Recently in Bicycle Accident Category

January 15, 2015

Semian v. Ledgemere Transp., Inc. - Comparative Fault in Bicycle-Bus Crash

Nationally, there has been a steady increase of cycling fatalities and injuries in recent years, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicating in its most recent report a 6 percent uptick in fatalities and1,000 more reported injuries.
The vast majority of these incidents involve collisions with motor vehicles. In many cases, the driver is solely at fault, though there are some situations in which cyclists share a portion of the blame.

In personal injury law, when a plaintiff is responsible to some extent for his or her own injuries, this is called "comparative negligence" or "comparative fault." Different states have varying civil procedure approaches to this. For example, South Carolina allows injured parties who share blame to recover damages from others, so long as plaintiff's own fault doesn't exceed 51 percent (called modified comparative fault). However, in North Carolina, any degree of fault by plaintiff will bar compensation for personal injury.

Continue reading "Semian v. Ledgemere Transp., Inc. - Comparative Fault in Bicycle-Bus Crash" »

October 21, 2014

Schill v. Cincinnati Ins. Co. - Umbrella Insurance and Exclusions

Umbrella insurance policies are designed to provide extra coverage when other forms of insurance are exhausted, but still don't cover the cost of the claims. They can cover a host of different kinds of claims, ranging from dog bites to trip-and-fall accidents to serious crashes.
In auto accidents, an umbrella policy can be good for an at-fault driver so he or she isn't stuck personally with a huge bill for damages, faced with the possibility of wage garnishments and asset seizures. It's also a plus for the injured parties, as there is a higher likelihood of receiving payments promptly and in full for the extent of damages.

But of course, as with any insurance policy, there are bound to be loopholes. Lots of them. This was demonstrated recently in the case of Schill v. Cincinnati Ins. Co. before the Ohio Supreme Court.

Continue reading "Schill v. Cincinnati Ins. Co. - Umbrella Insurance and Exclusions" »

August 29, 2014

Report: Asheville Most Dangerous NC City for Pedestrians

Asheville recently earned the dubious distinction of being, per capita, the most dangerous city in the state for people on foot. Cyclists don't fare much better, though there is evidence to suggest that element might improve the more cyclists are on the street.
Our Asheville car accident attorneys understand that between 2008 and 2012, the average number of annual vehicle-versus-pedestrian accidents was 8.1 per 10,000 people. That is by far the highest of any of the 10 largest metro areas in the state, according to a recent report from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Figures aren't yet available for the 2013 calendar year, but a report from the Asheville Citizen-Times indicates we'll likely see the uptick continue, given a number of serious crashes reported by the paper last year and so far in 2014.

Continue reading "Report: Asheville Most Dangerous NC City for Pedestrians" »

April 25, 2014

Biking and Walking Safety a Spring Focus in Carolinas

Commuting via biking and walking is good for your health and good for the planet. The Alliance for Biking & Walking is a nonprofit organization designed to improve conditions for bicycles and walkers and encourage people to travel more on foot or via bicycle. Recently, the Alliance published its 2014 Benchmarking Report, which is a complication of data and research on both walking and bicycling across all 50 states. shadow-of-the-past-1432188-m.jpg

The report is important because it sheds light and on where people are walking and biking the most; as well as on how various factors affect the rate of pedalcyclist or pedestrian accidents. An experienced Asheboro, NC accident lawyer can assist riders or walkers who suffer an injury in a motor vehicle collision and can represent family members of those killed in collisions.

Continue reading "Biking and Walking Safety a Spring Focus in Carolinas" »

June 18, 2013

Bicyclist Struck and Killed in Carolina Forest Accident

Officials with the South Carolina Highway Patrol are investigating a fatal accident that killed a bicyclist in Carolina Forest. According to News13, the accident happened just before 10:00 p.m. near Plantation Lakes.
According to the Chief Deputy Coroner, the bicyclist was a 35-year-old man from Conway. He was hit by a vehicle and died at the scene. No charges have been filed.

