Every single person who has ever ridden a bicycle and shared the road with automobile traffic, even light traffic, knows at least this one simple fact – it can be extremely dangerous! The statistics continue to prove this unfortunate fact to be true.
Fountain Valley isn’t immune to this danger. A tragic reminder of the dangers facing every local bicyclist occurred Saturday morning when a bicyclist was killed while riding on Brookhurst Street. The cyclist, a resident of Westminster, was struck from behind while riding close to the curb by a jeep. The cyclist was taken to a local hospital where he died as a result of his injuries. The victim, Vinh Tran, was 36 years old.
The driver of the jeep was allegedly under the influence of prescription medication has been charged with driving under the influence (felony) and gross vehicular manslaughter.
Unfortunately this isn’t the only bicycle – auto fatality in Fountain Valley this year and as equally unfortunate, it most likely will not be the last. Central to this particular accident, as is most often the case, is how preventable it was.
Please don’t take this as an attack on the driver of the Jeep, because it is not. He will have his day in court and it may well be found out that he wasn’t intoxicated or wasn’t driving recklessly. Time will tell where the blame lies, if anywhere.
Consider this a plea for everyone on the road to raise their level of awareness and take the extra time or steps it takes to be safe. It is heartbreaking to review any accident and identify not only the cause, but the opportunities that were missed to avoid the accident.
There is no doubt that a 36 year old man losing his life in an accident is tragic, but failing to learn from a tragedy is also a tragedy in and if itself. Hopefully, some measure of good will come from the accident in the form of increased awareness of the potential for accidents and actions that can be taken to avoid them.
The accident statistics are practically unbelievable. In 2012, there were more than 200 bicyclists killed and many more severely injured as a result of collisions with motor vehicles in the U.S. Those are only the reported statistics; it seems reasonable to assume that many collisions go unreported each year.
Being in an auto-bicycle accident is certainly not inevitable; but the chances of being involved in an injury accident aren’t going down, as we were reminded again Saturday morning.
Auto, bicycle and road technology are improving every day and defensive riding techniques and rider awareness programs are helping to improve the safety of the roads you travel every day, but today’s world requires more care and caution than ever before, so be sure to exercise it.
Those who have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence are encouraged to contact Tim Ryan, a bicycle accident lawyer in Huntington Beach for a free case evaluation. Timothy J. Ryan & Associates has helped recover over $1 Billion on behalf of their clients and have a long history of successful case wins and satisfied clientele. Call (800) 838-6644 today to obtain a free consultation and find out what options you have available.