Articles Posted in Cycling Accidents

Electric Bicycles To Be Available in Fort Worth Soon

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You are starting to see a few people riding around on electric bicycles and electric scooters and might think they are good ideas. They encourage people to exercise, reduce our ever-increasing road congestion, and help protect the environment, so I was interested when Fort Worth just announced that its B-Cycle bicycle sharing program will add 50 electric assisted bicycles in April.

B-Cycle had test rides available yesterday so I hopped on one at City Hall before work to check them out.

It’s April — time for motorcyclists (and cyclists) to start riding more. But unfortunately serious injuries and deaths in Texas from cycle-vehicle collisions have risen dramatically here.

500 people tragically die on motorcycles every year in Texas. Just last night in Arlington, a motorcyclist was crashed into by an SUV changing lanes on State Highway 287 and tragically lost his life.

As a motorcycle accident attorney and advocate for the safety for all all people driving a vehicle, this upsets me. And I went to another funeral of a client hit riding his motorcycle several months ago so thought to write this post to try to prevent another injury or death.

Most motorcycle and bicycle crashes are caused by two things:

  • People do not see the cyclist at all — or until it is too late; and
  • People see the cyclist but fail to yield the right of way, especially in intersections.

To prevent these collisions, here are some suggestions:

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Our client was seriously injured riding his bicycle in Fort Worth several weeks ago. The police officer was not able to get his side of the story as he lost consciousness and did not awake until he was in the ER where he spent the next four days so the police report blames him.

To combat this error, I had a staff member immediately take our client to the pound so we could secure his bike. I took it to my bike shop and the head mechanic confirmed that my client had been rear ended, not hit as he cut across a busy road as the other driver told the police. I got a written report that the only part of the bike that was damaged was the rear wheel which I emailed to the insurance adjuster with color photos and what the police report should have stated. Today my client gave the driver’s insurance company a statement with my assistance. I am going to file suit if the company does not accept liability by Monday and pay its driver’s entire insurance policy limit.

On a similar note, we were hired today to represent a man who was crossing the street earlier this week when he was run over.

These two cases are reminders of how dangerous North Texas roads are for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. Last year, 65 people cyclists, 496 motorcyclists, and 678 pedestrians tragically died in collisions with vehicles, up a huge 21% from the previous year. I know this all too well, having represented thousands of injured people including those riding bikes.

I’ve spent more time on my bicycle this year, riding 75 miles on Sunday, and ran on streets for years when I was training to run many marathons.  I ride and used to run on the Trinity Trail and off road as much as possible and encourage others to do so. Here’s a great link to Dallas-Fort Worth trails and roads that cyclists and pedestrians can more safely ride and walk on.

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The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released its highly anticipated 2016 crash report this week. The results are very discouraging.

More people died in traffic crashes last year than in any year in the past decade.

And what’s more, there were increases in every means of transit. Death rates increased for those driving cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicycles.

Overall traffic deaths increased by almost 2,000 people — an enormous 5.6 rate of increase from 2015. Since 2008, traffic fatalities had been on a downward trajectory but began to climb in 2012. We’ve now surpassed the 2008 numbers with no apparent end in sight.

I’ve been riding my bicycle long distances to stay in shape as I turn 63 next month (yikes!) and this picture of a “ghost bike” memorializing the death of a cyclist is especially disturbing to me.

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The temperatures have warmed up and more motorcycle riders are hitting the streets. To get car and truck drivers to be on the lookout for them, the Texas Department of Transportation has just launched a campaign with an important message for us motorists. Look twice for motorcycles.

The campaign aims to reduce the thousands of motorcyclists fatally stuck or injured at intersections and crossing from adjoining lanes.

This message also applies to the increasing number of people getting hit by vehicles as they are riding bicycles.

Sure, motorcycles and bicycles are smaller and sometimes more difficult to see. However that does not excuse the motorist from making certain the coast is clear before changing lanes, crossing an intersection, passing, turning or u-turning. Motorcyclists have the right to be on the road and motorists have the obligation to share that road.

I am about to file a lawsuit on behalf of a man who was seriously injured when a driver crashed into his motorcycle, seriously injuring him. The driver said she never saw him. I’ve heard many excuses like this one during my 37 years of representing injured motorcyclists. Continue reading

Tonight is the 15th annual Ride of Silence here in Fort Worth and Dallas — and all over the world. Cyclists will ride in silence but the message is loud and clear: bicycle riders have the right to share the road with cars and trucks.