Our Carolina Forest accident attorneys understand that bicyclists have some serious risks for injuries this summer. Not only are their chances for an accident high, but their risks for serious injury and even death in the event of a collision are much higher. This is why it's important that cyclists are on the lookout for dangers around them. Motor vehicle traffic also needs to do its part to help protect these riders. Bicyclist safety is a job that depends on everyone.

The truth of the matter is that we lost more than 675 bicyclist lives in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2011. Yes, this is a number that's lower than the 830 fatalities the nation saw in 1995, but these kinds of accidents have again been on the rise in recent years. These fatality numbers represent a little more than 2 percent of the total number of people killed in traffic accidents for the entire year. The number of injuries reported from bicyclists has also followed a similar fluctuating trend, from 61,000 in 1995 to close to 40,000 in 2011.

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control, bicycle use laws and safety guidelines are oftentimes misunderstood by bicyclists. Unfortunately, studies indicate that riders in our area who have little or no knowledge of the current bicycle laws, safety rules or even the proper use of protective and reflective gear are at greater risk for injury or death. Our state's bicycle fatality rates have been consistently over the nation's average. Our state has been one of the top 10 states with the highest rates of cycling deaths, more than double the national average during some years. But we unfortunately still lacked a statewide bicyclist educational program.

Some of the most important things we've got to remember as motorists is that bicyclists are granted all of the rights and are subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.

When riding on two wheels out there, you've got to remember you're acting as a motor vehicle, too. Make sure you're aware of the movement around you and you're staying one step ahead of traffic. Remaining aware and riding defensively is going to help to avoid accidents -- and save your life.

Continue reading "Bicyclist Struck and Killed in Carolina Forest Accident" »

May 5, 2013

North Carolina Bicycle Accidents Higher Than National Average

The number of bicycle fatalities per 1 million people is higher in North Carolina than it is overall in the nation.
According to the latest report on bicycle crashes released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, our crash rate per 1 million was 2.59, compared to the total U.S. rate of 2.17.

Our Asheville car accident attorneys know that the majority of fatal bicycle crashes involve motor vehicles. When a car or truck strikes a bicyclist, a bicyclist's risk of injury is great because aside from a helmet, there is nothing else to cushion the body from the pavement. Depending on how fast the motor vehicle is traveling and the angle at which the bicyclist is hit, he or she faces high risk of a serious injury or death.

The NHTSA's annual report, which this year details 2011 statistics, revealed that across the U.S., there were nearly 680 bicyclists killed and 48,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes.

Deaths of people operating bicycles accounted for 2 percent of all those killed and 2 percent of all those injured throughout the year.

What's especially concerning, though, is that the number of cyclists killed was nearly 10 percent higher in 2011 than it was for 2010. While there were 623 killed in 2010, there were 677 killed in 2011. In fact, the percentage of bicyclist fatalities was higher in 2011 than it's been in the last decade.

Although we don't have figures for 2012, we do know that throughout the country, more people are choosing to ride bicycles as a means of regular transportation because it's greener, healthier and often more enjoyable than a motor vehicle commute.

But more bicyclists mean more crashes.

A 2009 report - the most recent - by the North Carolina Department of Transportation revealed that more than half (55 percent) of all bicycle crashes in North Carolina that year occurred in counties within the Piedmont region, which includes the cities of Charlotte and Raleigh. The Coastal Plain counties accounted for 38 percent of all bicycle crashes, while the Mountain region, where Asheville is located, accounted for just 7.5 percent.

However, that's not an indication that Asheville is any safer than elsewhere in the state. Simply, the Mountain region of North Carolina simply has fewer people, even though those in Asheville may tend to ride bicycles more than those in other areas.

The largest portion of bicyclist fatalities in the country happened between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., according to the NHTSA. That accounted for about 30 percent of all fatalities. The second-highest number, 21 percent, occurred between 8 p.m. and midnight.

Thirty-one percent of those incidents were in rural areas, while 69 percent were in urban settings.

Another noteworthy trend that continued through 2011 was the rising age of bicycle crash casualties. In the last 10 years, the average age of bicyclists injured rose from 28 to 32. The average of bicyclists killed rose from 36 to 43.

We may continue to see this figure rise with the continued aging of the baby boomer population.

