The Chainlink

Motorist hit group ride this morning. IMO, distracted driving should be criminal. Not happy with the assessment by police going easy on a driver that was reckless and killed a cyclist, hurting 6 others.

Article: https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Seven-Cyclists-Recovering-After...

One cyclist is dead and six others were injured after being struck by a car in Davie Sunday morning.

The incident happened near State Road 84 and Weston Road.

According to officials, one of the cyclists died, another is in critical condition. Five others were being treated for minor injuries. 

The driver of the vehicle remained on the scene. Officials said she was distracted, but it wasn't a phone-related distraction. Police went on to say that speed and alcohol did not play a factor in this crash and they are not investigating this as a criminal case. 

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Any idea what the non-phone-related distraction might have been? I guess something on the dashboard perhaps.

I rented a zipcar the other week where to use the radio you had to manipulate a touch screen. I hated that. Analog controls are much safer and do not require you to take your eyes off the road.

The cynical side of me thinks she isn't being honest and she knows exactly what distracted her but doesn't want to say. She has a history of speeding which also makes me think she was driving too fast to course correct. Hard to read this and not be angry at the driver. 

Agree 100%. The new Tesla Model 3 is the worst example of this that I've seen. Every single thing in the car is controlled through the central touch screen. There is nothing on the dash where you'd normally find the speedometer, so the driver has to look to the middle of the car for everything. 

You have to click through several menus to do normally simple things like adjust the mirrors, move the seats, adjust the climate control, etc. It feels exactly as distracting as tapping away on a phone while driving. 

More detail about the woman that died. Really sad. 

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/davie/fl-ne-car-hits-pac...

SR-84 is basically a divided, one-way, three-lane expressway frontage road that runs along I-595.  There are sporadic 2-foot wide bike lanes that appear to be an after-thought in the road design.  I drove it a couple years ago and was amazed by how dangerous this was for a marked bike lane.  Add in the blinding sunrise into the mix and tragically, this was bound to happen.

https://goo.gl/maps/Sx5pmrr9Su12

I agree, sometimes bike lane infrastructure contributes to danger to cyclists.

I struggle with the sunrise defense when the sunrise was an hour and a half before the crash. I feel like there's a protective defense that happens for the motorist. She wouldn't admit to what distracted her either. 

This is awful.  This person should never be allowed to obtain a driver's license again.

Even more awful is the immediate conclusion that "speed wasn't a factor" when I think what they really mean to say is that the driver wasn't exceeding the posted speed limit. If you look at those photos, it's hard not to conclude that a lower vehicle speed might have reduced the severity of the crash or allowed the driver to avoid it entirely. 

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but a really effective and simple solution to "sun blindness" is to slow down. If the sun is so blinding that a driver can't see 25 cyclists in the roadway after slowing down, they should pull over and wait it out, just like a reasonable person would do during a heavy downpour, dense fog, a blinding snowstorm, etc.  There are many situations where the speed limit is not a safe speed to be driving. 

"Reasonable"

There is an appalling shortage of reasonable motorists... witness how few will pull over in rain, fog, or snow.

"...distracted with something in the passenger compartment..."

"...but doesn't remember what."

Florida kills more cyclists that any other state in the union.

Oh, and of course the article Yasmeen cited mentions helmets and headphones.

How fast do you  think the motorist was going to do that much damage to her car?

35+ mph

i've seen less damage from a deer @ 35mph. i'd guess 50+

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