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Distracted Drivers and Bicyclists: A Fatal Combination

A recent fatal bicycle accident in California is a grim reminder of just how dangerous distracted drivers can be.  The at-fault driver became distracted when his cell phone slid off his lap and he attempted to retrieve it, the report says. But before he was able to get it, he was forced to take evasive action to avoid a stopped vehicle preparing to make a left turn into a private driveway. He then steered on to the right shoulder around the turning vehicle and again attempted to retrieve his cell phone. As he reached for it, his car veered onto the shoulder and struck two bicyclists.

The price of that distraction was the life of a 62-year old bicyclist.  A second bike rider received serious injuries from the accident.  As Virginia (VA) personal injury lawyers we have seen the terrible and crippling injuries that bicyclists, bike riders and pedestrians can suffer after being struck by a car or truck.  The statistics regarding debilitating and deadly bike accidents are sobering. The CDC says that even though only 1 percent of all trips taken in the United States are by bike, bicyclists still face a substantially higher risk of death and injury than occupants in motor vehicles. Last year nearly 800 cyclists died in bicycle crashes and another 49,000 were injured across the country.

Of the tens of thousands of people across the country who survive bicycle accidents, an alarming number continue to struggle with life-altering injuries that can plague them for years after the accident. These debilitating injuries not only cost families thousands of dollars in medical bills and rehabilitation expenses, but also in lost wages and poor quality of life.  Some examples of debilitating injuries that can plague injured cyclists are traumatic brain injuries (TBI), neck and spinal injuries, facial and other skin injuries and severely broken or fractured bones.

Given the lack of protection for those riding on bicycles, even relatively minor accidents can lead to serious harm. Being thrown from a bike can lead to serious head injuries, including concussions. Landing on your head or neck might also lead to compressed vertebrae or even more alarming, paralysis. 


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