Continue reading "North Carolina Bicycle Accidents Higher Than National Average" »

August 3, 2012

Ghost Bikes Placed at Locations of Fatal Bicycle Accidents in North Carolina

A bicycle accident on a busy North Carolina road launched the start of "Ghost Bikes." A father of three was hit and killed by a passing semi-truck as he cycled alongside the road. Fellow cyclists put a white bike at the site of the accident to serve as a memorial and to help to raise awareness about these kinds of accidents, according to The Republican.

When loved ones got to the scene of the accident, they already noticed an old white bike that was stood up alongside the road unchained. It was a ghost bike.
These bikes are now popping up all over the world. According to the organization's website, there are about 500 of these bikes in nearly 200 locations throughout the world. The bikes come in all different shapes and sizes, just as the victims do. Most of them are white, but there is a bright pink one that's been spotted. Many are smashed to signify the consequences of car accidents with bicyclists.

Our Asheville bicycling accident attorneys understand that these kinds of accidents are alarmingly common during this time of the year. Nationwide, bicyclists are hitting the road. The warm summer weather provides idea conditions for bicyclists. Unfortunately, motorists aren't recognizing the presence of these travelers and their safety is suffering because of it.

New York City has been noted for the number of Ghost Bike memorials. There are currently more than 100 throughout the city. New York City is also the city where the group of bicycling advocates who maintain reside.

Every year, there are hundreds of cyclists killed and thousands more injured in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 620 cyclists who were killed and more than 50,000 who were injured in accidents with motor vehicles in 2010. These accidents accounted for about 2 percent of all motor vehicle-related deaths. More than 70 percent of bicyclists who were killed during the year were killed in urban areas. About 30 percent of the fatalities happened at intersections and half of them happened between the hours or 4:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.

In Raleigh, there's a memorial for Steven Jordan, that sits in the grass right next to a busy six-road street. It has been there since the 4th of July, when that passing truck driver slammed into him. Since then, the driver has been charged with a failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision and a misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. Bicycle advocates in the area also helped to organize a memorial ride for their lost bicyclist.

Drivers are asked to use these bicycles as a reminder. Keep an eye out for these two-wheeled travelers along our streets. Much of their safety relies on your safe habits. Look twice, save a life.

"I think ghost bikes aren't only a memorial but art," said Timur Ender, local bicycling advocate. "Whenever I pass one I have a moment of silence -- they're a reminder of how fragile life can be."

Continue reading "Ghost Bikes Placed at Locations of Fatal Bicycle Accidents in North Carolina" »

July 13, 2012

Funds Distributed Statewide to Reduce Risks of Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents

There have been nearly 15 municipalities across the state that have been chosen to receive monetary help with their pedestrian and bicycle planning. There were nearly $400,000 in grants awarded last month by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to help with these programs.

This is now the 9th year in a row in which the grant program has offered assistance to cities throughout the state to design and develop their own comprehensive strategies to help to make their areas more accessible and safer for both bicyclists and pedestrians.
Municipalities that were awarded funds are scattered across the central, western and eastern regions of the state. There were approximately 20 applications that the awards committee had from which to choose. These applications were from transportation planners from across the state, including councils of government, metropolitan planning organizations and municipalities.

Our pedestrian accident lawyers understand that these programs and these kinds of systems are very important when it comes to the safety of residents and visitors statewide. Bicycle and pedestrian programs are key in helping to ensure the safety of all travelers. The municipalities that have received some of the funds are now expected to start the planning process for their new programs this fall.

Which areas received some of these funds?

-Mount Holly: Nearly $32,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Gastonia: $39,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Boone: $45,000 for a bicycle plan.

-Siler City: Nearly $25,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Chapel Hill: $57,000 for a bicycle plan.

-Angier: $20,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Fuquay-Varina: Nearly $32,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Wrightsville Beach: Nearly $25,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Southport: Nearly $25,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Clinton: $22,000 for a bicycle plan.

-Trent Woods: nearly $25,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Duck: Nearly $25,000 in pedestrian funds.

The planning initiative and grant program has been sponsored by both the NCDOT's Transportation Planning Branch and the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation. Money for these funds has been allocated from a fund that was previously approved by the General Assembly back in 2003. Federal funds were also earmarked for these kinds of specific bicycle and pedestrian planning.

