As a personal injury firm here in the Baltimore area, we understand how a pleasant afternoon ride can turn into an unexpected trip to the emergency room for many a bicyclist. As automobile drivers, we can all sympathize with people who get caught up in a bad traffic accident. But however serious a car or trucking-related roadway crash, any similar circumstance that involves a bicycle or pedestrian can often end with tragic results.
The fact of the matter is that humans, no matter how well equipped with helmets and other protective clothing, are no match for a 3,000-pound motor vehicle. The mass of a passenger car, sport utility vehicle or minivan, much less a large commercial delivery truck, is many times that of a cyclist or jogger. Being hit by a car or truck can cause a person on foot or biking to impact the vehicle itself and more often fall to the ground and strike his or her head on hard pavement.
Helmets can go a long way toward protecting a person’s brain, but only to a certain extent. While bicycle safety experts would argue that a rider who uses a helmet has much better odds of surviving a traffic accident, the chances of sustaining serious closed-head trauma (also known as traumatic brain injury) is still quite high. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my staff have seen the results of these kinds of car-to-bike and truck-to-bicycle impacts in which the rider suffered badly as a result of the collision.
Quite frankly, it only takes a moment’s inattention on a busy street to get someone seriously hurt or killed. Bicycle riders, recreational runners and even pedestrians walking to school or work should always exercise extreme caution when traveling near or alongside motor vehicle traffic.
Although it’s nearly impossible for any pedestrian or cyclist to fully protect themselves from the many and varied automobile accident scenarios, being aware of the potential dangers and actively avoiding those situations that could increase the likelihood of an accident can go a long way toward improving one’s chances of getting home safely and avoiding a trip to the hospital. This goes for individuals who live in rural settings as much as for those in more densely populated metropolitan areas like Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Accidents like the one we read about involving a well-known Canton-area restaurant owner only serve to remind us of the tenuousness of life and how easily a bicyclist or jogger can be injured or killed as a result of a traffic incident. The event in question involved 49-year-old Patrick MCusker, who was best known for his two neighborhood restaurants, Nacho Mama’s and Mama’s on the Half Shell in the Baltimore area.
According to police reports, McCusker was riding his bicycle along a stretch of the Coastal Highway in Ocean City when he collided with a city bus near the 132nd Street intersection. The crash occurred sometime after 8pm on a Friday evening, according to police officials. Following the bike-bus collision, Mr. McCusker was apparently given medical attention at the scene and then quickly transported by emergency response personnel to Atlantic General Hospital for emergency care. News reports indicate that the man was subsequently taken to Peninsula Medical Center in Salisbury for further treatment of his injuries; however, it appears that doctors could not help him and he passed away not long after.
Canton Restaurant Owner Remembered, WBAL.com, Sunday, August 26, 2012