Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cycling Safety - A list to learn from

The following is a list of accidents involving bicycles and vehicles with tragic results. They cover a span of several years and include recommendations from the coroner involved. A great many of these accidents are due to visibility issues. The driver did not see the cyclist or the cyclist to did not see the vehicle. It is not an easy report to read but it is one that people can learn from.

6-128-0171 A fifteen year old cyclist was riding his bike in a southerly direction on Highway #1 south of Duncan next to the sidewalk in the curb lane. Traffic going south was stopped at lights at a controlled intersection. Included in this traffic was a logging truck and trailer which was signalling for a right turn. As the cyclist was catching up to it the lights changed and the truck began its turn thus cutting off the oncoming cyclist. The cyclist hit the truck, fell and was crushed under the right rear tires. It was recommended that convex mirrors be used and required by regulation for a greater number of vehicle users so as to give a better view of the right side of their vehicle.
86- 137 -0007 This three year old was playing on a construction site when he followed on his tricycle behind a truck which was moving from the site of one house to the next. He was directly behind the truck when it stopped but because of the child's size and his location behind the truck, the driver could not see him in any of his mirrors. He commenced to back up over the child.
86-210-3126 Cyclist hit and killed by hit and ran car driver. Driver who eventually confessed was impaired. General negligence and alcohol.
86-221 -2454 A 22 year old male cyclist dressed in dark clothing and with no lights or reflectors on his bike entered an intersection on a yellow light and was struck by a half-ton truck. The cyclist had his feet on the handlebars at the time. He died of head injuries.
86-222-1090 A truck crossed centre line and hit cyclist in oncoming lane. Driver charged. General negligence.
87-110-0214 Charges laid against driver who hit cyclist from behind. Cyclist was riding on the shoulder of the highway. General negligence.
87-210-1757 Cyclist tried to jump curb to get onto pedestrian crosswalk going over a bridge. In doing so he hit a passing truck with his arm and fell under it and was crushed. He was not wearing a helmet.
87-222 -2912 An 18 year old female was riding a men's one speed bicycle down Nordell Way in Delta with her left hand on the handlebar and her right hand holding a guitar case. The vehicle following her was unable to stop when she fell from her bike and was run over. The vehicle did not strike her bike. It was determined that the guitar had been stolen and that the cyclist was impaired.
87 -660-0023 A six year old was riding his bike on the sidewalk towards the corner as a large tractor trailer unit was travelling in the same direction and signalling a right turn. It stopped and began to make the turn. An independent witness saw the youth come to a stop and then start up again as the truck was making the turn. He looked as though he was trying to ride under the truck. He was crushed by the wheels.
87-536-0016 An accident on Highway #97 occurred when a cyclist pulled from the shoulder lane (to pass another cyclist) to the driving lane at about the same time a vehicle travelling in the same direction was about to pass both cyclists. The bicycle was about one foot into the driving lane when it was struck directly from behind. The cyclist was wearing earphones and listening to a radio. The driver of the oncoming vehicle had been driving for about 12 hours and was drowsy. The cyclist was wearing a helmet. It was recommended that cyclists not be allowed to use radios etc. with ear pieces as listening devices.
88-007-2524 A youth was operating his bike on sidewalk adjacent to a busy roadway with his brother on the handlebars and was among a group of pedestrians. Apparently his bike slid on some gravel on a driveway and he fell onto the roadway into the path of an oncoming truck. The driver did not see the incident as it would have occurred after his position in the truck had passed the cyclist. Recommendations were made to the police about enforcing cycling bylaws against riding double and riding on the sidewalk.
88-431-0014 An elderly cyclist made an unsafe move in front of vehicular traffic catching up to him and leaving no opportunity for the driver to avoid hitting him
88-660-0110 A nine year old youth hit in an intersection due to negligence of driver coming into the intersection from the cyclist's left. Cyclist may have left the curb before it was safe to do so. General negligence.
