Monday night, a cyclist was severely injured on the road above when a motorist driving an SUV rear-ended his bicycle. The collision occurred at 9:10 p.m. on Scottsville Road, about 4.4 miles outside downtown New Albany, Indiana. The 27-year-old man was airlifted to Louisville in critical condition with severe head injuries. Fortunately the fire department, located just down the street, arrived quickly to care for the cyclist.
Even though it’s still fairly light out in the summer at 9:00 p.m., the driver said it was too dark to see the cyclist and and that he was blinded by the headlights of an oncoming car. The road has a posted speed limit of 30 mph, which means a 60 percent survival rate for struck pedestrians and cyclists, according to America Walks. Police said there’s no evidence the driver was speeding. The two-lane road is narrow and lightly lined with houses. The collision took place near a commercial intersection with several businesses including an ice-cream shop.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured cyclist during his recovery.
Two. That’s the number of cyclists I almost hit on my 10 minute commute down Bardstown road yesterday. One failed to signal before changing lanes and the other ran a red light. Rules of the road and traffic control devices are not optional just because you’re on two wheels. If you want to be treated as if you share the road, then you must share the rules.
I’m not saying this cyclist wasn’t being safe or obeying the rules, and I’m praying for a full recovery. However, we shouldn’t be surprised when bikers like the two I encountered yesterday end up in the same condition.
First of all, I truly hope this cyclist makes a full and complete recovery — that is by far the most important thing.
To Robert, agreed that many cyclists could do a better job of following the rules and ensuring their safety, but let’s agree that there are plenty of drivers who could do a better job of following the rules and ensuring everyone’s safety. Ever seen a driver change lanes without signaling? Or roll through a stop sign? Or drive too fast? Or drive aggressively? Ever seen a pedestrian jaywalk? My point is that we all break the law in minor ways.
Let’s also remember a car presents a far greater risk to others than a bicycle (size, speed, mass).
Let’s also remember that cycling requires far greater physical effort than driving a car — certainly not an excuse to dart in front of oncoming traffic, but possibly an excuse to cautiously roll through an occasional stop sign or traffic light. Consider the Idaho Stop Law shown in this short video: http://vimeo.com/4140910
I can’t worry about the other drivers. My main job is to worry about how I operate my truck. I don’t want to be in an accident, so I follow the law. Stop lights and signs are there for a reason. It’s in my best interest to stop before going through.
I think you help me make my point. A car presents far greater risks [when meeting a bicycle]. More reason for the cyclist to use caution. I understand that it requires more physical effort to ride a bike, but that’s a choice made by the rider. I could conserve a lot more fuel if I never had to slow down at intersections. That doesn’t mean I can.
I don’t want to harm any pedestrians. I try to make way for them when sharing the road… but encounters like I had yesterday are not unusual.@Mark –
Yes, a car can be misused to cause far more damage than a bicycle rider can survive. For this reason, we hold motor vehicle operators to an allegedly-higher standard, as represented by the requirement that they hold a valid license to drive.
I say allegedly, as the continuing education standards for such a license are rarely more than “can you breathe,” let alone the level required of pilots.
Car crashes cause more deaths per month than the 9/11 attacks. In the time it took me to read this blog post and the responses, two American citizens have died due to car crashes. Several more have been injured in ways that sharply altered their lives.
Robert Williams, I greatly appreciate your attitude regarding not wanting to cause harm. Thank you.
I teach obedience to the law in the cycling classes I lead. As Mark points out, humans do what we think we can get away with doing in the name of convenience.
A cyclist swerving is risking only himself or herself, though. A motorist driving erratically is creating a risk to all in the immediate area.