On July 5, 2022, a 73-year old bicyclist, Dac Them Kieu, died after a collision with a pickup truck in Fountain Valley, California.
Unlike vehicle versus vehicle accidents, vehicle versus bicycle accidents often cause serious injuries or death. Everyone must do their best to respect everyone on the roadway.
Bicyclists can be difficult to see or hear, because of their small size (in comparison to a motor vehicle), their slow speed (relative to a motor vehicle), and their lack of sound.
Both bicyclists and vehicle drivers must be extra careful when traveling near each other. Any type of mistake can result in severe injuries or death.
Vehicle versus bicycle accidents are often the result of a vehicle driver just not seeing the bicyclist. They are also sometimes caused by the bicyclist not following the rules of the road. Sometimes bicyclists are not familiar with rules of the road for bicyclists, or they are unfamiliar with traffic signs or signals in a particular area, or they depend on drivers to yield the right of way to them even when the bicycle doesn’t have the right of way. Bicyclists at a 4-way stop often ride straight through 4-way stop sign intersections without hesitation. They just assume that a vehicle will not run their stop sign. This a dangerous habit, which over time could cause a bicyclist to ignore stop signs altogether, especially in areas where they are used to seeing little to no vehicle traffic.
At the same time, drivers should be aware that many bicyclists loosely follow the rules of the road and drivers should thus be more careful around bicyclists, almost expecting them not to stop at stop signs, to ride their bikes in the opposite direction of vehicle traffic, and to ride their bikes a little too close to vehicles.
Regardless of who was at-fault for the fatal accident on July 5, 2022, it is a lesson for all of us to be more careful when driving or riding a bicycle, to pay close attention to everything around us, and to expect the unexpected. Our condolences go out to the family of Dac Them Kieu.