The Tragedy of Cycling Accidents: A Greater Threat Than You Might Believe…
Have you considered the stark reality that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 932 bicyclists lost their lives in motor-vehicle collisions in 2020?
Car and Bicycle Accidents: An All Too Frequent Occurrence in Asheville NC
Sadly, Asheville and the wider region of Western North Carolina mountains is a frequent backdrop for devastating accidents involving cyclists.
A recent incident in Asheville over the 2023 Labor Day weekend bore testament to this tragedy, when a cyclist was fatally struck in a hit-and-run collision, as reported by local police.
Samantha Booth from the Asheville Police Department shared that the event occurred on a Sunday afternoon, just after 1 p.m., on the busy Hendersonville Road in Asheville.
The cyclist was headed south on Hendersonville Road and was in the turn lane when a blue sedan, moving northward, attempted to overtake another car using the turn lane, and struck the cyclist head-on. The driver fled the scene before police arrived.
The injured cyclist was rushed by ambulance to Mission Hospital, but sadly succumbed to his injuries. The driver was apprehended and taken into custody later that Sunday evening.
What Are the Key Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
Collisions with motor vehicles are the leading cause of bicycle accidents and frequently result in severe or fatal injuries to bike riders.
The NHTSA states that the majority of bicycle accidents result from falls related to car interactions (hitting doors or falling after sudden stops by the car) or by direct collisions with cars.
The NHTSA data indicates that in 2020, there were 932 deaths among bicyclists due to motor-vehicle accidents, marking an 8.9% rise from the 856 reported in 2019. Cycling-related deaths accounted for 2% of all motor-vehicle fatalities that year.
In 2020, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 425,910 bicycle-related injuries that required treatment in an emergency department.
Although not all bicycle accidents lead to fatalities, they can result in significant, life-altering injuries that call for prolonged medical care and rehabilitation.
Even minor accidents, such as a sudden fall due to an abrupt car stop or a “dooring” incident, can lead to serious harm to a cyclist.
You’re not alone … We can help.
When a collision involves a car or truck and a cyclist, the consequences can be fatal or lead to severe, life-long injuries. If such harm occurs due to someone else’s negligence, the victim may require experienced, long-term care.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury or harm in a cycling accident, we encourage you to contact Fisher Stark, P.A., at 828-505-4300 for a complimentary consultation.
We are committed to assisting you and your loved ones during these challenging times and ensuring you receive the justice you deserve.
7 Guidelines for Safer Driving Near Cyclists In Asheville, NC
Even with legislators trying to make roads a safer place for cyclist, it may not be enough to stop reckless drivers from causing catastrophic crashes with cyclists. All drivers must take steps to minimize the risk of hitting a cyclist:
- Always have a plan for how to navigate the road around a cyclist. Make sure that you understand the common biking hand signals that bikers use to let you know when they are stopping or turning.
- Pay close attention to and obey all traffic signs and signals, while staying aware of the speed of traffic and merging vehicles. Cyclists have the same right to the road as any other vehicle.
- Remember to share the road and give cyclists space when passing them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association states that drivers should pass bicyclists as though they were overtaking another vehicle.
- Always remain alert for cyclists when you are traveling through intersections or any other areas where pedestrians may be present. Keep alert and check twice for pedestrians and smaller vehicles approaching an intersection, such as motorcycles or bicycles.
- When turning, pull forward slowly until you can see past anything that may be blocking your view. Once you are sure the intersection is clear, continue driving with care.
- One of the most important precautions you can take to avoid hitting a cyclist is to put away your cell phone, or any other device that would cause a distraction, until you have arrived at your destination.
- Even after you park, be considerate of cyclists if you are parked near a sidewalk or road. Check your side-view mirrors BEFORE you open your doors to make sure that no cyclist is coming up behind you. Dooring happens when a driver opens their vehicle door suddenly when a bicyclist is approaching. This causes them to either collide with the door or swerve into another lane and possibly out into traffic.
At Fisher Stark, P.A., we know that most bicycle and pedestrian accidents are caused by cars and other vehicles.
There’s limited protection afforded to those who use their feet to get around. So, injuries sustained when struck by a vehicle like a car, bus, or truck can have traumatic, long-lasting effects.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, consult an experienced accident attorney. We invite you to call Fisher Stark, P.A., at 828-505-4300 for a free consultation, to see if we can help you if you have been hurt in a bike accident case.
We will work hard to get you the justice & fair compensation you deserve. Fisher Stark, P.A. is a highly respected personal injury law firm in Asheville, NC. We provide experienced legal help for clients in Asheville, NC, and all the communities in Western North Carolina. Collectively, our legal team – Perry Fisher and Brad Stark – have more than 50 years of trial practice and have participated in more than 1,000+ injury cases. Call 828-505-4300 for a free consultation.