There has been nearly $4 million awarded to nearly 140 communities for this kind of planning since 2004.

During this time of the year, motorists are asked to be on the lookout for bicyclists and pedestrians, especially in areas that don't have the most ideal bicycle and pedestrian programs. Safe driving habits may be the key in helping to keep these vulnerable travelers safe on our streets. Keep an alert eye out when driving.

Continue reading "Funds Distributed Statewide to Reduce Risks of Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents" »

November 9, 2011

Daylight Saving Time Increases Risks for Nighttime Car Accidents in Gastonia, Elsewhere

The Republic reports that with Daylight Saving Time now in effect, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) wants to remind motorists that fewer daylight hours means an increased risk for car accidents in Gastonia, Hickory, Winston-Salem and elsewhere in the state. Not only are motorists short on daylight hours for their evening commute, but bicyclists and pedestrians need to be more careful to avoid an accident while walking or biking in the dark.
North Carolina residents turned their clocks back by one hour Sunday morning, meaning evening commutes are now a lot darker starting this week and continuing through the next few months with the sun setting earlier each night. Greensboro car accident lawyers know adjusting to the time change affects your body and mind and can even be somewhat depressing. But using extra caution during dark hours will help keep you safe on North Carolina roadways until we "spring forward" in just a few months from now.

In 2010, the North Carolina Department of Transportation reported that there were nearly 190 bicyclists and 875 pedestrians involved in car accidents during dusk and nighttime hours. There were another almost 16,500 accidents involving animals during the hours of darkness.

Driving in the dark can be tricky, especially this time of year when deer and other critters can potentially pop out from nowhere right in front of your vehicle. We posted last month on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog that deer will be on the run as hunting season approaches. So be on the lookout for them dashing across your path to help avoid a collision and possible injuries.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation offers these tips for motorists to keep in mind as they drive in Daylight Saving Time:

-Coincide changing your clocks back one hour with checking all lights on your vehicle. For instance, check brake lights, emergency flashers, headlights, and even interior lights to make sure they are working properly. You may need to take your vehicle to a mechanic if a fuse or bulb needs replaced.

-Use high-beam lights in rural areas but be courteous to approaching vehicles by flashing to low beams while you pass.

-If your rear-view mirror has a night setting, use it to avoid glare from car lights shining behind you.

-Never wear sunglasses after dusk.

-Keep a watchful eye for bikers and walkers after dark, especially as winter weather approaches.

-If you feel drowsy from the time change, avoid long trips or driving while fatigued.

-Focusing your eyes on one spot in front of you causes "highway hypnosis" which reduces your reaction time if a hazard appears on the road. Keep your eyes active by moving them back and forth to reduce the risk of reaction impairment.

Continue reading "Daylight Saving Time Increases Risks for Nighttime Car Accidents in Gastonia, Elsewhere" »

October 20, 2011

North Carolina Bicyclists Lacking Rules of Road Knowledge at Risk for Collision with a Vehicle in Hickory, Elsewhere

Whether a person rides a bicycle as a means of transportation, a fitness tool, or for pure enjoyment, our Hickory car accident attorneys want to remind motorists that roadways are becoming highly populated with bicyclists, so please use extra caution when you spot them on North Carolina roadways.
Star News Online reports that several recent car accidents in North Carolina involving bicyclists have alerted authorities to just how dangerous roadways are becoming. More than one accident recently has been caused by a bicyclist confused by the rules of the road when the riders thought they had the right of way but didn't.

New Hanover County is by far the most dangerous county to report bicycle-vehicle crashes in North Carolina from 2004 to 2008. The average yearly crash rate for New Hanover County is 2.5 per 10,000 people in relation to the next highest crash rate at 1.9 in Orange and Robeson counties during this period. From 2004 to 2008, New Hanover County reported the fourth most bicycle-vehicle crashes of all counties in North Carolina. Considering the population for New Hanover County is much less, these are not statistics to be commended.

