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A local bicyclist was killed when crossing Auburn Road near Pontiac, Michigan. The tragic accident is a cautionary tale for safe driving, especially at night.
The 71 year old Pontiac resident was hit as he crossed Auburn Road near South Jessie Street in Pontiac. The accident happened on December 8, 2014 at about 9:53 p.m. It serves as a lesson in bicycle safety for riders and drivers alike.
The bicyclist was not wearing a helmet when he was hit. In lower-speed accidents, bike helmets can reduce the risk of skull fractures and brain injury by disbursing the shock of the impact. If the biker had been wearing a helmet it may have saved his life.
The police report of the accident said that the crash happened in a non-crosswalk area of South Jessie Street. Bicycles should be treated like vehicles and should be ridden with traffic in the right hand lane. They should obey all traffic laws including stop lights and right of way laws at intersections.
The fatal accident happened well after dark, which should remind riders the importance of using proper head and tail lights when bicycling. Tire-mounted reflectors and brightly colored clothing can also make you more noticeable from the side, like when you are crossing a busy street.
The most important lesson to be learned from this crash is that alcohol and biking do not mix. The police report indicates that alcohol may have been a factor on the part of the rider. Some people see bikes as a safe alternative to drinking and driving because of the lower speed of travel. But alcohol affects your decision making ability, coordination, and balance. That means drinking and riding may be just as bad an idea as drinking and driving. In addition to the risks of traveling too fast and veering out of your lane, you could find yourself being thrown off balance, falling off of your biking, or misjudging the distance between you and an approaching car. If you have had too much to drink, leave the bike locked up and walk home or call for a ride.
Bike riders need to be especially careful when riding at night. One wrong decision could result in the bicyclist being killed. But by taking the proper safety precautions, particularly when it comes to drunk biking, riders can minimize the risks and get home safe.
David Christensen is an auto accident attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He and his team help bicyclists who have been injured in crashes with cars to recover under the Michigan Auto No-Fault Act. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a bike-on-car accident, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.