South Carolina Dentist Killed by Driver in Bicycle Accident
A dentist in Seneca, South Carolina was killed in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver on Wednesday, April 1st.
Michael F. Lee, 55 years old, was reportedly riding his bicycle on Shiloh Road when he was struck from behind by a vehicle headed in the same direction. Lee had a functioning, flashing tail light on at the time, as well as safety lights on his person, so vehicles should have been able to see him. He also had proper bicycle safety attire, according to reports.
The driver who caused the bicycle accident was charged with driving too fast for conditions, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol. So far, there is no word on criminal charges for reckless endangerment or homicide, and no word if Lee’s family will pursue a civil charge.
Fatal Bicycle Accidents in the US on the Rise
According to information from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association released last year, bicycle accidents and deaths were trending upward in the United States. The group looked at data from 2010 to 2012, and found that fatal bicycle accidents rose 16% in the US – the first time that number was on the rise, rather than declining, since 1975.
Part of the reason for an increase in bicycle accidents is the increasing popularity of road cycling, for fun, commuting, or racing. More people in the US ride bicycles, including as a regular form of transportation to and from work. According to data, 2% of all motor vehicle-caused deaths nationwide were bicyclists.
Six states – California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Michigan, and Texas, in that order – accounted for 54% of all bicycle accident deaths in the two year period.
“The report is just another sad reminder of how vulnerable people are when they ride a bike,” said Jim Merrell, campaign director for the Active Transportation Alliance, a Chicago-based organization that says it aims to make biking, walking and public transportation safer.
“These are high-population states with many urban centers and likely reflect a high level of bicycle exposure and interaction with motor vehicles,” said Dr. Allan Williams, the report’s author and a former chief scientist for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The Strom Law Firm Defends Victims of Car and Bicycle Accidents
If you have been hit by a driver who was distracted, drowsy, drunk, or going too fast for conditions, then you may have a personal injury case. If you are a bicyclist, the driver’s insurance company may argue that you took a risk, and insinuate that the accident is somehow your fault. However, especially if you took safety precautions for vehicles to see you and protect yourself, you can fight the insurance claim or even take the case to court.
The complex civil litigation attorneys represent victims of car, ATV, semi-trailer, and bicycle accidents. We understand personal injury and wrongful death litigation, and represent clients in South Carolina and Georgia. We offer a free case evaluation to discuss your injuries and how we can help, so contact us today. 803.252.4800