According to, there has been a 17 percent decrease in bicyclist deaths from 1998 to 2009. However, there were 53,000 bicyclist injuries in 1998 compared to 51,000 injuries in 2009, representing only a 4 percent decrease. Alarmingly, it is estimated that only 10 percent of bicycle crashes causing an injury are reported to police departments, a primary source for crash data.

Educating motorists and bicyclists is key to keeping the number of accidents to a minimum. If bicyclists and motorists learn the proper rules, responsibilities and rights of the roadway, it can help ensure the safety of all concerned. Respect is the first step. A motorist and bicyclist who each shows respect for the other is able to share roadways safely.

Motorists should keep an eye out for cyclists at night; learn how to pass them safely by allowing a minimum of 3 feet of space and be aware of bike lanes and how to maneuver around them. Motorists need to stay in control when adverse weather strikes and realize that cycling in poor weather conditions is a challenge that needs extra attention so as not to alarm a cyclist needing to focus their attention in these conditions.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has developed a series of bicycling maps to help adventurers work their way across the state safely. Regional and local maps can help bikers get in and around a city, but highway maps are meant for bicycling tours and involve hundreds of miles of travel on highways and interstates. Motorists are advised to be aware of which highways are utilized most for these tours so that you can use extra caution when you stumble upon a bicyclist out on a quest.

Continue reading "North Carolina Bicyclists Lacking Rules of Road Knowledge at Risk for Collision with a Vehicle in Hickory, Elsewhere " »

August 18, 2011

Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Motorists at Risk of Intersection Accidents in Charlotte

Intersections are not only a common location for car accidents in Winston-Salem but they are also the site of many pedestrian and bicycle accidents which makes most intersections a deadly disaster waiting to happen. Motorists should use caution every time they approach an intersection because the complex traffic patterns and limited visibility can put them or others at risk of an accident which leads to serious injury or even fatality.

Charlotte car accident lawyers know that a good number of intersections are deemed dangerous based on past accidents reports. Knowing that particular intersections are classified as dangerous could allow bikers, pedestrians and motorists to alter their route or travel time in order to avoid a potential collision.
WSOCTV recently reported that Charlotte's Department of Transportation put together a complete list of the city's most dangerous intersections. In most cases, driver inattention, failure to yield, speed and other human factors were the leading causes of the accident.

The crash data report indicates for the second year in a row that the intersection of South Davidson and East Martin Luther King Boulevard ranked highest for accidents in 2010. This intersection has been the site for a total of 41 accidents over the last three years which is likely due to the high volume of traffic that passes through it each day. Other notable intersections that make the Top 5 list in Charlotte include:

  • Close to the Interstate 485 entrance where Harrisburg road connects with Cambridge Commons Drive.

  • North Caldwell Street and East 5th Street intersection.

  • Conlan Circle where it intersects with John J. Delaney Drive

  • Reagan Drive and North Tyron intersection.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the Department compiles an annual report on traffic data for Charlotte which does not include crash statistics for local interstates, parking lots or private lots. There were a total of 29 fatal accidents and roughly 5,800 injuries as a result of the 15,799 crashes that occurred in Charlotte in 2010. Collisions involving bicycles rose more than 10 percent from 83 in 2009 to the 94 reported in 2010.

Tips to remember for intersection safety:

  • Always yield the right of way.

  • Prepare to stop at a yellow light about to turn red unless stopping causes the situation to be more dangerous.

  • Wait for oncoming traffic to pass the intersection before making a left turn.

  • Tailgating is never advised but near an intersection this behavior can be particularly dangerous because you don't know what the vehicle in front of you will do. Following too close usually results in a rear-end collision with one or more vehicles.

  • Take note of your surroundings at intersections which includes being alert for pedestrians, bicyclists or other vehicles.

  • Refrain from checking text messages or emails while waiting for the light to turn green.

  • Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk before putting your vehicle in motion.

Continue reading "Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Motorists at Risk of Intersection Accidents in Charlotte" »

July 3, 2011

Government Funding to Help Reduce Risk of Bicycle and Pedestrian Injuries in North Carolina

Our Winston-Salem personal injury attorneys frequently report about the dangers of pedestrian accidents in our state.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation recently announced that 15 municipalities throughout the state will receive in total $343,550 in grants to be used towards reducing the number of bicycle and pedestrian accidents in North Carolina.

