According to crash reports, authorities have identified a man, Johnny Ray Cole, was killed by a hit-and-run driver while cycling down East Taylor in Sherman, TX. It happened on September 22, 2022 near the 500 block of East Taylor Street. Just before 7pm, officers received a call from a passerby who discovered the body of Mr. Cole. The report indicates that Mr. Cole was traveling east in the westbound lane when he was struck by a driver traveling west in the westbound lane. Evidence suggests that the mirror of the vehicle struck the cyclist on the front of the head, face, and shoulder. The driver of the vehicle has not been identified and authorities ask that anyone with information contact Officer Bigham at the Sherman PD – 903-892-7290.
Crashes involving a pedestrian or bicycle can be particularly serious and, in many cases, fatal. These types of crashes seem to have increased in recent years. I wonder if it is because more people are walking or taking their bike or perhaps, because drivers are more distracted than ever causing them to weave and swerve. Regardless of the cause, TDOT reports that in 2021, 7,631 crashes involved cyclists and pedestrians who were injured in the crash – 2,265 being cyclists and the remaining 5,366 pedestrians. This month alone, I have personally read about 5 local crashes involving an injured pedestrian or cyclist.
We cannot anticipate the actions of other drivers, but we can take steps on our end to make sure our actions do not contribute to a collision with a motor vehicle. The below summary of tips was compiled in part by the Texas Department of Insurance and is a helpful guide to get you on the road to safer travel whether by foot or cycle.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Tips
Stay Alert – Watch for traffic and avoid distractions.
Plan Your Route – Select routes that allow you to cross traffic with signals and try to avoid dangerous intersections and roadways. Avoid walking along or in a roadway when an adjacent sidewalk is available and always use a crosswalk when it’s available.
Safe Lane Changes – Plan Ahead, Scan, Signal, Act, Improvise
Obey Traffic Safety Rules – The Texas Transportation Code has rules established for pedestrians and cyclists. These rules encompass everything from safety equipment to right-of-way. Familiarize and practice these rules for improved safety.
Always Expect the Unexpected and Move with Traffic.