When you grab your bicycle for a ride to the store, you may feel much safer than if you were driving. However, this is not the case in many areas, namely, Houston. Bicycle accidents in Houston have claimed 23 cyclists’ lives in the last five years. Even more troubling is the amount of those drivers that are not charged for their crime. Miguel Marcial, 17, was riding his bike to his local pharmacy when he became another victim in the slew of accidents. According to reports, Steven Moritz allegedly struck Marcial with his BMW resulting in his death, without even stopping. Marcial’s brother could only watch as his brother lived his final moments, all for riding in the street the because the sidewalk was too decrepit to ride.a
The accidents always seem to be just that, accidents. Distraction or ignorance for just one moment is a constant factor. The cases are difficult to pursue when there is no one clearly at fault. Sometimes the drivers are left scarred with memories of the accident. Ricardo Abonce is one of those drivers. The cyclist was ruled to be at fault in his case, but it offers very little closure to Abonce as the cyclist did not survive the injuries.
Terry Lee Chatman, 48, was riding his bicycle early in the morning when an accident involving a police officer took his life. The area was allegedly so dimly lit which made it even more difficult for the police officer to know Chatman was crossing, as he sped through the intersection. However, questions have been raised about his death. Some are even calling for the district attorney to bring charges of involuntary manslaughter.
As you’d imagine, the string of accidents has opened many lawsuits. However, the accidents usually occur with little to no witnesses. Bicycle accidents will continue in the Houston area until the roads improve, and the drivers become more aware and accepting of sharing the roadway with bicycle enthusiasts. In the meantime, bicycle riders must do their part to ensure their personal safety. Always wear your helmet, try to avoid riding after dark, and watch those intersections!