Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

The family of John R. “Jack” Yates is suing a truck driver and his employer for the 67-year-old’s Baltimore wrongful death. Yates was cycling in the Charles North neighborhood on Maryland Avenue behind the truck driven by Michael Dale Chandler on August 4 when he got trapped under the loaded fuel tanker’s tires and was run over.

The truck kept going because Chandler does not appear to have realized that he had driven over anyone. Yates was pronounced dead at the crash site.

Now, Yates’ daughter and wife are suing the truck driver and Potts & Callahan Inc. for $5 million. Following an investigation into the Baltimore truck crash, the bicyclist was found responsible for the tragic accident since he was riding in the parking lane and tried to overtake the truck from the right. However, the plaintiffs’ legal team is adamant that Yates wasn’t at fault. Under Maryland law, bicyclists must keep up with the flow of traffic and make sure their bicycles stay to the right.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports even though more car accidents happened in urban areas, 56% of the 37,261 traffic deaths that occurred in 2008 took place on rural roads. There were 20,905 rural traffic deaths last year.

One reason for the number of deaths that occur in rural areas is that people tend to drive faster on roads that are not as designed and engineered as well as they are in urban areas. Two of the other reasons that rural auto accident deaths happen is people failing to use seat belts or driving drunk. It can also take longer for medical help to arrive at a rural car accident site. 222 of the 591 Maryland traffic fatalities in 2008 occurred in rural areas.

Findings from another traffic accident study, recently discussed in, affirmed the NHTSA’s findings that driving in rural areas is not safer than driving in urban areas. The study, conducted by researchers abroad, reports that:

A young bicyclist sustained a head injury and leg fractures when he was injured in a Maryland bicycle accident in Washington County on August 30. 8-year-old David Greeley, a 3rd grader at Fountain Rock Elementary School, was admitted to the intensive care unit at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC where he underwent several surgery and received a number of blood transfusions.

The Maryland bicycle crash occurred in the early evening. Reports indicate that the driver, Fairplay resident Meghann Marie Weaver, was going over the crest of a hill when she hit the boy. The 21-year-old motorist is charged with reckless driving, driving at a speed greater than reasonable, and negligent driving.

Greeley’s family is asking for donations to help pay for the costly medical care he has received and will likely need.

According to researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital:

• More than half of the 85 million cyclists in the US are minors.
• About 10,700 children are hospitalized/year for about 3 days for injuries they sustained during bicycle accidents.
• The child recreational sport that results in the most ER visits each year is bicycle riding.

• 1/3rd of child bicycle accident victims suffered from traumatic brain injuries.

Sending your child out into the world on their own at any age is never easy. It can be especially devastating if your son or daughter was injured in a Maryland bicycle accident because a driver was negligent, careless, made a mistake, or wasn’t paying attention.

The medical costs for surgery, physical therapy, and other recovery services can be daunting—especially when coping with your child’s pain and suffering, as well as your own.

Driver of vehicle that struck boy is charged, The Herald-Mail, August 31, 2009
Pediatric Bicycle-related Injuries Result in Nearly $200 Million in Hospital Charges Annually, Newswise, October 15, 2007
Bicycles, Department of Transportation Highway and Safety Administration

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The Annapolis Police Department says two bicyclists were injured in a Maryland bicycle accident on Friday morning. The injury accident occurred when a person in a parked vehicle on Main Street opened the vehicle door, hitting the two riders who were cycling up the road.

One of the Annapolis bicycle accident victims was take to Anne Arundel Medical Center, while the other pedalcyclist was seen at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The Anne Arundel county bicycle accident occurred on Bike to Work Day, a national event that encourages people to ride bicycles when commuting. The Baltimore Metropolitan Council sponsored rally rides in Baltimore City, Bel Air, Annapolis, Westminster, Columbia, and numerous other cities to mark this day. More than 1,000 bicycle riders placed their heels on pedals and headed off to work.

Baltimore has put in place 432 new bike lane miles and 80 new bike racks. Another 200 racks will be set up and 80 more lane lines added before the end of the year.

2007 NHTSA Bicycle Accident Facts

The drivers of cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles do share the roads with bicyclists, and it is important that motorists stay aware of these riders and take precautions to avoid getting involved in a traffic accident with a pedalcyclist.

In 2007, According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

• 43,000 pedalcyclists sustained injuries throughout the US.
• 698 pedalcyclists died.
• 7 of those fatalities occurred in Maryland.

• 1 of the bicyclist deaths occurred in Washington DC.

Just like motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists are entitled to certain rights when riding on Maryland roads, and pedalcyclists risk sustaining catastrophic injuries whenever they are involved in a Maryland traffic accident.

Baltimorians Bike To Work,, May 15, 2009
2 bicyclists hospitalized after accident in Annapolis,, May 16, 2009
Bike to Work Day attracts record number of riders, Baltimore Sun, May 16, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Bike to Work Day 2009, Baltimore Metropolitan Council

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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In a South Laurel neighborhood in Prince George County, Maryland, residents are renewing their efforts to get officials to install speed bumps after a 7-year-old bicyclist was hit by a speeding motor vehicle earlier this month. The boy sustained serious head trauma.

