For people who live and work in the city, when we think of bike accidents we naturally envision a traffic collision between a delivery truck or city bus and a bicycle rider. But it is important to remember that motor vehicles aren’t the only cause of cyclist injuries. As illustrated in a summer time cycling accident, bicyclists can be hurt far from the hustle and bustle of our urban centers.
As a Maryland injury attorney and auto accident lawyer, I have seen what can happen when a car or truck strikes a relatively unprotected bike rider. But I and my colleagues also know that other factors can lead to a serious cycling accident. According to a news article a while back, a Maryland man was hurt on the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda, MD, when he was thrown from his bike face first to the pavement after a two-bike crash.
Based on police reports, 50-year-old Jay Roberts called the entire incident a “freak accident,” yet it points up the dangers inherent in any sport that involves relatively high speeds and a modicum of risk. The accident happened during a morning ride when Roberts was on his way to meet a friend. From out of nowhere, according to the avid cyclist, another bike came at him hitting his bicycle head-on.
According to reports, Roberts said that he had no time to react, not even to apply his brakes to reduce the impact speed. The second cyclist reportedly came out from behind several people walking the path on foot. The next thing he knew there were emergency personnel swarming around the two injured bikers.
Police reports show that the two cyclists were initially knocked unconscious by the collision. Roberts apparently came out of it better than the other guy, sustaining a broken left collar bone, eight or nine broken ribs, and various scrapes and bruises. The other rider reportedly ended up in an intensive care unit as a result of his injuries, although details were uncertain.
Police advise caution when passing people on foot or other bikes on any well-traveled bicycle trail. According to reports, concerns over safety a couple years ago prompted authorities to impose a 15mph maximum speed limit on that trail. At the time, the newly posted speed limit upset some users, but apparently was a welcome change for many other users of the trail.
Authorities remind those using the Capital Crescent Trail that it is not solely a bicycle path, nor only a trail for hikers. As a mixed-use trail there is always a risk of collisions and as such it’s probably a good idea to exercise caution whenever exercising oneself.
Head-on collision grim reminder of bike safety, WTOP.com, July 6, 2010