A cross-country cyclist died last Saturday after being struck from behind by a pickup truck on U.S. Highway 601, reports the Times Leader.

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, Albert Arnott, 59, rode a recumbent tricycle, in part due to a landscaping accident twenty years ago which resulted in traumatic head injury. Recumbent bikes and trikes, which seat the rider in a reclined position, are common for riders who have experienced stress injuries.

Arnott was quite the cyclist, having ridden from Los Angeles to New York. Before the accident, he was making his way to his home of Phoenix, AZ.

Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of this courageous man, who even after facing serious injury pursued his love of cycling. Arnott’s tragic and unexpected death serves as a chilling reminder to drivers: be cautious of cyclists on the roads.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports alarmingly high numbers of pedalcylclist deaths and injuries. Pedalcyclists include “bicycles…riders of two-wheel non-motorized vehicles, tricycles, and unicycles powered solely by pedals.”

The NHTSA reports that in 2008, 716 pedalcyclists lost their lives and approximately 52,000 suffered injuries due to traffic accidents. Closer to home, in North Carolina 32 pedalcyclists lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2008. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Arnott was “the second cyclist to be killed in the area in the past nine days.”

Our firm believes these statistics are way too high. The number of cyclist injuries and fatalities could be significantly reduced by simply practicing safe driving tips, like staying alert, watching out for cyclists and or pedestrians and remembering to share the road. Cyclists too can do their part by using protective gear and wearing bright colors or reflectors to help drivers see them better.