It was the afternoon of Christmas Eve in south Charlotte. A 57-year-old man was enjoying a bicycle ride until, without warning he was struck by a speeding car at the intersection of Johnston Road and Pineville-Matthews Road.
According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed at the moment of impact. It is believed that he was trying to get through the intersection on a yellow light, before the signal turned red. The bicyclist died of the injuries sustained in the bicycle accident, police said.
The short article by a Charlotte TV station did not even mention the man’s family. It is not difficult to imagine their horror and grief. Losing a loved one on Christmas Eve must have only magnified their pain.
The bicyclist was wearing a helmet at the time, but his precautions were not enough to save him from a speeding car weighing a couple thousand pounds.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2015, more than 800 people lost their lives in bicycle accidents. The agency says that every day, more than two people in the U.S. are killed in collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles.
Bicycle accident fatalities are up 6 percent in the past decade, the NHTSA says.
The good news is that injuries in the crashes decreased to 45,000 in 2015. That was down from more than 50,000 the year before.
The agency also said that the average age of bicyclists killed in bike collisions is on the rise. The average age in 2014 was 45, up dramatically from 2004 (39 years old), 1998 (32) and 1988 (just 24). Nearly 90 percent of those killed were male, with more than two-thirds of all bicyclists killed in urban areas.
Those who are injured in bicycle accidents, and those families that lose loved ones in these crashes can speak with attorneys skilled in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.