It will come as no surprise to bicyclists and cycling enthusiasts that collisions with motor vehicles are the most deadly kind of accident that a bike rider can have. While many bicycle crashes are completely accidental, there has always been an undercurrent of animosity between motorists and cyclists. Whether perceived or real, there can be potential for tragic consequences when the two groups literally butt heads on public roads.
As a Maryland personal injury lawyer, my firm understands the seriousness of a bicycle-car accident. Just as is the case with motorcycle crashes, the pedal-powered rider is virtually unprotected from a motor vehicle’s hard steel body. The roadway itself can itself become an enemy when a biker is thrown off his ride and onto the tarmac.
Whether a bicycle collides with an economy car, a sedan, an SUV, or a commercial delivery truck, the results can be serious, if not fatal to the cyclist involved. Injuries from motor vehicle crashes can range from bruises, abrasions and broken bones, to neck and back injuries. Life-threatening traumatic brain injuries are not uncommon.
It is for all these reasons that bicycling mavens all around the country are extremely sensitive to the behavior of the motorists they encounter on city streets and country roads. An editorial earlier in the summer echoed the concerns of bike riders, calling into question the mindset of some car and truck drivers when it comes to sharing the road.
According to the editorial piece, distracted motorists can make a half-hour commute on busy roads downright dangerous for the average bicycle rider. With dirvers doing things other than concentrating on the road, such as eating or talking on a cell phone, it woudl appear that bicyclists have a legitimate fear while travelling on public roads.
Worse, says the author, over the past couple of years there appears to be a marked increase in aggressive behavior on the part of motorists against bicycles. While police departments may disagree with the extent of motorists’ anti-bike attitudes, one Annapolis rider decided to document some of the most egregious incidents of road rage against him as a bicycle rider.
Purchaing a helmet cam a little over two years ago, that Maryland rider began posting some astounding and hair-raising video clips online. Draw whatever conclusions you wish, but those videos posted on YouTube are just a reminder of the constant danger that cyclists face every day on our roadways.
Eric Hartley: ‘Invisible’ biker takes to the web, TMCNet.com, June 20, 2010