On Tuesday night, a cyclist was hit by a car in Asheville. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened at the intersection of Tunnel Road and Interstate 240. Very little information has been released about this crash, but we do know that the cyclist was seriously injured.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently observing National Bicycle Safety Month. During the Month of May, officials with the NHTSA are calling on roadway users to be "Roll Models." During this time, the NHTSA will be promoting their bicycle safety campaign in efforts to raise awareness about the dangers facing cyclists on U.S. roadways. Bicycle riders, like motorcyclists and pedestrians, are still one of the most vulnerable roadway user groups. Although there are steps that cyclists can take to improve their personal safety, bicycle safety needs to be a top priority for motorists too.
A Western Carolina University professor who was injured while riding his bicycle is now urging drivers to put their phones down behind the wheel. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, Jack Summers was in a bike lane on N.C. 107, about two miles from the university, when a car hit him. He will have to miss about three months of school due to back surgery and recovery from his injuries. He is also warning cyclists that they're not safe, even in bicycle lanes, especially while there are distracted drivers on the roads.
A cyclist in Asheville was injured when a motorist got out of his vehicle and assaulted him at an intersection. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, this road rage incident happened near the construction area on Sand Hill Road. Initial reports indicate that the cyclist was keeping with the pace of traffic prior to the incident. The driver, apparently frustrated that he was unable to pass the cyclist, got out of his truck at a stop light and attacked the cyclist. Claude Watson punched the cyclist in the face before retreating back into his pickup truck and taking off. Thankfully, the whole incident was caught on another vehicle's dashboard camera.
Last week, a cyclist in Transylvania County was airlifted to the hospital after a crash. According to WLOS ABC NEWS Channel 13, the incident happened on Blantyre Church Road sometime around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. Very few details about this bicycle crash have been released, but we do know that first responders with Little River Fire Department were on the scene. Initial reports indicate that the bicyclist may have slid on gravel during a downhill stretch. Her bicycle slid into a ditch beside the roadway.
On Monday, an 18-year-old cyclist in Asheville was struck by a car and injured. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened at about 7:00 p.m. on Amboy Road near Short Michigan Avenue. He was reportedly riding toward Carrier Park at the time of the collision. Although very few details about this crash have been released, we do know that the teen was transported to Mission Hospital for treatment of head injuries. At this time, there has been no word on his current condition or the full extent of injuries involved.
On October 1st, a new bike law went into effect for North Carolina. WLOS ABC News Channel 13 reported on the recent change in the North Carolina law, and as of October 1, 2016, it will no longer be illegal for a driver to cross the centerline to pass a person on a bicycle, as long as there is an assured clear distance ahead and no oncoming traffic. This means, drivers are now able to freely go around cyclists, as long as it is safe to do so. Additionally, the new law also states that motorists must give cyclists at least four feet of distance when passing, instead of two feet.
Last week, a cyclist was struck and killed in Henderson County. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened on Friday afternoon at the intersection of Howard Gap Road and Whispering Hills Drive. The cyclist, 71-year-old Brent Yingling, was struck and killed by a Jeep Wrangler after riding into the intersection. At this time, very few details about the crash have been released.
Last week, a group of cyclists in Asheville took off on a 400-mile trek to Atlanta to raise awareness about roadway safety. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, riders with PeopleForBikes, fundraises to improve cyclist safety in all communities and raise awareness about bicycle safety advocacy. The 2016 itinerary included Asheville, Charlotte, Greenville, Athens and Atlanta.
WLOS ABC News Channel 13 recently reported on recommended changes in laws governing bicycle safety in the State of North Carolina. A series of public meetings have culminated in a report with recommendations to the legislature's transportation committee. Some of those recommendations include requiring reflective clothing and allowing drivers to cross the double-yellow line when passing cyclists.