89-160-0362 A 12 year old cyclist waited until it was safe to proceed and then rode his bike across the crosswalk. A vehicle in the centre lane stopped and waited for him but a vehicle driven by a 16 year old in the inside lane passed the stopped vehicle on the inside and hit the cyclist. Death was due to head injuries. General negligence.
89-221-0015 White Rock - Death occurred as a result of two cars colliding and one of those vehicles then striking the cyclist. General negligence.
89-240-0709 Cyclist went through a stop sign and broadsided another vehicle. General negligence.
89-110-0008 Nanaimo - cyclist on his way to work apparently slipped on icy roadway and truck following was unable to avoid him. Truck did not observe him fall but first noticed him on the roadway. General negligence.
89-160-0227 Victoria - Cyclist went through stop sign coming off a sidewalk and was hit by oncoming vehicle. General negligence.
89-570-0054 Kelowna - Two cyclists were heading northward and crossed a small wooden bridge, the deceased in the traffic lane, the other cyclist on the walkway. As the deceased turned left while exiting the bridge a truck hit him on the left side. He did not have a helmet and died of head injuries. General negligence.
89-160-0306 The deceased cyclist was travelling easterly along the west side of Sooke Road when he went out of control and fell into the travelled portion of the road and was ran over by an oncoming vehicle. The cyclist was impaired at the time.
89-242-1608 An elderly cyclist was making a left turn at a "T" intersection on West Marine Dr in Vancouver when he was hit by an oncoming car. The actions of both parties contributed to the accident. General negligence.
89-104-0036 Comox - A well known racing cyclist made a swinging left turn through a stop sign and into the path of a motor vehicle. The cyclist made no attempt to stop or slow down before making the turn. General negligence.
89-224-0807 Two young teen aged cyclists were travelling in a westerly direction on a gravel road a vehicle driven by an 18 year old caught up to them from behind. He thought one cyclist was going to go to one side of the road and the other to the other side of the roadway so he sped up and was in collision with one cyclist. General negligence.
90-125-0002 A cyclist in his thirties was travelling northbound around a curve in the roadway. Without looking up he crossed the centre line and an oncoming motorist tried to avoid him but was unable to do so. It was dark and the cyclist had no illumination and only one reflector which was on the back of his bike. The cyclist was impaired by alcohol at the time and was not wearing a helmet. Recommendations were made for the mandatory use of helmets and for cycling lanes to be incorporated in the planning of new highways. Recommendations also included specifics about lighting of the roadway in that location and the curve design.
91-221-0103 A 12 year old boy was riding his bike on the shoulder of the Fraser Highway against traffic in the late afternoon of a mid-January day. It was reasonably dark. A truck pulled over onto that shoulder of the road to pass a vehicle turning left and stuck the cyclist. The bike was not equipped with a light or reflector on the front. The cyclist was not wearing a helmet. The youth suffered multiple traumatic injuries, the most severe being head injuries. Death was instantaneous. General negligence.
91-306-0004 A woman in her mid-thirties was riding her bicycle on a May evening about 7:00 p.m. when she rode onto a railroad crossing as a train was moving by and struck the front corner of a rail car. Conditions were clear, dry and light. The train had whistled prior to the crossing and its head lamps were on. The cyclist was impaired by alcohol at the time. The cyclist died immediately of massive intrathoracic haemorrhage.
91-225-1434 The death resulting form this cyclist/motorist collision involved a 4 year old girl riding her bike into a "T" intersection when a motorist, observing her approach, nevertheless, thinking he had time, turned in front of her and she ran into the right front of his vehicle. There were no mechanical or environmental factors affecting this accident. The little girl had just recently learned to ride without training wheels and was practising stops and starts.
91-242-0137 A male in his early twenties was riding his bicycle downhill at a speed of about 60 kilometres in city traffic and collided broadside with a vehicle that passed in front of him. It was dark and the cyclist had no headlights or reflectors on his bicycle. He died within the hour of massive injuries.
