Cyclist Killed In Fort Smith Accident
On Saturday, November 8, 2014, a Fort Smith man riding his bicycle was killed after being hit by a vehicle. The incident happened at 6:03 p.m. in the traffic lanes of Grand Avenue near the intersection with North 35th Street. According to police, the bicyclist, a white male in his 50s, was traveling westbound down Grand Avenue when a vehicle, also heading west, struck him.
Police later confirmed the victim was not wearing a helmet at the time of the incident, and there was no reflective gear on his bicycle. It is essential for cyclists to take adequate steps to protect themselves on the roadway. A recent study by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration found that in 2011 there were 677 pedal cyclist deaths, accounting for 2% of all traffic fatalities during the year.NHTSA also found that 88% of the cyclists involved in accidents died and 80% of those injured were male. The study also concluded 48% of bicyclist deaths occurred between 4:00 p.m. and midnight, as well as 24% of those killed while riding bicycles were 45 to 54 years old.
Initial reports indicate that in this particular accident, the driver, a woman, was not violating the law and did not see the man in the darkness; however, drivers still need to be cautious when driving. The following are violations of safety rules that drivers make in regard to cyclists on the roadway:
- Driver turns in front of a cyclist traveling on the road or sidewalk, often at an intersection or driveway. Yield to cyclists as you would motorists, and do not underestimate their speed.
- Driver fails to search surroundings for other vehicles, including bicycles. These crashes can occur in parking lots, at stop signs, when backing up, or when parking on the street. Before accelerating your vehicle, look around for all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians.
- Driver overtakes a cyclist but doesn’t see them until it is too late. Factors may include speeding, inattention, texting, and alcohol on the part of the driver.Always do visual scans of the roadway for other traffic, especially at night.
- Driver is going too fast for conditions and hits a cyclist who comes into the road unexpectedly. Obey the speed limit, drive defensively, watch for others, and be prepared to stop.
- Driver turns right on red without looking to the right and behind, hitting a cyclist approaching from the right rear. Stop completely and look left-right-left and behind before turning right on red.
McCutchen Buckley-The Law Firm would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to the victim and his family after this devastating accident. When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, please acknowledge the safety rules listed above, in bold, so that we can do our best to keep everyone on the road safe.