A decorated professional cyclist was killed in a car accident in Italy this past weekend while training for a race. He was in an intersection when a delivery van crashed into him, causing personal injuries that turned out to be fatal. The incident highlights the dangers that bikers – even professional bikers – face on a daily basis while on the roads.
Professional Cyclist Michele Scarponi Dies in Crash
The incident happened early in the morning of Saturday, April 22, 2017. Professional cyclist Michele Scarponi had just returned to his home in the town of Filottrano, Italy a day after competing in the 2017 Tour of the Alps race. Despite just finishing the race, Scarponi was training for another major event, the 2017 Giro d’Italia, and had just left his house for a short warm-up ride. According to initial reports, Scarponi was riding along a main road just outside the center of town when a van hit him at the intersection of the Via dell’Industria and the Via Schiavoni.
Scarponi’s family knew the 57-year-old driver of the van, who was a local of the town. The van driver, who was not reported to have been hurt in the accident, simply didn’t see Scarponi before the collision happened.
Bikers Face Significant Risks on the Road
Scarponi’s death only highlights a serious problem on the roads of America. While cars and other vehicles are required to share the road with bicycles, drivers rarely think to look for them. The result is a staggering number of accidents between cars and bikers.
Unfortunately, every time an accident occurs, bikers are put in serious danger. Without the safety protections of a car, even the smallest collision with a cyclist can lead to severe or even fatal injuries. For bikers, it’s not just a matter of not having airbags or other collision-sensing equipment – not counting a cyclist’s helmet, there is no exterior protection in an impact.
This is why such a high percentage of bikers who are hit by cars suffer fatal injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015 alone, 818 bikers died in accidents, while another 45,000 were hurt. The ratio of fatal injuries to non-fatal injuries for bikers was much higher than it was for people in cars or trucks, in large part because of the lack of protection that bikers have in a crash.
St. Joseph Car Accident Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
Bicyclists face dangerous roads whenever they start pedaling. Until drivers start paying more attention to bikers, though, things will never get better, and more and more bikers will continue to suffer debilitating or fatal injuries in collisions with cars throughout Missouri.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident while riding a bike, contact the personal injury attorneys at the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph. Call us at (816) 875-9373 or contact us online to get the legal representation you need to get the compensation for your injuries that you deserve.