91-302-0026 This elderly man (in his eighties) was riding his bicycle along the right hand shoulder of the highway in small town British Columbia being followed by a truck who was partially in the right hand shoulder as well and struck the cyclist from behind. The contact point was completely off the travelled portion of the highway. Alcohol consumption by the driver of the vehicle was a factor in the accident. The cyclist died at the scene
91-242-1548 A motorist making a left hand turn at a Vancouver intersection stuck the right front of a vehicle travelling across her path. This vehicle swerved to avoid the collision and moved into the lane of oncoming traffic where a cyclist was travelling. The cyclist was thrown under this vehicle. Environmental and mechanical conditions did not affect this accident. The cyclist, who was not wearing protective head gear, received serious head injuries resulting in death.
91-573-0053 This car/bicycle collision occurred in mid-sized town B.C. at a "T" intersection. Road conditions were good but it was dark. The cyclist was wearing dark clothing, was operating his bicycle without a light, was not wearing a helmet and was seriously visually impaired. He died of head injuries. The coroner recommended mandatory use of helmets by cyclists and that the Motor Vehicle Act be amended to require that a red light be mounted on the rear of bicycles.
91-226-1455 This motor vehicle/cyclist collision occurred on the Lougheed Highway in Port Coquitlam. The complexities of the circumstances giving rise to the accident are too extensive for review here but, the cyclist was killed as a result of the collision. No scene, environmental or vehicle factors contributed to the accident. The coroner found that both the cyclist and vehicle driver were not paying adequate attention to where they were going. Alcohol consumption by the vehicle driver was a factor. General negligence.
91-200-0657 A teenage cyclist was riding her bicycle near the fog line on a roadway in Surrey when she made a left turn onto another street on which a motor vehicle was approaching at a high rate of speed. Driving conditions were excellent. A collision occurred and the cyclist died of multiple injuries. Although the cyclist may not have met all her responsibilities as a bicycle operator, the coroner found that the excessive speed of the motor vehicle was the prime cause of the accident. General negligence.
91-426-0005 This accident occurred on Highway 95 north of Radium, B.C. A middle aged woman was cycling with a group when her handlebar was hit by a vehicle passing her. The operator of that vehicle had been startled by another vehicle passing him and had moved to its right. The cyclist died of traumatic head injuries on the way to hospital. The coroner made the following recommendation to the Minister of Highways, namely: As bicycle touring is becoming a large tourist related industry in the province and because of increased traffic flow on our highways, the Minister of Highways should place signs on touring routes notifying motorists. Future highways should be designed with bicycle touring in mind.
91-597-0054 Two young children (age six) were riding their bikes on a street that had a 8% downgrade. They approached an intersection which was controlled by a stop sign in their direction, the road being a "through" street. One girl went into the intersection and was narrowly missed by oncoming traffic. The second girl then entered the intersection and was stuck and killed
91-170-0039 A car was travelling downhill at about 40 km/h (10 km/h over the speed limit) when it slowed and turned into a driveway, at which point it struck a cyclist who was travelling in the same direction on that roadway. The driver had checked her rear-view mirror but had not done a shoulder check. The cyclist was not wearing a helmet. He died of severe head injuries. Weather and driving conditions were not a factor. General negligence.
91-222-1965 The cyclist in this accident was rid on the travelled portion of Bridgeport Road in Richmond in an easterly direction when he was struck from behind by a flatbed truck. The right front fender of the truck hit the deceased, then the passenger mirror and finally the bulkhead thus projecting him to the ground. The road is flat and straight but visibility was poor because of heavy rain. The truck driver did not stop at the scene. The bicycle was not equipped with reflectors or tail light. The cyclist died of multiple injuries.
91-245-1729 An elderly man (early 80s) was riding his bike in Vancouver. He stopped at an intersection and then proceeded to go through it in a northerly direction. A vehicle was travelling towards him from the east in the curb lane and although the cyclist appeared to see it, he accelerated across the roadway. The driver of the vehicle swerved to avoid him but was unsuccessful. The cyclist died of brain injuries. Road conditions were good but a low bright sun was shining in the car driver's eyes.
