A bicyclist in Abernathy, Texas, died on Friday, July 16th, when he was struck by three separate vehicles. The cause and details of this incident remain under investigation.
Current Details of the Incident
It’s currently unclear what caused a multi-vehicle crash on the Friday morning that led to the death of a bicyclist. The accident occurred at around 5:45 a.m. on North Interstate 27 in the southbound lanes.
According to reports, the now-deceased bicyclist was traveling south in the inside lane of the interstate when he was hit by three different southbound vehicles. The incident occurred on the interstate near Country Road 5300.
Officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) were on the scene investigating the event at least as late as 9:00 a.m. on Friday, but so far the cause of the crash has yet to be released.
DPS confirmed that the bicyclist succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the accident, but no other injuries have been reported.
Following the accident, traffic was diverted off of I-17 southbound onto nearby frontage roads.
Bicycle Accidents and Cyclist Safety in Texas
Over the last ten years, cyclist deaths have roughly doubled. However, over that same period, total cyclist accidents have stayed relatively steady. This suggests that, while bike accidents may not be more common, they are resulting in more deaths per year.
In Texas in 2010, 43 people died in cyclist accidents, with a total of 2,001 bike accidents for that year. By 2020, cyclist deaths reached 80, and total bike accidents topped 2,100.
We generally like to think that our safety improves as time goes on, but that is, unfortunately, not always the case. When it comes to the increase in fatal bike accidents, the People Powered Movement, Bike and Walk Alliance, theorizes that there are several contributing factors:
- Young and new cyclists unfamiliar with bike safety
- Reckless or less considerate drivers
- Cities’ failing to implement plans for improved biking infrastructure and safety initiatives
Despite that, bike accidents aren’t the only kind of crash that seem to be causing more deaths. Over the same ten-year period, pedestrian deaths also roughly doubled, while overall pedestrian accidents increased modestly.
The cause for the increased deadliness of pedestrian accidents may differ from that of cyclist accidents. According to the Governors Highway Association (GHSA), drunk, drugged, and distracted driving as well as speeding, all contribute to the added danger faced by pedestrians today.