In the latest incident involving a bike rider, a 20-year-old Virginia Beach resident was hit and trapped under a 2007 Chevrolet SUV on Wesleyan Drive on October 16, 2011. The Daily Press reported that the young woman was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The driver of the SUV had made a right turn after stopping at a red light on Baker Road immediately before the collision.
See this cycling safety video:
This wreck comes in the wake of three serious bike accidents on Shore Drive since May 2011. In one, a 55-year-old man ended up at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, with nine broken ribs, a broken pelvis and a broken clavicle. The cyclist was hit by a truck that left the scene, leading to the incident being categorized as a felony hit-and-run and prompting Virginia Beach officials to propose adding bike lanes to Shore Drive.
It appears that tensions between cyclists and drivers have been rising in Virginia Beach for many years, a trend reported on by our firm's accident injury attorneys. Virginia law makes it clear that cyclists have the right to ride on surface streets and also makes cyclist subject to most of the rules other motor vehicles must follow. Still, verbal harassment that had been directed at cyclists by motorists in Virginia Beach and it turned into sabotage in May and June 2011, when a Pungo resdent repeatedly spread thumbtacks across a road that was popular with bike riders.
Although factors such as using lights at night and wearing reflective clothing are relevant in crashes like the latest one in Virginia Beach, bicyclists can and do succeed in lawsuits. In August, 2011, a triathlete who suffered serious injuries when she was mown down by a pickup truck in Fairfax County, VA, received a settlement of $2.25 million.