92-167-0124 A man in his mid-sixties was riding his bike on the shoulder of the Pat Bay Highway near Beacon Avenue (a controlled intersection) heading towards Victoria when he turned into the slow lane of traffic without signal and caused the van in that lane to brake abruptly to avoid hitting him. The cyclist then continued over to the fast lane and was struck from behind by another vehicle. Road and weather conditions were excellent. The cyclist died of massive injuries, in particular, head injuries. He was not wearing a helmet.
92-678-004 A ten year old youth was struck from behind by an impaired driver who did not stop at the scene of the accident. Observers of his erratic driving had tried to warn the youth by blowing their horn. The cause of death was severe head injuries.
92-166-0122 An experienced male cyclist in his sixties was riding his bike on a busy road in Victoria when, apparently without signalling or shoulder checking, he proceeded to change across three lanes. A vehicle travelling in the left centre lane struck him as he swerved in front of her. He was thrown from his bicycle and his helmet came off on impact with the roadway. Road and weather conditions were excellent. Death was as a result of head injuries resulting from a fractured skull.
92-225-1666 A young teen age cyclist approaching a "through" street at a "T" intersection went through a stop sign and made a wide right hand turn into oncoming traffic. A van travelling on the "through" street tried to stop but to no avail and the youth was struck, thrown and suffered severe head injuries from which he died.
92-241-0982 A lady in her mid-twenties who was approaching a "T" intersection, apparently went through a stop sign and, in an effort to avoid being hit by an oncoming vehicle, fell to the roadway but was struck by the car she was trying to avoid. She was not wearing a helmet and suffered severe head injuries from which she died. The cyclist's view of oncoming traffic on the roadway on which she was proceeding onto would have been somewhat obstructed by parked vehicles and a hedge. It was raining quite heavily at the time.
92-225-1207 Two young boys were riding their bikes near a construction site in Surrey where large trucks were operating. There was a flag person in the area to control traffic. He had stopped all traffic movement for a truck and when the truck completed its job it backed up. At this time the two boys started riding towards the back of the truck at which the flag person called to them getting the attention of one but not the other who continued to ride past the rear of the truck and was struck by it. The cyclist died of multiple injuries.
92-125-0028 A cyclist in his early twenties was riding his bike on Highway 19 in Courtenay in a northerly direction when struck by a vehicle travelling in the same direction. Road conditions were good but it was dark and the bicycle was neither equipped with head light, tail light or any type of reflector. The speed limit was 60 km/h. The vehicle was travelling at about l00 km/h. Both the cyclist and the vehicle operator were intoxicated by alcohol at the time. Death resulted from breakage of the spinal cord.
92-634-0010 The bicycle rider, a man in his eighties, was sitting on his bike in a roadway across the lane of travel. It was dark and the cyclist had on dark clothing. He was in a dip in the road which caused a bit of a blind spot and an oncoming vehicle had to swerve to miss him. A following vehicle collided with the cyclist without seeing him at all. Death was immediate from massive injuries including head injuries. The cyclist had been in a previous serious accident in the area and various complaints had been made to authorities about his riding habits.
92-417-0013 A city bus was passing a young male cyclist when part of the bicycle touched the bus and the cyclist was thrown under the rear tires of the bus causing his immediate death. The bus driver was aware of the cyclist and gave him sufficient space to pass safely by him. The cyclist was experienced and rode his bike in this area frequently. The coroner was unable to determine what caused the bus and cyclist to come into contact but speculated that rough pavement might have been responsible.
93-222-1577 A young man in his early twenties was riding his bike late at night and collided with a vehicle in an intersection. He was thrown from his bike and suffered head injuries from which he died. Road conditions at the time were good but the roadway itself was very dark. The bicycle had no headlights or reflectors. The coroner found that the cyclist was travelling at a high rate of speed. A toxicology report indicated that the cyclist was impaired by alcohol.
93-175-0036 A cyclist in his mid-twenties was riding his mountain bike south on a main thoroughfare. He was wearing a baseball peaked hat and was pedalling hard with his head down when he crashed into a stationary vehicle. The force of the collision caused the cyclist to penetrate the rear window of the car and, in doing so he received severe lacerations to his neck from which he died. The coroner recommended to the Motor Vehicle Branch that legislation be passed making helmets mandatory for cyclists.
