Last week we talked about accidents involving bicycle riders and the importance of sharing the road to avoid accidents. Now the family of a 20-year-old Baltimore man who was killed in a biking accident is pushing for tougher testing of drivers to avoid similar crashes.
Bicyclists who share the road with cars and other vehicles undergo risk every time they pedal out into the street. They are much less protected than motorists and therefore more prone to serious injury in the event of an accident. But that doesn't mean they don't have to right to travel safely. Maryland law says that drivers must treat bicycles like any other vehicle on the road, and leave at least 3 feet of space between a vehicle and a bike. Drivers should also reduce their speed when passing bicycles.
Recently, a pleasant ride on an Anne Arundel County road in Maryland turned into a fatal accident for an unfortunate bicyclist. The bicyclist was struck from behind by a driver who said he did not see the rider in time to avoid the accident. The road did not have a bike lane or shoulder, and there was little natural lighting when the collision happened at 7:30 p.m. The bicyclist only had a makeshift headlight turned on and a small red LED flasher on the rear of the bike that may not have been turned on at the time of the accident.
Now that summer has unofficially arrived in Maryland, pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles and other seasonal vehicles are returning to the road after a long winter in hibernation. Unfortunately, the additional traffic on the road can lead to additional accidents on the road. In a most unusual bicycle accident, a Maryland ice cream truck driver is being charged with running down a bicyclist.
In our February 12 post, we discussed the problems of pedestrian accidents in Baltimore. Accidents involving a vehicle and a pedestrian always have the potential to be devastating for a pedestrian. The pedestrian typically has no padding or protection that can absorb the impact of a collision.