News reports have shared an overwhelming number of cyclists versus vehicle accidents over the past few years. In this latest incident, a group of 30 cyclists decided to bike Fiesta Island to avoid traffic on other more congested roadways. The lead rider, Brandon Ewers, said the group specifically chose Fiesta Island to avoid the “…drama…” with drivers on other roads.
The group was enjoying their Tuesday evening ride and were winding down, completing their final laps. It was then that they saw a vehicle approaching them – headed in the wrong direction – and driving 20 – 30 miles per hour above the posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour. Though they attempted to avoid impact, it was inevitable that several of the cyclists would be hit; two were pinned to the driver’s windshield while others flew over their handle bars to land on top of fellow cyclists. Some tumbled to the side of the road and landed in the grass. In all, six of the bikers were taken to the hospital for treatment for various injuries including a punctured lung and broken facial bones.
The driver, Theresa Lynn Owens, 49, who allegedly has a history of possession of controlled substances was reportedly arrested and is facing charges of driving under the influence and possession of an illegal substance.
Some time ago we shared some steps to Staying Safe in Bicycle Season. Cycling is a great form of exercise and provides an excellent outlet to take advantage of the beautiful weather. Our firm believes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so we try to share safety and accident avoidance tips with the public as much as possible. See below for additional tips to help you remain safe while operating your bicycle:
Though we are sharing bicycle safety tips, this accident was not caused by cyclist error. They took necessary precautions; even choosing a route less travelled by motorized traffic. The problem was a driver who was reported to be operating her vehicle while under the influence of drugs. Add to that her excessive speed and driving in the wrong direction and this was a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, there were no fatalities.
Information from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center shows that in 2012 (most recent) there were 726 bicyclists who lost their lives in an accident involving a motor vehicle while an additional 49,000 cyclists were injured. According to the National Safety Council costs associated with these accidents has reached in excess of $4 billion dollars.
Who is Getting Killed in Bicycle Crashes? (Data from 2012 – most recent)
As summer winds down, the weather continues to allow for opportunities to enjoy fun in the sun including early morning or late evening bike rides. Our firm family reminds everyone to be cautious and do everything possible to ensure safe travels. Whether you are operating a motorized vehicle or you are cycling for enjoyment, we are sharing the road and we all are responsible for roadway safety.
As was the case with the accident on Fiesta Island, one person’s bad decision caused trouble for the multitude. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident and you want to discuss your options, contact Steinger, Iscoe & Greene for a no-obligation case evaluation. We are here to help you recover compensation while you concentrate on getting yourself back to good health.