93-110-0134 A middle aged man from Europe was cycling with his wife in the Qualicum Beach area on Highway 19. Two semi-trailers were parked along the side of the highway leaving about 2 metres between their vehicles and the fog line on the highway. The cyclists were travelling in this 2 metre ribbon when they were struck from behind, the oncoming vehicle in fact touched the trucks on their tires and wheels. The deceased was thrown into the back of the second semi-trailer and suffered severe head injuries from which he died immediately.
93-202-1344 A male in his early thirties was riding his bicycle downhill on a city street following a motor vehicle. The cyclist was travelling at about 50 km/h. At an intersection and while rounding a curve, the bicycle skidded out of control into the oncoming lane of traffic and collided with a truck. The cyclist suffered a massive right occipital skull fracture and died as a result.
93-635-0009 A cyclist in his early sixties was travelling on the shoulder of a four lane highway facing oncoming traffic when he turned into the path of an approaching car. The driver of this vehicle tried to avoid him but was unable to do so. The autopsy report attributed death to multiple injuries consistent with blunt impact. The deceased was a diabetic who, on occasion, was known to be non compliant in taking his insulin. Testing done following his death indicated that the loss of control of his bicycle could have been related to this disease
93-243-1727 This mid-thirties male cyclist was riding to work in Vancouver. He was considered to be a good cyclist and was wearing a helmet. Road conditions and visibility were good. There was light to moderate traffic in the direction the cyclist was going. He was following a truck and keeping pace in a safe manner. The truck driver made a right turn signal as he approached an intersection and then made the turn. The cyclist collided with the right rear wheels of the truck and was knocked to the pavement. He died of massive head injuries as a result of a skull fracture.
93-600-0078 A teen age boy was riding his bike just south of the Quesnel city limits on Highway 97. He had left home a little earlier and was believed to be headed to a local recreation complex. A motorist was travelling south on Highway 97 travelling in the slow lane and was leaving the highway in the exit lane to access Dragon Hill Road. Road conditions were good but it was dark. Suddenly the car driver saw the cyclist coming directly at her and she was unable to avoid him, the left front headlight area of her truck came in contact with the cyclist. His bike had no reflectors or headlight. He died from severe head injuries. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the impact.
94-245-1122 At about 11:30 p.m. on a July evening a middle aged cyclist was travelling north on a major thoroughfare in Vancouver when he was struck by an automobile travelling in the same direction. He died within a few days of massive injuries to his abdomen and head. The cyclist had been drinking heavily as his subsequent blood alcohol reading of .4 was to attest. He was wearing dark clothing and had no illumination on his bicycle. The accident occurred when he suddenly swerved into the lane of the oncoming vehicle.
94-230-0024 This accident involved a five year old on a First Nation Reserve near Agassiz. She was in the intersection of the lane to her house and the roadway that went by it. The driver, a local resident, had not seen the child until almost upon her, a grove of wild shrubs and trees obscuring the driver's view until about 50 meters from the lane. The child was hit broadside and carried some distance. No brake marks were found on the pavement, nor was there other evidence of the point of impact. Dusk was rapidly approaching and there was a fine but steady rain. The motor vehicle involved, a truck, was in good mechanical condition at the time of impact. The young girl was described as being healthy and alert. She was able to ride her bike but had received no formal training in safety.
94-165-0036 At approximately 23:30 hours on a late April evening in Langford, B.C. a half ton truck travelling in an easterly direction on Kelly Road near Langford struck a cyclist travelling in a westward direction on the roadway. The bicycle, driven by a male in his mid thirties, was not lighted although it had orange reflectors on the pedals. The cyclist was wearing dark clothing that included a black jacket with white bands on the sleeves. The principal cause of death was a massive head injury. The cyclist was severely impaired by alcohol.