We posted previously on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog that very little federal funding is spent on improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety in North Carolina each year. Considering how important exercise is to improving our healthy lifestyle, it is good to know that some cities will be benefiting from funds granted towards improving safety for walkers and bikers.

Representatives from rural and metropolitan planning organizations and councils of government formed a committee and reviewed 23 applications that were submitted to request funding. Transportation planners selected 15 municipalities from both large urban areas and small rural towns throughout western, central and eastern regions of the state to receive the grant. The following municipalities will receive funding from a joint sponsorship by North Carolina Department of Transportation's Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation and NCDOT's Transportation Planning Branch:

-$28,000 to Atlantic Beach
-$24,500 to Belmont
-$15,000 to Clyde
-$20,000 to Elizabethtown
-$31,500 to Kings Mountain
-$28,000 to Knightdale
-$15,000 to Marshall
-$22,050 to Mount Airy
-$20,000 to Oak Ridge
-$24,000 to Oxford
-$15,000 to Pilot Mountain
-$28,000 to Rolesville
-$24,500 to Sanford
-$28,000 to Washington
-$20,000 to Wingate

The planning process will begin this fall for each of these municipalities in which improving bicycle and pedestrian safety will be the goal and priority of each project initiated.

Transportation of America reports that 47,000 people died and 688,000 were injured from 2000-2009 in pedestrian accidents.

More than 1,600 people were killed in North Carolina while walking during this same time period. North Carolina ranked 11th in the country in overall Pedestrian Danger Index.

North Carolina cities and the percentage of traffic fatalities by pedestrians in 2008-2009:

  • Winston-Salem -- 11.5 percent
  • Charlotte/Gastonia/Concord -- 11.4 percent
  • Greensboro/High Point -- 10.3 percent
  • Asheville -- 9.6 percent

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 2 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2009 were bicyclists. Of the 630 bicyclist fatalities in 2009, North Carolina averaged over 1 death a month or 16 cyclist fatalities reported for the year.

Summer safety tips for pedestrians and bicyclists:
-Stay away from high volume traffic roadways like interstates at rush hour.
-Never walk or bicycle across a street where motorists don't expect to see you.
-Remain visible by wearing bright clothing.
-Prevent walking or riding at night at all costs.
-Always inform someone where you are going and what time you think you will return.

Continue reading "Government Funding to Help Reduce Risk of Bicycle and Pedestrian Injuries in North Carolina" »

May 25, 2011

Ride of Silence to Honor Victims of Bicycle Accidents in North Carolina and Elsewhere

A bicyclist was struck and killed last week as he was biking in West Ashley, according to the Charleston County Coroner's Office. Local authorities report that the 25-year-old bicyclist was struck by a vehicle on Old Towne Road. He was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina, where he was later pronounced dead, according to 5 News. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene but was later located and apprehended. He faces a $50,000 bond and charges of felony DUI.
In an attempt to raise awareness about such bicycle accidents in North Carolina, residents across the state joined together for the annual Ride of Silence in Charlotte earlier this month. Local cyclists met in the Queens University parking lot off of Wellesley Drive to kick off one of the memorial rides. Cyclists traveled along state roads, under 12 mph, to recognize those who have been killed or injured from these accidents. A number of local bicyclists have been killed in our area over the last few years, and this ride is meant to remember them in addition to raising awareness. This year's ride stretched about nine miles, according to the Ride of Silence website.

Our North Carolina car accident attorneys recognize the dangers that bicyclists face on our state roadways. We also recognize the dangers they face elsewhere in the country. This ride takes place in many areas across North and South Carolina and elsewhere in the world. It is estimated that almost 300 cities, all 50 states, 18 different countries and all seven continents participate in the memorial ride.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 600 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the United States in 2009. An additional 51,000 bicyclists were injured in these incidents. These deaths accounted for roughly 2 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities throughout the year.

Most of these bicycling accidents from 2009 occurred during the day - between 4 a.m. and 8 p.m. - in urban areas at non-intersections. There was a 5 percent increase in such accidents from the previous year.

