A rear-end collision during the morning commute left a Cayce, South Carolina (SC), bike rider dead. The deadly January 21, 2016, crash occurred near the intersection of the 12th Street Extension and Saxe Gotha Road.
Police from the nearby community of West Columbia investigated the wreck through the day but did not report finding an explanation for the fatal rear-end collision. The scene of the crash is a major interchange near a business park. All four corners have stop lights and crosswalks, but the roads have no bicycle lanes. Also, the narrow shoulders give way to grass. Bicyclists have no choice but to share travel lanes with cars, trucks and vans.
If the bike rider who lost her life had stopped for a red light or slowed down to turn, the driver who hit her would have a legal duty to also stop or reduce speed. Bicycles are vehicles under law, and drivers must respect bicyclists the same way they do other motorists.
The obligation to watch for and yield right of way to bike riders actually carries a little extra weight because a two- or three-ton vehicle striking an unprotected bicyclist usually inflicts severe injuries. The bike rider's cause of death following the crash in South Carolina was listed as upper body trauma, which could mean multiple broken bones and crushed organs, as well as serious head and brain injuries.
Only bad things happen when drivers neglect to look for and share the road respectfully with bicyclists. My Carolina wrongful death attorney colleagues and I want more people to act more cautiously when approaching bikers.