Friday night was a tragic one when a bicyclist was involved in a fatal “hit and run.” The cyclist was riding along side Heckle Boulevard in Rock Hill, SC, when a man hit the cyclist with his motor vehicle, and then continued on his path. He was shortly after apprehended by the police after a witness described the vehicle to the officers. The defendant is currently under arrest and charged with a Felony DUI and Leaving the Scene of an accident.
Pursuant to South Carolina Statute 56-5-3420, “a person riding a bicycle upon a roadway must be granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter.” Thus, when a ” hit and run” occurs, the cyclist is afforded the same rights as that of another driver in a motor vehicle.
To help prevent possible future accidents, The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has provided 9 tips to “share the road” with others:
1. When attempting to pass a bicyclist, you must treat the bicycle as any other vehicle you would pass.
2. Allow for the bicyclist to make mistakes. Watch for swerving cycles and sudden turns.
3. The horn should be used to attract the bike rider’s attention and not as a threat to get out of your way.
4. Drivers must be careful when driving close to cyclists and should maintain a safe operating distance between the motor vehicle and the cyclist.
5. Before passing a cyclist in a narrow traffic lane, wait until the traffic is clear in the opposite lane and then change lanes to pass the cyclist. Do not attempt to squeeze past the cyclist.
6. Leave ample room when turning right after passing a cyclist so the cyclist is not cut off when you slow for the turn.
7. Even with a proper headlight and rear reflector, a bike is still difficult to see. Use extra caution after dark, especially in poorly lighted areas.
8. Automobile drivers should anticipate cyclists at parks, playgrounds, near schools and especially in residential areas. Night is a very difficult time for the bicycle rider and the automobile driver; alertness is required from both.
9. After parking on streets and before getting out of a motor vehicle, the driver and passengers should be careful not to strike a bicyclist when opening car doors.
If you or someone you know have been injured or killed in any type of accident, call the South Carolina personal injury attorneys of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower at 877-374-5999, or use this form, for a free consultation with an attorney to help you evaluate your claim and to get the recovery you deserve.