Everyone knows that drinking and driving leads to car accidents and that victims can get seriously hurt. Now imagine the target of a drunk driver is on a bicycle, with nothing more than a helmet to protect them. No airbags, seatbelts or crumple zones like modern motor vehicles have.
Needless to say, the result of a bicycle accident caused by a drunk driver is often a tragedy. Riders get killed and severely injured at the hands of drunk drivers. Unfortunately, it happened again recently here in Southern California.
Rider killed by drunk driver in the afternoon
The Los Angeles Times reports that a bicyclist died after being hit by an alleged drunk driver in Orange County in late March. Though the Times has few details, the fact that the collision happened in the middle of the afternoon is significant. It shows that drunk drivers do not only come out at night, and it also takes away the common alibi that it was too dark to see the rider.
The victim was rushed to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries early the next morning. Meanwhile, police arrested the driver, who was under the legal age to drink, and charged him with causing bodily injury while driving under the influence. It is likely the charges will change due to the victim’s death if they haven’t already.
Many ways for drivers to put bike riders in danger
A driver does not have to have been impaired by alcohol to be held responsible for a cyclist’s serious injuries or death in a personal injury lawsuit. Any negligent behavior, including failure to yield on a turn, following too closely and speeding, can be enough to require the driver to compensate the rider for things like their medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.