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Cycling is Healthy and Eco-Friendly, But Also Dangerous

Steve Wagner

Cycling is definitely a healthier and eco-friendly alternative than traveling by car. However, cycling is also dangerous, as the death of a 62-year old cyclist in West Lafayette earlier this month proves. The incident was a hit-and-run bicycle accident case, with the speeding motorist charged for not stopping the vehicle and aiding the injured cyclist.

This is by no means a rare or isolated incident. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that in all, 618 cyclists were killed and another 52,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic accidents in 2010. This figure accounted for two percent of all US motor vehicle traffic fatalities. The study also reveals that 20% of the time, fatal car accidents involving cyclists, occurred in rural areas and 72 percent of the time in urban areas. 67 percent of the incidents were at intersections and the remaining 33 percent at non-intersections.

It is not just that motorists often pay little attention to the cyclists on the roads. Some motorists deliberately have a go at hapless cyclists, just for the fun of it! Aaron Madrid, co-founder of Bicycle Lafayette, a group that seeks to promote cycling, recounts his personal experience of having to put up with a motorist who regularly pulls up close to him, taunts him, and speeds off, as he makes his routine four mile bicycle ride from his office at Purdue Research Park to his West Lafayette home. But the “fun” can quickly turn serious when the motorist loses control, or something goes wrong, and there is a motor vehicle accident.

The campaigns to promote bicycles as a good form of commuting needs to go hand in hand with changes in laws to accommodate cyclists. The West Lafayette City Council, in the aftermath of the hit-and-run case is considering an ordinance to establish a 3-foot passing distance between bicycles and vehicles.

The relatives of unfortunate bicyclists involved in accidents can, in the meantime, file a wrongful death suit against the offending driver. The law offices of Wagner Reese have highly skilled and experienced wrongful death attorneys to represent you in bicycle accident cases. The success of the case depends more on hard evidence and skillful presentation to hold the offending motorist accountable. A skilled wrongful death attorney can put together a strong case and ensure justice is done.

Contact us today at (888) 204-8440 for a free case evaluation.


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