Most bicyclists killed were males of the average age of 41. In last 10 years, the number of people killed or injured in that group has steadily increased.

Yield To Life offers these tips to motorists to help them keep bicyclists safe:

-Remember that bicyclists follow the same rules of the road as motorists. Treat them as another vehicle.

-Be careful when passing a cyclist. Do not do so until you have made certain that you can safely.

-Be careful when turning right. Always keep an eye out for bicyclists that are parallel with you that may plan to travel straight.

-Look around your entire car before putting your car into reverse and backing up.

-Hesitate honking at bicyclists as the noise may startle them and create a hazardous situation for the both of you.

-Yield to bicyclists at intersections.

Continue reading "Ride of Silence to Honor Victims of Bicycle Accidents in North Carolina and Elsewhere" »

April 28, 2011

North Carolina motorists beware of high risk of bicycle accidents this spring

Spring is an excellent time for motorists to brush up on their safe driving skills. Now that the weather has become a little more enjoyable the risk becomes much higher for motorcycle, pedestrian or bicycle accidents in North Carolina. As part of a spring safe driving series we will be drawing attention to the dangers faced by motorists encountering more walkers, bikers, and cyclists on Carolina roadways.
Our personal injury attorneys in Statesville, Gastonia and Asheville know that North Carolina ranks near the top in deadly bicycle accidents across the United States. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 16 fatal bicycle accidents in 2009 for the state, which placed it in the top 10 among all states. From 2005 to 2009, North Carolina averaged almost 25 deaths per year from fatal bicycle accidents. The highest death count recorded during that period was 36 in 2005.

The total number of bicycle accidents occurring each year may be skewed as we posted previously on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog. Advocates feel that a good number of accidents don't get reported so creating awareness and methods for safety are more important than ever. Whether cyclists enjoy the hobby as a good method for fitness, or families utilize riding as a method of enjoying quality time together, safety should be made a priority to keep cyclists safe from motor vehicle crashes.

Motorists should keep the following suggestions in mind in order to avoid a crash with a bicyclist:

-Never drive when you are extremely tired. Bicyclists are difficult to see and can appear out of nowhere so drivers should always be on alert.

-Approach intersections at a slower pace and check for any cyclist that may be crossing from another direction.

-Obey all traffic laws and use turn signals so that bicyclists and other motorists don't have to guess what you are doing. Being predictable is the best method to being a safe driver.

-Be on the lookout for bicycle reflectors or bright clothing, especially at night.

-If no bike paths exist on the street or roadway, give the cyclists plenty of space to maneuver.

Motorists and cyclists should always be accommodating when sharing the same roadways in order to keep everyone free from danger. Cyclists are reminded to wear bright clothing, always obey traffic laws, stay alert, and use bike paths with caution when they are available.

Continue reading "North Carolina motorists beware of high risk of bicycle accidents this spring" »

August 3, 2010

Fatal North Carolina bicycle accident claims life of cross-country rider disabled in work accident

A Plymouth man who lost the ability to walk after a North Carolina work accident 20 years ago was killed in a Mocksville bicycle accident over the weekend, the Times Leader reported.

Albert Arnott, 60, inspired others as a survivor, after suffering a traumatic head injury in a fall from a tree while working as a landscaper. Though he could no longer walk, he began riding a recumbent bicycle and had managed to power it across the country. His recumbent bicycle was a three-wheel cycle with a seat.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol reports Arnott was killed on Saturday in a collision with a truck while pedaling north on U.S. Highway 601.

He had moved to Arizona several years ago but in an interview earlier this year with the Times Leader he said he had just completed a ride from Los Angeles to New York, via Washington D.C. He was riding to bring attention to the need for term limits in Congress and told the newspaper he had written more than 40 books -- several of which could be found online.

The Highway Patrol reported that Arnott was northbound on Saturday when he was struck by a pickup truck also traveling northbound. The investigation is ongoing and the driver could face charges.

His cycle's low build could have made it harder to see. But he had added a large "Gadsen Flag." The yellow flag features a coiled rattlesnake and the motto "Don't tread on me."

Continue reading "Fatal North Carolina bicycle accident claims life of cross-country rider disabled in work accident" »