When biking on our nation's roadways, bicyclists face unique challenges and dangers. Sharing the road with cars and trucks is risky, because bicycles are much more difficult to spot than motorists. Often, after a car and bicycle accident, drivers will claim that they simply "didn't see" the bicyclist. Furthermore, bicyclists have no defense or protection when they are struck by cars, meaning the injuries sustained in such a collision are often serious, or even fatal.
Just such a tragedy recently occurred here in Ohio. Ohio Highway Patrol officers are currently investigating a fatal accident that occurred on the evening of August 26 in Chautauqua. A 65-year-old woman was apparently bicycling through an intersection when she was struck and killed by a pickup truck pulling a trailer.
Witnesses say the pickup truck was making a right turn through the intersection when it suddenly moved into the left lane of traffic. The woman on the bicycle was struck and killed by the trailer the truck was pulling. The bicyclist was accompanied at the time by a female relative, who escaped injury.
It's not yet clear what caused the man to swerve into an oncoming lane, though there are numerous possibilities. Distraction is a common cause of accidents such as this one, especially with the recent rise of smartphone use while driving. Intoxication is another possibility, especially given that the accident occurred at night. Whatever the reason, it seems likely that the driver somehow failed to uphold the legal responsibilities he carries as a driver.
Ohio troopers say charges are pending for the 50-year-old driver, though their investigation continues.
Source: WHIO-TV, "Miamisburg woman killed in bicycle accident" No Author Given, Aug. 27, 2013