Hit-and-Run Accident Causes Bicyclist to Suffer Serious Injuries
A 53-year-old man who was riding a bicycle on Old Hickory Boulevard in Nashville early Wednesday was struck by a vehicle and suffered serious injuries. The driver of the vehicle that struck the man then sped away from the accident scene, and police are still looking for him or her.
According to a report by WSMV.com, the accident occurred at around 5 a.m. in the Lakewood area of Nashville. After the accident occurred, emergency responders arrived at the scene and quickly transported the bicyclist to Skyline Medical Center to receive treatment, and he was most recently listed in serious condition.
Officers with Metro Nashville Police are still working to determine the identity of the driver that struck the bicyclist, but they say that no witnesses have come forward with information. Police also say that the bicyclist was wearing a reflective vest when he was struck by the vehicle.
Early information indicates that the man may have been struck by a light-colored two-door pickup truck that has front-end damage. Anyone who has information about the accident is urged to contact the MNPD.
How Can You Drive Safely around Bicyclists?
Like motorcyclists, bicyclists are at high risk of suffering serious injuries every time they head out on the roadway. Unlike passenger vehicles, bicycles have no built-in safety features to protect riders during accidents. Helmets can help reduce the risk that bicyclists face of suffering head and brain injuries, but they can’t completely prevent them—and the rest of their bodies are exposed to serious trauma during accidents.
To do your part and help make bicyclists safer on roadways in Middle Tennessee, do your best to follow these tips:
- Remember that bicycles count as actual vehicles.
Because bicycles are much smaller than standard passenger vehicles and they’re not powered by motors or engines, it’s easy to forget that they are also considered vehicles and deserve the same rights on the roadway as cars, trucks, and SUVs. That means that bicyclists are required to observe the same traffic laws as motorists, but motorists are also required to treat bicyclists with the same respect they give other drivers.
- Remember that bicycles are often much slower to reach normal traffic speeds.
If you’re stopped at an intersection behind a bicyclist, it’s important to be patient and give him or her time to reach normal traffic speeds. Bicycles are slow to accelerate—especially if the road has an incline. Reduce your speed and avoid crowding bicyclists who are in front of you at intersections. Following bicyclists too closely while they are trying to accelerate can significantly increase your risk of hitting them from behind.
- Remember that bicyclists often use turn signals to indicate their intentions.
Turn signals are vital safety features for cars, trucks, and SUVs, as they give other drivers a clear indication of drivers’ intentions when they’re approaching intersections or side streets. Bicyclists can also indicate their intentions prior to turning or stopping by using hand signals. An outstretched left arm indicates a left turn, a left arm pointing up or outstretched right arm pointing right indicates a right turn, and a left arm pointing down indicates a stop.
Because bicyclists are so vulnerable on the roadway, it’s vital that all drivers recognize their presence, recognize their limitations, and recognize that they can and often do signal their intentions just as drivers use turn signals and brake lights. In addition to these tips, you should also be extra cautious when driving near bicycle lanes. These lanes are a great way for bicyclists to ride away from the flow of vehicle traffic, but inattentive or distracted drivers who drift into these lanes can put bicyclists at serious risk of suffering injuries.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville bicycle accident lawyers know that many people in Middle Tennessee ride bicycles as a means of commuting and as a recreational activity. Because they receive the same rights as vehicles on roadways, we believe that they should receive the same rights as drivers after accidents.
If you or someone you love was injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. To find out how we can help, dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.