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Speeding Motorist Kills Cyclist in Rancho Mirage

A man driving a white Honda Accord at a high rate of speed struck a cyclist riding in the eastbound lanes of Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage. The accident happened at around 6:30 am Thursday, December 13, 2018. A witness to the accident says he saw the Accord run into the cyclist sending him cartwheeling through the air. Police handcuffed the driver of the Accord who told them he was speeding because another driver had tried to run him off the road.

The accident is under investigation, and it’s not known if any charges will be filed against the driver of the Accord.

Hard to See

One of the leading causes of bicycle-automobile collisions is that the cyclist has low visibility. Not necessarily from a lack of reflective gear—though that can be a factor—but because of their narrow profile when they are riding with traffic. This naturally makes cyclist tough to see for a motorist.

Another reason is what researchers are calling ”inattentional blindness” which happens when a motorist looks directly at a cyclist and even though the motorists eyes “see” the cyclist, he or she doesn’t register their presence. Kristen Pammer, professor of psychology and Associate Dean of Science at Australian National University, explains it this way:

“When we are driving, there is a huge amount of sensory information that our brain must deal with. We can’t attend to everything, because this would consume enormous cognitive resources and take too much time. So our brain has to decide what information is most important.”

Speeding Motorist and Cyclists

When a motorist encounters a cyclists, there are already factors working to cause the cyclists not to be seen. When speed is added to the equation, the risk of collision and serious injury increases. First because the reaction time is lessened by the speed, and second, the impact on the driver can be greater. Certain injuries are common to high impact vehicle-bike collision:

  • Head trauma
  • Broken bones
  • Punctured lungs
  • Damaged organs
  • Internal bleeding
  • Death

What do I do if I’ve Been Struck by a Speeding Motorist?

Of course, the first thing to do is get help, get medical treatment and begin the healing/rehabilitation process. Then when that is taken care of, it might be time to deal with the heavy financial losses caused by the accident. The best advice at this point is to not talk to the insurance agent or any of their lawyers without at least speaking to a professional who knows the law, knows your rights and understands California bicycle laws.

Bay Area Bicycle Law is one of the only personal injury law firms in California focused on exclusively on bicycle law. If you or a loved one was injured anywhere in the State of California, contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation. We assist clients in Southern Califonia as well. Bay Area Bicycle Law may be contacted by phone at (415) 466 8717 or by email.