The Verdict - The Lombardi Law Firm Blog
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This collision took place a little while ago, but I saved the news article for today's safety post. He was 42 and she 36. Their 7-year-old daughter was home while they were out riding their tandem bike along a Texas roadway. A car came up from behind and struck them while riding on the shoulder of Texas State Highway 16 in Bexar County. The accident happened at around 10:45 a.m.. The pickup truck drug the bike 200 feet from where they collided.
The police didn’t suspect alcohol played any part. They say the driver lost control of his F-150 pickup truck before veering off the roadway onto the shoulder and then striking this mother and father.
And why were they out riding? Because several years ago they were involved in another accident; a head-on collision where they almost died, were severely injured and needed to keep in excellent physical condition. The workouts helped them physically and mentally I’m sure.
The legal issues, as well as the social issues are speed, lookout, driving with due care and being a distracted driver. What’s with not slowing down as driver’s approach a slower moving vehicle or in this case a bicyclist? I’ve noted a certain level of anger displayed by car and truck drivers toward those sharing the road on a bike. It’s not just foolishly ridiculous, it can be criminal. For a second forget the people on the bike and think of the child waiting at home. Some Iowans recently started a petition asking the legislature to prohibit bicyclists from riding on county roads during the harvest. With America trying to “Go Green” to save fuel and with the economy in the tank it’s difficult to support such a measure. I think what should happen, would include people putting down the digital distractions and paying attention to their driving.
How about the driver recently charged with playing a video game while allegedly driving with his knees.
By the way, these two people were wearing bike helmets and it didn’t save their lives. It’s pretty sad for the daughter.
I’ve been struck by a truck while riding a bike when training for a triathlon. Here is a video example of a small motorbike-car crash. It’s pretty graphic so avoid it if you’re easily bothered by such things. The second video is a bike rider not looking where he’s going and swerving into a car’s front fender. He was lucky he didn’t get run over after the first collision. Folks give the road rage a rest. Your attitude is set the minute you get into the car. So before you put it into gear, sit for a second, relax and leave whatever is bothering you out of the driver's seat. An angry driver does rash and stupid things.
In an article in Here New Brunswick Urban Voice, called “Overcoming the fear of cycling”, Andrea Laltoo discusses being a bicycling commuter and the dangers often linked to habitual biking on the road with motor vehicles. Laltoo brings up the most asked question, "But isn't it dangerous?" which she answers “yes” but not for the obvious reasons most people assume. An obvious fact that bicyclists are not as protected as motor vehicles by seatbelts, airbags, and metal frame coverings, does cause bicycling to have a higher danger factor. Laltoo also considers:
“Cycling can even result in death (then again, so can eating a sandwich, if you choke). But is cycling along with traffic really as dangerous as our imaginations tell us "..." or is the fear of cycling an irrational phobia of stepping outside of our comfort zones?”
Laltoo then mentions another bicyclist advocate, Ken Kifer who has a website devoted to facts and details of bicyclist safety and lifestyles, as well as tips on bike safety in traffic, (see http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/traffic/index.htm). One of Kifer’s ideas is interesting to Laltoo, “most people are aware that flying is statistically safer than driving (when analyzing risk of fatality per passenger and per distance). Why, then, do we drive without giving a second thought to our safety and yet flinch at flying?” This idea of flying as more dangerous than driving may be described as what “Nancy S. Blum, a social worker with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, cites lack of control over the situation as the number one reason her patients fear flying.”
When it comes to car transportation, drivers are given many, many hours of training to be allowed to drive, as well as have direct control over the vehicle. As for biking, one has control over the moving object, but people are not given specific and detailed training on how to operate the bike and navigate the roads on the bike.
The real facts on bicyclist injuries on the road are not necessarily due to traffic, Laltoo cites “John Forester (founder of the Effective Cycling program)” who says, “50 per cent of cycling injuries and deaths were caused by cyclist error, compared with only 8 per cent caused by motorist error”. Though this does not take away the fact bicycling is still a safety risk, it is mostly through the control of the individual biker themselves. Laltoo promotes biking as a main form of transportation as it being safe, if one takes control over their biking skills and knowledge.
