Georgia Cyclist Killed After Being Struck by Motorists
A Bibb County man was killed recently after being struck by not one but two motorists. Bibb County police said that 50-year-old Rupert Shane Ward was riding his bicycle in a largely residential area along Irwinton Road near its intersection with Crystal Lake Drive in Macon at about 6:30 a.m. when he was hit by two different vehicles. The first vehicle left the scene, while the other remained there to assist with the investigation. There are no bike lanes or sidewalks in the area where Mr. Ward was killed.
Mr. Ward’s death illustrates the ever-present dangers cyclists face. Bicycle accidents can occur anytime, anywhere — even early in the morning on quiet residential roads. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a bicycle accident, a Tifton accident attorney may be able to help you recover.
How Common Are Bicycle Accidents?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1,000 cyclists die and about 130,000 are injured every year in the United States. While bicycle trips account for only 1% of all trips, bicyclists account for 2% of people who die in crashes involving motor vehicles. The age group with the highest bicycle death rates is adults aged 55-69, while the group with the highest rate of bicycle-related injuries treated in emergency rooms is adolescents, teens, and young adults aged 10-24. While wearing a helmet can decrease the risk of serious injury and death by about 34%, helmets are far from silver bullets.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents?
Bicycle accidents are different from car accidents. However risky driving a motor vehicle may be, cars and other passenger vehicles are equipped with a host of safety features that are not available to cyclists. The playing field is also stacked against them — the vast majority of the transportation infrastructure in the United States was built for passenger vehicles, not cyclists or pedestrians, placing them at a structural disadvantage in most places. These circumstances lead to several accident scenarios that are unique to cyclists, including:
- Right-turn accidents: Occur when a motorist turning right turns across the path of a cyclist coming up from behind on the motorist’s right side
- Buffer accidents: Occur when a motorist fails to leave an adequate buffer when passing or following a cyclist
- Roadway maintenance accidents: Occur where a cyclist hits a pothole or other roadway defect that causes the cyclist to crash, potentially into the path of an oncoming vehicle
- Grate accidents: Occur when the wheels of the cyclist’s bike become stuck in metal grating or road plates and causes the cyclist to be thrown from the bike
- Failure to yield accidents: Occur when a motorist fails to yield to a cyclist who has the right-of-way and strikes him or her
Get Help from a Tifton Accident Attorney
Cyclists who suffer injuries due to someone else’s negligence may be entitled to recover the cost of their medical expenses and more. For more information, please contact a Tifton accident attorney at the Hudson Injury Firm by calling 229-396-5848 or using our online form.