The Maryland State Highway Administration estimates that about 750 cyclists suffer injuries each year on Maryland roads. The SHA has a bicycle safety education program called "A Cyclist Might Be Someone You Know," which is a campaign asking motorists and cyclists to pay attention to the road and remember that cyclists have a family and friends who want the rider to return home safely. As a cyclist, it is important to follow the rules of the road and to have the proper equipment.
Bicycling can be a lot of fun, and can also be a great way to get exercise, spend time in nature, or even get to work without fighting so much traffic. But riding a bicycle can also make you vulnerable to getting into an accident with a car or truck that is not paying attention to a much smaller vehicle sharing the road. Additionally, many drivers aren't clear on the rules for bicycles, so they may not be sure whether to yield to you, move over, or take another course of action that could help protect you and keep you from getting into an accident.
A 20-year-old Johns Hopkins University student was killed over the summer while riding his bicycle on University Parkway. An 83-year-old driver didn't notice him in the bike lane and struck him. While it is not clear whether this student's family filed suit alleging wrongful death, there can be little doubt that the young man's loss brought pain and suffering to his loved ones. Perhaps remembering him, the student's loved ones are now motivated to prevent future deaths.
Just hours after an Alexandria pedestrian was hit and killed by a driver who fled the scene on January 21, a Silver Spring bicyclist was injured after being struck by a hit-and-run driver. While police are pursing leads based on witness reports, no one has been arrested in connection with either of the hit-and-run collisions.
On the heels of the tragic death of a Senate candidate in a bicycle / car accident back on September 19th and years after the national "share the road" PR campaign was rolled out, Maryland has a new law on the books starting today. The law stipulates new rules for bike riders and motorists on our state's increasingly congested roadways. In order to prevent future bicycle vs. car accidents, drivers now face fines upwards of $500 for passing within three feet of someone on a bicycle.