With more people wanting to save money and the environment, the bike becomes a good option for transportation. But with less than adequate skills, knowledge, and experience on a two-wheeled contraption, bikers may cause more harm to themselves than they realize if proper steps are not taken.
Keep this in mind the next time you hit the road on your bike. Where your helmet and if necessary a rear view mirror. I've been hit by a truck when training for a triathlon. Believe me it's not a pleasant experience. It was about mid-morning, time for the donut break when the approaching truck suddenly turned left right into my path. The rear duals didn’t look all that appealing, the passenger side of the cab uninviting so off I went trying to skirt along the front. He hit me directly in the center of the grill, sending me head-over-heels attempting a full gainer. I landed squarely on the high side of my butt. Days later it looked like I was carrying around a baseball in my back pocket. I broke no bones, chipped some teeth when I kissed the grill, and was plenty sore for weeks. The funniest part was when the cemetery manager straddled and asked if he could call someone for me. I gave him the law firm telephone number. On the way to the hospital I asked the ambulance attendant if I could use the phone. Calling my office, the secretary Julie told me the insurance company called in less than five minutes after the cemetery manager hung up. Never hit a guy who makes living as a personal injury lawyer. So now I get to honestly say I’m not an ambulance chaser, I’m always there before the ambulance.
In today’s news we reported about a child killed while crossing the street. Here is what we reported.
With so much to look for its surprising more pedestrians aren't killed. Pedestrians treat the streets like they were in a movie. Be careful out there. Megan Roth wrote a pretty good article about traffic and how frustrating they can be. I've written about the weather conditions. It seems in this case the downpour is a factor to consider.
Senate File 117, passed the Iowa Senate but isn’t expected to pass the House before this session ends. Senate File 117 is a law that would offer bicyclists more protection from cars, trucks, motorcycles and buses that use the public streets.
Added Mark Wyatt, executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition: "The bill is not about special rights for bicyclists. Rather, it clarifies that cyclists have the same protection as vehicles in the Iowa Code."
Records show Sherman had the green light to cross the intersection of 44th Street and Lincoln Avenue at 6 p.m. on March 3, a clear day. "All of a sudden, I see a car in my face," Sherman said.
The car had tried to make a left turn. Sherman hit a headlight, took off the driver's side mirror, then flew into a solid object, which he suspects was a telephone pole. He bruised a lung and broke bones in his shoulder, rib cage and spine.
The police report clearly shows the driver was at fault, said Maj. James O'Donnell of the Des Moines Police Department. No ticket was issued, partly because there was no intent by the driver to harm Sherman, he said.
The bill may be assessed below or by following this link.
The gist of the legislative measure: Changes the nature of riding a bike on the public roads to, as some would say an even playing field.
The proposed law would give the bicycle rider equal access to the full use of the lanes of travel, would require passing a bicycle under the same rules as is now in place for passing other motor vehicles, would add bicyclists to the following too closely rules, would allow or require bicyclists to use hand signals to turn, would treat bicyclists like pedestrians when on the sidewalk or a recreational trail and car or truck intends to exit a driveway across the sidewalk; and finally would make bicycles a protected class when opening the door to a parked car.
Roads were originally constructed for commerce rather than pleasure, in that commerce is what paid the costs and allowed commerce to develop generating more tax revenue for governments.
A BILL FOR PAG LIN 1 1 Section 1. NEW SECTION. 321.297A USE OF TRAFFIC LANES BY 1 17 bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the 1 33 321.307 FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY. 2 2 vehicle or bicycle and the traffic upon and the condition of Category: Keyword Search: bike
A BILL FOR
1 1 Section 1. NEW SECTION. 321.297A USE OF TRAFFIC LANES BY
1 17 bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the
1 33 321.307 FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY.
2 2 vehicle or bicycle and the traffic upon and the condition of
Category: Keyword Search: bike