According to the Montgomery County, Maryland Web site, 214 people died in speeding-related accidents in 2005—accounting for 35% of all Maryland motor vehicle deaths. That same year, 85% of all speeding-related deaths in the United States occurred roads other than US highways.

Residents say that this injury incident is just one more example of why measures need to be taken to slow down speeding drivers. They want speed bumps installed close to the residential areas—especially because so many pedestrians are students going to and from school. In some areas where there is heavy student traffic, there are no sidewalks to keep kids safe.

Briarwood Civic Association President Katrina Meza says that her efforts to have speed bumps installed have been rejected by the Department of Public Works and Transportation.

A Public Works department spokesperson says that a 2004 survey found that no speed bumps are necessary even after taking into consideration the amount of pedestrian traffic, the general speed of traffic, rush hours, and the hours of student commute.

If you or someone you love was seriously hurt in a Maryland injury accident, do not hesitate to contact our personal injury law firm right away. We can prove if a driver, a property owner, your municipal or state government, a doctor, a nursing home, a product manufacturer, or anyone else was negligent and could have prevented the injury accident from happening.

Accident revives push to slow speeding cars, Laurel Leader, May 22, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Speeding Facts

Speed Bumps

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A deadly accident in Santa Clara County, California involving a deputy that fell asleep at the wheel has left two bicyclists dead and a third with a broken leg and arm. On Tuesday, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith cried and said that her department accepts responsibility for the tragedy.

Deputy James Council was driving his police car down Stevens Canyon Road on Sunday when he crossed a double-yellow line, striking the three cyclists. 20-year-old Christopher Knapp survived the crash with broken bones. Matt Peterson, 29, died at the accident scene. Kristy Gough, 30, was declared dead several hours later at Stanford University Medical Center.

Council says he struck the three bicyclists after falling asleep at the wheel. The California Highway Patrol reportedly did not ask Council to take a blood-alcohol test at the scene. Council’s attorney says that drugs and alcohol were not involved.

Questions have risen as to whether Council, a second generation deputy, received special treatment. His attorney has denied this also.

In 2001, Council was convicted in Los Angeles County for taking part in a speed contest. As part of his plea agreement, charges for DWI and having blood alcohol content over 0.08% were dropped. He served 24 months probation.

Sheriff’s officials in Santa Clara were aware of the conviction and plea agreement when they hired Council 18 months ago. Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Don Morrissey says that the department doesn’t disqualify potential candidates because of one mistake made in the past.

Unfortunately, getting hit by a motor vehicle is one of the risks that bicyclists face when cycling on the roads. There are steps that bicyclists can take to avoid getting hit by a car, truck, bus, or motorcycle.

However, there are accidents that occur because a driver or another party behaved negligently or carelessly. In Maryland and Washington D.C., the best way to determine and prove negligence is to ask one of our experienced bicycle crash lawyers to examine your case. In some cases, there may even be more than one liable party.

Proving negligence in your bicycle accident claim or lawsuit may be able to provide you with the financial compensation you need to cover medical costs and other expenses.

Sheriff ‘sorry’ for fatal collision, Mercury News, March 12, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Bicycle Crash Statistics,
Bicycle, Maryland Department of Highway Transportation State Highway Administration

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In the Washington D.C. area, area police agencies and transit officials have launched a major campaign focused on reducing the amount of injuries and deaths among cyclists and pedestrians. The campaign was launched on March 20, 2007 in Thomas Circle by officials from suburban Maryland, the District, and northern Virginia. Called “Street Smart Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Campaign,” the program will include heightened traffic enforcement and a public education campaign.

According to recent studies, ¼ of people killed in the Washington area every year are either pedestrians or cyclists. In 2006, these two groups made up 40% of all highway deaths in the District. Officials say that 90 pedestrians are killed in the Washington area every year, while 3000 others are injured. At least 9 pedestrians have already been killed in the area this year. provides a number of statistics related to bicycle accidents and injuries:

• There are 85 million bicycle riders in the US.
• 784 bicyclists died on US roads in 2005. 92% of them died in crashes with motor vehicles (720).
• About 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year. Of those, about 67,000 have head injuries, and 27,000 have injuries serious enough to be hospitalized.
• Bicycle crashes and injuries are under-reported, since the majority are not serious enough for emergency room visits.
• 1 in 8 of the cyclists with reported injuries has a brain injury.
• Two-thirds of the deaths here are from traumatic brain injury.
• A very high percentage of cyclists’ brain injuries can be prevented by a helmet, estimated at anywhere from 45 to 88 per cent.
• Many years of potential life are lost because about half of the deaths are children under 15 years old.
• Direct costs of cyclists’ injuries due to not using helmets are estimated at $81 million each year.

• Indirect costs of cyclists’ injuries due to not using helmets are estimated at $2.3 billion each year.

Crews have added countdowns at crosswalks at Thomas Circle to make the area safer, as well as clearly marked Metro bus lanes and bicycle lanes.

Officials say the safety crackdown will take place in different areas every six weeks. The safety campaign includes the use of billboards, bus advertising, posters, hand-outs, and radio campaigns.

Although there are safety precautions that you can take as a pedestrian or a cyclist, this does not necessarily make you immune to the carelessness or negligence of others on the roadways. Injuries to a pedestrian or a cyclist can be serious—even fatal.

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