Riding a bicycle can be so liberating, especially in metro areas where traffic seems perpetually gridlocked. You can zip past cars, feel the breeze on your skin and revel in the fact that you're exercising and getting somewhere at the same time. But biking can be dangerous, too. Cars may not see you, especially in the dark. A group of late-night cycling enthusiasts who regularly ride together may have assumed there's safety in numbers. But that wasn't the case last June.
A California woman is accused of plowing into the group of cyclists in her car, injuring 13 of them. Authorities said the car accident happened because the woman was both driving drunk and using her cellphone, which is against state law without a hands-free device. She was charged with two drunk-driving-related felonies and will be arraigned later this month.
Initially police said the riders were partially responsible because authorities allegedly found alcohol, condoms and marijuana at the site where the bikers had been hanging out. But after the police report was submitted to the district attorney, it was the driver who was found to be at fault and charged.
There were about 100 cyclists in the group, which rides together once a month. Although one bicycle can be hard for drivers to see, especially late at night, 100 of them would be very hard to miss. Some of these cyclists will be out of the saddle while they heal from their injuries, and may seek compensation from the driver.
Even if you're not among hundreds as a rider, you have the right and expectation to ride without getting hit and injured, provided you make yourself visible and follow the rules of the road.
Source: Laist.com, "Woman Faces Criminal Charges For DUI That Injured 13 Midnight Ridazz Cyclists," Lindsay William-Ross, Dec. 8, 2011
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