More and more often, in all areas of the country, bicyclists are sharing the road with cars and trucks. Massachusetts is no exception.
Recently, a pickup truck and a bicyclist were involved in an accident with injuries near the intersection of Falmouth Heights and Alma, in Falmouth, Massachusetts. The 18-year-old cyclist was injured and the truck driver was not.
According to news sources, the accident took place at about 7 p.m. so daylight visibility should not have been a factor. The bicyclist and the truck were both traveling in the same direction on the same side of the street, as the rules of the road dictate. However, the truck driver drifted out of his lane slightly and struck the bicyclist.
The view from Google maps indicates that there is a shoulder at that particular point in the road, but there is no specific bike lane. A bicyclist would normally ride on the shoulder in those situations, and the pickup truck would stay in its lane and give the cyclist some breathing room if possible.
When the truck struck the cyclist, it knocked her off her bike. She suffered injuries and was presumably taken to an area hospital. Her injuries were described as non life-threatening.
There are safety tips offered by the Center for Disease Control and others, which promote bike safety. The CDC reports that:
- About six percent of cyclists treated in the ER require hospitalization
- 62 percent of cyclist deaths are due to traumatic brain injuries
- 67 percent of hospitalizations are due to head injuries
- Bicycle helmets are effective in preventing head injuries
The news report did not indicate whether or not the 18-year-old was wearing a helmet.
If the pickup truck driver strayed from his lane, he could be held negligent and may be held liable for damages and the young woman could obtain compensation for her personal injury.
Source: Cape Cod Times, “Truck driver to be cited after hitting cyclist,” June 14, 2012