The Ride of Silence began in Dallas as a one-time event to commemorate endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz, who was tragically struck and killed by the mirror of a passing bus on May 1, 2003 north of McKinney. The incredible rider pedaled over 25,000 miles in 2002 and had already cycled over 7,600 miles in the first four months of 2003 before he was hit. The sobering first ride at White Rock Lake attracted over 1,000 cyclists with only a week of word-of-mouth publicity.

The heart-breaking event has expanded to educate cyclists and motorists about safe practices. It is shocking that 818 bicycle riders died in the U.S. in 2015, a huge 12% jump over the previous year.

Thousands of bikers throughout the world will simultaneously ride in silence starting at 7 pm. The rides are scheduled in 445 locations in all 50 states and in 48 countries.

Bikers of all skill levels, including kids, can participate and the rides are free and open to the public. Bring your family or just hop on your bike.

Join the Fort Worth and Dallas Rides 

Here’s what you need to know if you are here in Fort Worth:

Cyclists are meeting at the gazebo on Trinity Park Drive at 6:30 pm.  At 7 pm, participants will remember the bikers who have been injured and killed in traffic accidents in the last year. Our wonderful “bike-crazy mayor” Betsy Price will then share a few words and join us as we depart at 7:15 pm for a leisurely-paced 10-mile ride through downtown Fort Worth, the
Near Southside and the zoo.

In Dallas, cyclists will gather on the west side of White Rock Lake and at the west side of the new Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge downtown.

I am riding in Fort Worth.
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Gold and bronze medals go to Texas — too bad it’s not for sports

We Texans are used to winning. But sometimes, it would be better to come in last place.

A poll just ranked deaths to motorists and passengers from vehicular collisions. Unfortunately Texas was first in traffic fatalities of any state in the country and the third in pedestrian fatalities in 2014. A staggering 3,538 people died in automobile crashes and 476 were fatally hit by cars. And we should take little comfort in our 12th ranking for pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents.

Nationwide, 32,675 people died in traffic-related wrecks, and close to 15 percent of those killed were pedestrians. This is an insane number of completely preventable deaths.

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A Southlake teen who was injured in a tragic auto accident last Monday has died. Doctors declared James Cole Malone brain dead on Tuesday afternoon and his organs were donated to transplant patients throughout the country. This final gift represents the generosity Cole displayed throughout his short life.

Cole was biking home from a Boy Scout’s meeting Monday around 8 p.m. when a car struck him as he crossed Lilac Lane on Byron Nelson Parkway, just one mile from home. He was airlifted to Texas Health Harris Methodist in Fort Worth with severe brain injuries.

The driver stopped to render aid and cooperate with police. She has not been charged in the accident as the police investigation is continuing.

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I had the honor of riding with Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, a tireless fitness advocate and accomplished cyclist, on Saturday. I’ve ridden thousands of miles on my bike, including the Hotter ‘n Hell 100, and used to ride a motorcycle.

Now that summer is here, more people are riding their bicycles and motorcycles in North Texas. And unfortunately a lot of them will get injured, some critically. I encourage my fellow riders to wear helmets and bright clothing, obey traffic laws, ride in large groups, and ride defensively.

What should a rider do if, God forbid, he is hit while riding?
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OMG!!!! In a story that has gone viral, a young woman who had sent 47 text messages while she was driving hit a cyclist and heartlessly wrote: “I don’t care.” The poor cyclist suffered a spinal fracture which required surgery and spent months recovering from his injuries.

Reading this reminded me of a case last year when I represented a Fort Worth man who was on a bicycle and broke his leg and shoulder when a driver hit him. After I filed a lawsuit, I was able to subpoena the phone records of the driver and prove that he was texting at the time of the crash. The defense attorney then offered the full insurance policy limits to settle the claim.

There are so many people driving and texting and not paying attention to other vehicles on the road, let alone bicycles. It’s a wonder more people aren’t killed as they try to get exercise or pursue their hobby riding bikes.

Fortunately, collisions between cars and trucks are rare, but when they happen, injuries are often serious. What should you do if you have been involved in one?
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