It has already been firmly established that bicycles and motorcycles offer little protection for the riders in the event of a traffic accident. Whether a rider is struck by a passenger car, SUV, minivan or commercial delivery truck, the results can be catastrophic for the bicyclist or motorcycle rider. As Maryland personal injury lawyers and automobile accident attorneys, we have seen enough serious injury and fatal car, bike and truck crashes to know that surviving such a violent collision is just the beginning of a long road to recovery.
Sadly, many people injured in bicycle and motorcycle wrecks do not recover fully from their many injuries. Although the cuts and bruises may heal on the outside, more serious injuries such as spinal cord damage or a closed-head injury (also known as traumatic brain injury) may never heal sufficiently to allow an individual to carry on with a normal life ever again.
For this reason alone, we always recommend that people use caution when enjoying any two-wheel hobby where bicycles, motorcycles, cars and large trucks all share the same road. In addition to being mindful of the dangers lurking around every curve, we also suggest that riders wear protective clothing and that all-important piece of protective gear, a proper helmet.
While no amount of forethought can eliminate every chance of injury on the roadway, these items could provide the needed margin of safety that just might make the difference between life and death in the even of a bad collision on a public road. Of course, no one can really predict when and where a traffic accident will happen, as most readers of news reports will likely agree.
A while back, a bicyclist was struck and injured by an ice cream vending truck operated by a Maryland man. The one notable aspect of the accident was that the cyclist was hit while riding on the sidewalk, not in the adjacent roadway. According to police reports, eye witnesses to the traffic accident stated they saw 24-year-old Brendan Markham traveling along the sidewalk portion of the westbound Rte 236 in the early evening hours when the truck hit the man.
Based on police reports, the driver, 52-year-old Impha Gassama, apparently did not see the bicycle rider as his ice cream truck pulled out from a side street. A resident of New Carrollton, Maryland, Gassama also did not seem to know that he the bike and rider were caught under the vehicle as the truck dragged the hapless victim a short distance along the roadway.
Witnesses reported hearing terrible screams from the cyclist, who reportedly had rather serious injuries evidenced by the visible tire tracks on his back. Sadly this happened on national Bike to Work Day, which made the incident all that more ironic in light of the event’s goal to promote use and awareness of bicycles as viable means of transportation.
Thankfully, the cyclist was not killed in the crash and his injuries were reportedly not life-threatening, according to police. A family member reported later that Markham sustained a number of broken bones as a result of the collision. The driver of the truck was charged by police with failure to yield the right of way from a private driveway.
According to news articles, neither the cyclist nor his family were contemplating a law suit against the ice cream truck driver. Instead, the father of the injured man said that the driving public generally does not concern themselves with bicyclists and that he hoped his son would use the experience to make motorists more aware of cyclists on the road.
Burke cyclist run over by ice cream truck, FairfaxTimes.com, May. 27, 2011