Just a few months ago, the National Law Enforcement Initiatives Manager
for Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Carl McDonald, began his
venture of a three-month trans-American bicycling journey. Along for the
ride was his sister Sallie McDonald. The two of them set out on the ride
to raise money for MADD and to honor the memory of his five-year-old daughter,
who was killed by an intoxicated driver.
Carl lost his five-year-old daughter to a drunk driver back in 1998. This
driver was operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
of .22, which is nearly three times the legal limit.
Our Jackson and Cape Giradeau Missouri car accident attorney support the
cause that Carl and his sister are riding for. Drunk drivers cause too
car accidents in Sikeston, Kinnett, Dexter and elsewhere in Southeast Missouri. Not only does the
summer time bring out an increased number of drunk drivers, it also brings
out an increased number of bicyclists. It is important for all motorists,
and bicyclists, to practice extra cautious and alert driving habits during
these next few summer months.
The brother and sister duo started the venture at Amelia Island in Florida
back at the end of April. They plan to finish their biking journey in
Astoria, Oregon. Their planned journey aims to take them through Florida,
Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas,
Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Oregon.
It is estimated that nearly 11,000 people will lose their lives this year
alone because of drunk-driving accidents. This is equivalent to one life
lost every 50 minutes. According to the
Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these fatal accidents will count for more than 30 percent of
all motor-vehicle accidents for the year. Nearly 200 children died because
of traffic accident involving an alcohol-impaired driver. Missouri witnessed
nearly 400 deaths resulting from accidents involving an intoxicated driver
in 2009 alone.
The ride also brings up the importance of bike safety on our roadways.
According to the NHTSA, the United States witnessed more than 600 bicyclist
fatalities on our roadways because of motor-vehicle traffic accidents
last year. Another 51,000 bicyclists were injured. These accidents accounted
for 2 percent of all injuries resulting from traffic accidents during
the entire year.
Safety tips for motorists to increase safety for bicyclists:
-Refrain from tailgating.
-Wait until you're sure it's safe before passing a bicyclist.
-Always give a bicyclist the right of way.
-Give bicyclists extra time to get through intersections.
-Be extra cautious when reversing or opening your vehicle's doors as
passing motorists are an easy target in these incidents.
Motorists are also urged to report drunk drivers on our roadways:
-Stay away from the vehicle. Do not attempt to stop the vehicle or the
-You can spot a drunk driver as they will typically swerve, change lanes
erratically, stop or accelerate for no reason, travel much slower or faster
than the posted speed limit and may even ignore stop signs and traffic lights.
-Attempt to get a description, from a distance of course. Get the vehicle's
color, make, model, license plate number and a description of the driver
as well. Be sure to know the road they're traveling on and the direction
they're headed too.
-Call your local law enforcement and let them handle the situation.
Drivers are asked to travel with extreme caution and alertness. Bicyclists
are asked to travel wisely as well as they're more vulnerable in these
accidents. Bicyclists should practice their own defensive driving habits
in an attempt to reduce the risks of accidents for everyone.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a Missouri bicycle accident
or in a car accident with a drunk driver, call the Jackson Injury Lawyers
at Aaron Sachs & Associates for
a free initial consultation to discuss your rights. Call (573) 334-7959.
More Blog Entries:
Lawmakers Target DUI Offenders for Road Construction Money - Fewer Missouri
Drunk Driving Accidents in Cape Girardeau and Elsewhere, A Laudable Effort,Southeast Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Blog, June 6, 2011
70-Mile Ride to Help Reduce Risks of Motorcycle Accidents in Southeast Missouri,
Southeast Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 31, 2011
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