Road Behavior Change Urgency Example: Hickory Area Cyclist Hit and Run Accident

Last post was about a good friend, who very recently got banged up but lived to tell about a nasty car-on-car accident caused by an inattentive right-on-red driver at a well-traveled intersection in Hickory, NC.

This post is about a very experienced, strong cyclist, who was hit hard from behind in a hit-and-run collision when traffic was light on a two-lane road also in Hickory early Saturday morning, July 22. That rider and his good friend riding partner were wearing helmets and fluorescent cycling wear, had illuminated red lights on the back of their bikes and were riding in single file on the right side of the road - textbook examples wearing bright, driver-visible cycling wear and safe riding behavior. The driver responsible for the hit from behind was found by police after she reported that she had hit a deer with her car near the accident site. She's now facing felony hit-and-run charges. (For more details click this link.)

I met the injured rider about a month ago. Along with other injuries, he suffered two crushed vertebrae in his lower back that, fortunately, did not cause spinal cord damage. He's up and active - and is looking forward to getting back on the bike, though he's not yet sure if he'll get back on the road. Have to say, it was clear to me why he has been on a fast track road to recovery. He was - and still is - an elite level athlete. He's also a man who lives his faith in an entirely positive manner and is a role model for resiliency.

Again, an accident like this - and at least three others that we've had in Hickory over the past two years involving drivers blowing through red lights and squarely hitting cyclists, all of whom were badly injured but survived - points to the urgent need to change road behavior.

Next post: a new approach we're taking here in the local Hickory area to bend the curve down on the increasing rate of traffic accidents for all road users.

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