The latest issue of Outside Magazine has an interesting article on the eternal conflict between bicyclists and automobile drivers. One of the more interesting, and most important, conclusions, is the concept that bikers need to understand that most drivers don't harbor malicious thoughts toward bikers, they just don't understand how to react to bikers on the road. Although 99% of bicyclists are also drivers, 99% of the drivers are not bicyclists. Auto drivers don't understand the concept of "sharing the road." They think that roads are built for vehicles. They think that bicyclists are left wing nut jobs. Most importantly, they assume that the bikers will stay out of their way. If a car needs to make a right turn, the driver will assume the biker will stop and give him room.
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood described distracted driving as a deadly epidemic that is causing death and tragedy throughout the nation. LaHood cited statistics that nearly 63 percent of people under 30 admit to using a cell phone while driving, and thirty percent admit to sending a text message while behind the wheel. LaHood spoke while launching a new program to get the word out on just how dangerous distracted driving is. Nearly 5,500 people were killed in 2009 due to distracted driving accidents. Car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers. LaHood was particularly concerned because of the lack of knowledge among younger drivers. Only 30% of young drivers who were part of a Department of Transportation survey thought that driving while texting or talking on a cell phone was dangerous.
A six year old girl was hospitalized Sunday after a driver ran her over in City Heights. The facts are a little sketchy, but it appears that the girl may have fallen from another moving vehicle before beingstruck by a dark blue, small, two door vehicle. The driver of the blue car fled the scene immediately.The driver is described as an Hispanic male in his 30's with a shaved or balding head. The child was taken to Rady Children's Hospital.
A woman was killed and a suspected drunk driver was arrested following a rollover crash in downtown San Diego early Monday morning. The crash took place at the onramp to the 5 freeway from 11th avenue, just a few moments from my office. The woman was a passenger in a white sedan that was heading northbound to the 5 onramp when the drunk driver lost control, the vehicle rolled over. The woman was trapped and died at the scene. The intoxicated driver was arrested and taken into custody. Typically, the driver escaped unharmed.
A fatal bus accident has occurred in the San Bernardino mountains according to the California Highway Patrol. The bus slid off an embankment on Highway 189 near Crest, Ca. and smashed into a large Cedar tree about 25 feet off the road. About two dozen people were injured and taken to hospitals at Loma Linda and Lake Arrowhead. From initial reports, it appears that the bus slid on an icy road and collided with another vehicle before going over the embankment. The roads were reportedly clear prior to the accident, but the area had received heavy snowfall over the weekend, and the weather was very cold.