means that drivers and bikers should remain attentive, mindful, and follow the law to avoid accidents.

If the United States is becoming more heavily dependent on cycling for transportation, bikers and motorists must be wary of changes in infrastructure and law to stay safe. Motorists should consider that bikers are here to stay, and cyclists should be respectful to establish a mutual trust with motorists when sharing the road.
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May is nationally recognized as Bike Month. North Carolina is getting in on the action, too. This year, Bike to Work Week will be held from May 16th to May 20th.

Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 20. In celebration, many communities across the state are going to be organizing bike rides, cycling socials and safety sessions. You can check out what’s going on in your area by stopping by the North Carolina Active Transportation Alliance‘s website.
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Whether you bike to work or school, to save money or time, to preserve your health or the environment, to explore your community or get to your destination, our Charlotte bicycle accident lawyers are asking you to get involved in Bike Month in your city — and help get more people in your community out riding too!

But before you start riding, there are a few things we want to go over with you, as cycling on our Carolina roadways is no walk in the park. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to recognize two-wheeled travelers — even though we have just as much right to the roadway as they do. It’s time to step up, speak up and make our presence known this summer.

According to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 700 bicyclists killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2011. What’s even worse is that there were another 50,000 who were seriously injured.

And the problem does appear to be getting any better. Last year, we saw a near 10 percent increase in the number of bicyclist fatalities compared to 2010.

To help to get the message across to motorists, officials with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) have created the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation (DBPT). Everything that the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation (DBPT) does is geared toward improving the safety of North Carolina’s millions of bicyclists and pedestrians.

You want to know the rules of riding safely, and you want to make sure that you’re staying clear of vehicular traffic. Unfortunately, drivers don’t always see or predict our presence out there. We have to stay one step ahead of the traffic around us. Make sure you can be easily seen while pedaling around town.

Education can be a powerful tool for changing behavior and improving safety skills. Bicyclists and motorists alike can benefit from educational tools and messages that teach them the rules, rights, and responsibilities of various modes of travel.
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Bicyclists face serious risks out there, sharing the chaotic roadways with our Carolina drivers. Unfortunately, close to 50 Carolina bicyclists experienced the wrath of those risks firsthand in 2011. According to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), that’s how many cyclists were killed in the state during 2011.
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Our Charlotte bicycle accident lawyers understand that the risks for these kinds of accidents are on the rise. According to officials with the NHTSA, the number of bicyclists killed in 2011 is close to 10 percent higher than the numbers from 2010. For the entire year, there were close to 700 cyclists killed across the nation. If that isn’t bad enough, there were another 50,000 cyclists seriously injured in motor vehicle traffic accidents.

Most of these bicyclist fatalities, 201 (or about 30 percent), occurred between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. The second-highest number of fatalities, 142 (or just more than 20 percent), occurred between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. The fewest bicyclist fatalities occurred between the hours of midnight and 3:59 a.m. It’s during the evening hours that you need to be safe and have your attention on your surroundings. If you can, avoid traveling during this time. But if you have to, please do so cautiously.

We’re not placing any blame on cyclists. In fact, we want to give you a high five for getting out there, getting active and helping to make our community greener. Unfortunately, not many motorists share the sentiment. Many times, bicyclists are overlooked on our roadways, if not outright disrespected. Although cyclists share the same road and adhere to the same laws as motor vehicle drivers, they’re not treated the same. It’s important to remember that bicyclists have rights.

It’s not a kid’s game either. Older bicycle riders face some serious risks. As a matter of fact, the average age of bicyclists killed in traffic accidents in 2011 was 43. During the last 10 years, that age has been steadily increasing.

Officials with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) have NCDOT launched a project (the Statewide Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan) to improve walking and bicycling conditions statewide and develop a vision for the future of bicycling and walking in the state. Important tasks included reviewing the current status of bicycling and walking safety, researching appropriate strategies for improvement, and identifying the most efficient avenues to apply those strategies.

Bicyclists don’t have the safe places they need to bike in too many areas of the state. Whether they’re doing it for their health, for exercise or for transportation, we need to make sure they have a safe, more efficient way to get around.

It’s important that drivers keep a lookout for these vulnerable travelers. Look before making turns or lane changes in traffic. Your extra second could mean the different between life and death for a bicyclist who could be a neighbor, coworker or friend.
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In a recent bicycle accident in McCormick County, the victim was identified as a Columbia County Sheriff’s bicycle deputy. He wasn’t riding for work when the accident happened — he was riding his personal bicycle, according to The August Chronicle.

The accident happened on Furys Ferry Road just after 3:00 p.m. He was hit from the back by a Ford pickup trick. According to an eye witness, there had been a number of vehicles that passed the cyclist, but the female driver of the truck involved reportedly slammed right into him. He was airlifted to the hospital and treated for injuries.
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The 60-year-old bicyclist was listed in fair condition after days in the Medical College of Georgia Hospital. He has been with the Sheriff’s Office for more than 15 years and is assigned to work the Special Operations Division Bike Patrol.

Our Rock Hill bicycle accident attorneys understand that many residents and visitors to the area venture out on bicycles. Our area has been gifted with such beautiful scenery and plenty of riding paths. Unfortunately, traffic is always a danger. It’s important that bicyclists take all of the proper safety precautions to help to reduce their risks of being injured by a passing vehicle. Safety should be the number one priority of a two-wheeled traveler.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 600 bicyclists killed on U.S. roadways in 2010. Another 50,000 were injured during the year, too! These kinds of accidents don’t seem to be clearing up either, as there was an increase in the number of these accidents from 2009 to 2010 and again from 2010 to 2011 — and once again from 2011 to 2012.

In the state of South Carolina, there were close to 15 cyclists who were killed in traffic accidents in 2010. During this same time, there were another 25 who were killed in North Carolina. Hundreds more were injured. And these are only the accidents that were reported.

“I have personal friends in the community who have gotten in crashes who don’t even call the cops,” said the Director of the Palmetto Cycling Coalition.

Bicyclists are asked to be cautious when riding out there. Always ride with a headlight so you can help to ensure that motorists see you. This is also why you should ride wearing bright, reflective materials. Always bike with the flow of traffic. You never want to ride facing oncoming traffic. You also want to ride your bike when it’s light outside. Avoid riding at night as this is when drivers are less likely to see you. You want to make your moves along our roadways as predictable as possible. You can’t rely on the same driving habits of others to keep you safe. Ride defensively and stay aware of your surroundings. Remain one step ahead of the traffic around you to help to ensure a safe ride.
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