A Wisconsin bicycle delivery man lodged in the windshield of the car that struck him claims he turned to the driver and said, “Hello, I’m the guy you hit on the bicycle.”
In a bizarre twist of events, the driver did not respond and instead drove into a stop sign and then hit another vehicle before he got home, with the cyclist still stuck in his windshield. The driver finally noticed the cyclist when he came to a stop outside his home. According to the cyclist, the driver questioned who he was and what was he doing inside his car, before locking his car doors and going into his house. The driver is now facing a few preliminary charges, including suspicion of drunk driving, suspicion of hit-and-run and suspicion of failing to render aid.
The cyclist is lucky that he walked away from the situation relatively unscathed. Actually, he is lucky to be walking at all. In order to be more visible to drivers, the cyclist, a newspaper carrier, was wearing a reflective vest and his bike was outfitted with front and rear flashers. Unfortunately, motorists fail to look out for cyclists and pedestrians way too often. This month in Mooresville, a pedestrian was pinned underneath a vehicle outside a Lowe’s. He later died of his injuries. It is unknown if the driver was negligent, but it is common knowledge that parking lots are teeming with pedestrians. Instead of sparing your attention for a parking spot, keep your eyes peeled for a wandering pedestrian.
The family of the victim in Mooresville may be trying to come to grips with such a senseless death. If the driver is found negligent, he or she could be facing some serious charges. The family may also have the option to file a wrongful death suit against the driver. But this is a tragedy that no amount of compensation can account for. However, there are several steps motorists, cyclists and pedestrians can take to limit the risk of a serious accident. As a pedestrian, be aware of your surroundings. Do not rely on a car to see you, instead, look where you are going and never text while walking. Collisions involving a motor vehicle and a pedestrian are more deadly because pedestrians have no protection against oncoming cars. When walking, it’s best to be proactive.
Helmets save lives. Most bike accident fatalities are due to head injuries, so it’s best to err on the side of caution. Pay attention to traffic patterns and wear both bright colors and reflective clothing. As for motorists, remember that bicycles are legally allowed to ride on the road. The assumption that “bikes are not cars” has very little legal backing when arguing against sharing the road. Give cyclists space on the shoulder and keep a watchful eye for both walkers and bicyclists, especially in the warmer months.
Motor vehicle collisions with pedestrians or cyclists can have devastating consequences. Call the experienced attorneys at Auger & Auger today to discuss your rights and options.