94-228-0641 In early April at approximately 11:40 in the evening a cyclist and a dump truck were travelling in a southerly direction in the curb lane on Pinetree Way in Coquitlam. While passing through the intersection of Lincoln Street, the truck began to overtake the cyclist and as it cleared that intersection its driver became aware that the cyclist had fallen under its trailer wheels. He stopped immediately and Emergency Health Services were summoned. The cyclist, a man in his sixties, died immediately from multiple blunt force injuries particularly to the head and abdomen. Traffic was light at the time, skies were overcast with light rain and wet pavement. The deceased was in good health at the time of the accident and was not on any medications. The death is one in a category of deaths in which a bicycle and, usually, a truck somehow come together as one is passing the other but no satisfactory explanation or reason can be found to describe just what occurred.
94-203-1926 A 12 year old girl was riding her bicycle in a southerly direction on the east sidewalk of No.4 Road in Richmond at about 5:00 p.m. on a wet mid November day. She was run over by a large pickup truck coming out of a driveway (front first) and turning right to go in a northerly direction on No.4 Road. Lighting conditions were such that headlights were appropriate for safe driving. The bicycle was not equipped with a bell or a light although there were reflectors front and rear. The cyclist was wearing dark clothing but not a helmet. The cyclist ended up on the inside lane of No.4 Road and the driver continued on later advising that he did not know he had struck anyone or anything. Trees and shrubs along the sidewalk obscured vision north and south on the sidewalk until the driver's cab was over the sidewalk area. Various recommendations were made by the jury including the use of equipment, clothing etc. that makes the cycle or cyclist readily seen in dark conditions; enforcement of bylaws requiring property owners to maintain adequate sight lines at driveways; mandatory testing of blood for alcohol and drugs of drivers involved in fatal accidents; mandatory completion of a defensive driving course for drivers involved in fatal accidents; public education programs to reinforce driver awareness of cyclists and pedestrians; and the provision for bicycle lanes on all major roadways and bridges.
94-500-0032 Canyon - A nine year old glided down a 6% incline on 43d street, probably went through a stop sign and collided with a large truck. The driver as he was passing through the intersection noted an object to his right on 43d street and on checking his side mirror observed the cyclist collide with his rear wheel. The cyclist's skull was fractured.
95-170-0257 A teenaged cyclist was riding her bicycle over an overpass on highway 17 near Sidney contrary to large signs directing cyclists to disembark and walk over overpass. She was holding a bottle in her right hand and exited very quickly off the steep ramp. She moved quickly to avoid a wheel chair on the sidewalk and as she moved back onto the sidewalk she lost control of her bike, the front wheel locking to the application of the front brake but no apparent application of the back brake. As the bike's front tire scraped along the curb the teenager was propelled off her bicycle landing hard on the pavement hitting her head. She was not wearing a helmet. She died of brain injuries.
95-167-0137 An experienced cyclist in his mid-forties was cycling on the paved shoulder towards Victoria in the 6100 block of the Pat Bay Highway when he was struck from behind by a automobile which had been weaving in and out of traffic and drove onto the shoulder of the road. Observers said this vehicle was going slightly over the speed limit, was not keeping a proper lookout and the driver had consumed alcoholic beverages. The cyclist died instantly of damage to the brain stem. Road conditions were good and the accident occurred in daylight hours.
95-219-1205 A cyclist in his mid-forties was cycling in a westerly direction on 104th Avenue in Surrey. He was travelling in the curb lane next to the edge of the roadway. It was about 5:00 p.m. and road and weather conditions were good. A van travelling in an easterly direction on the same roadway proceeded across the median into the oncoming lane and struck the cyclist head on. The driver of this vehicle indicated that she either had a blackout or fell asleep.
95-221-1345 A cyclist in his late fifties was riding his bicycle westbound on 8th Ave. in Surrey at about 2:30 p.m. on a late August afternoon. He was travelling on the shoulder of the road and wearing a helmet. Weather conditions were clear and dry and the roadway was in good repair. A van travelling in the same direction as the cyclist moved partially into the shoulder and clipped the cyclist throwing him into a six foot ditch where he landed on his head. He died of cerebral trauma.

1 comment:

  1. This is an important list and highlights the danger of the road. Well done for taking the time to do this.