Route 66 is an American staple that many tourists and historians have romanticized about for nearly a century. During its prime, it was once congested with motor vehicles, dotted with gas stations, and full of roadside charm.
Once dubbed “Bloody 66,” however, the iconic roadway – which stretches from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA – has seen countless fatal accidents over the years.
As more drivers prefer the convenience of nearby Interstate 44, some parts of Route 66 have become an attraction for bicyclists, particularly throughout Kansas and Missouri. Since the historic route is nearly a century old, its outdated infrastructure puts bicyclists at risk of being struck by speeding or inattentive drivers.
The dangers bicyclists face
A small stretch of Route 66 runs through the southeast corner of Kansas, where a bicyclist was fatally struck by a jeep in February. The accident occurred at night, when the bicyclist was crossing the highway. Only a year earlier, two German bicyclists were killed in a fatal traffic accident after being hit from behind by a minivan.
The factors that led to both accidents are unknown, but The Geeky Cyclist identifies the dangers that bicyclists may face on Route 66 and any other roadway. These include:
- Rear-end accidents: Poor visibility and reckless driving are the most common causes of rear-end accidents with bicycles.
- Driver doesn’t see rider: Sometimes obstacles in the road and merging lanes can put bicyclists in the path of moving vehicles. These accidents are often caused when drivers fail to pay attention to bicyclists.
- The right hook: Intersections are dangerous for bicyclists due to turning vehicles. For example, a bicyclist could be injured by a right-turning vehicle while passing a side street. This can happen when a vehicle either turns in front of or strikes a bicyclist. Poor judgment of a bicyclist’s speed is often the cause of this type of crash.
- The right cross: Like the right hook, this type of accident occurs when a vehicle turns right off a side street directly in the path of a bicyclist. The same type of accident can occur when a driver makes a left turn.
Your legal recourse after a bicycle accident
Bicycle accidents often come without warning. When a crash occurs, it’s usually always due to driver negligence. That’s why it’s always important to take photos of the crash scene (if you’re able to) and obtain contact information from witnesses. An experienced Kansas bicycle accident attorney can take care of the rest.
Being struck by a careless driver can be a frustrating and overwhelming ordeal. That’s why the legal team at Bretz & Young Injury Lawyers would like to speak to you, review your case, and explore your legal options. Contact us today to learn how we can help.