Three bike riders traveling through a rural part of Aiken County, South Carolina (SC), on July 15, 2015, suffered serious injuries when a FedEx truck ran into them. The delivery vehicle rear-ended the line of bicyclists on Atomic Road near Pine Log Road.
The exact cause of the rear-end collision was not reported, but the State Highway Patrol cited the commercial truck driver for driving too fast for traffic conditions. Such a citation can indicate that a driver failed to slow down sufficiently to avoid a crash when approaching slower vehicles. The offense can also signify that a driver stayed at or under the posted speed limit but did not reduce his or her speed enough to maintain control on slippery pavement. News video and photographs from the crash scene southeast of Augusta do not show rain, however.
South Carolina law does not specify a minimum distance for passing bicycles on roadways, but the state code does require people behind the wheels of cars and trucks to treat bikes like motor vehicles. Also, bicycles are permitted on all state and county roads regardless of the posted speed limit. When a driver comes up behind a bike rider, the driver must either slow down enough to leave a safe space or pass only when doing so does increase risks for an accident.
Sharing the road cautiously and respectfully with bicyclists -- and, in particular, never following too closely -- is imperative for all drivers. Riders have few protections from injury or death if they get struck by a car or truck.