Bicyclist.CapitolHill.SE.WDC.27may06

Motorists need to be very cautious around bicyclists this summer.

I have handled bicycle accident cases in the Elmira, Corning an dIthaca area for more than 25 years but I can’t remember another time when I read of three serious bike injury crashes in one day in one city.

This is a great wakeup call and important reminder to all bicyclists and motorists that this is the peak bicycling and motorcycling season and riders have to be particularly attentive to the presence of bicycles on the local roads.

Today the Elmira Star-Gazette posted an article discussing the three Elmira area bike accidents Wednesday. According to the Star-Gazette:

  • A 72-year-old man was struck shortly after2 p.m. at Clemens Center Parkway and Cedar Street in Southport.
  • At about4 p.m., a 46-year-old man was struck at Pennsylvania Avenue and West Miller Street.
  • At about7 p.m., a 35-year-old woman and her 1 1/2-year-old son were injured when a vehicle backing out of a driveway on West Church Street in West Elmira struck the mother’s bike. The child was strapped into a child’s seat on the front of the bike.

What I found interesting about these bike-car crashes is that contrary to what most people think about those most likely to be hit by a car while riding a bike — namely younger kids and teenagers — all three of these collisions involved adult victims: 72 years old, 46 years old and 35 years old (with a small child).

This supports exactly what I have been saying for a long time: many more adults are riding bikes.

These collisions also provide important lessons to both motorists and bike and motorcycle riders:

Motorists — ALWAYS be on the lookout for bikes, motorcycles and pedestrians. Whether backing out or driving in residential neighborhoods, city streets or country roads, always be vigilant for bikes, motorcycles and pedestrians because, unfortunately, it is very easy to not see a smaller bicycle or motorcycle if you are only on the lookout for bigger cars and trucks.

Bicyclists and motorcyclists — ALWAYS assume you are invisible to cars and trucks because, sad to say, most motorists simply fail to see you. Pedestrians need to be just as alert.

Better safe than sorry.

Thanks, Jim

_________________________________

James B. Reed

NY & PA Bicycle Accident Attorney

Ziff Law Firm, LLP

Mailto: jreed@zifflaw.com

Office: (607)733-8866

Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)

Web: www.zifflaw.com

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