02

Blog

Bicycle Crashes are Not “Accidents.”

We've used the word "accident" on our site for years. As of today, that changes.

The crash that sent our webmaster and blogger Mike Dayton to the ICU (still in critical condition) and that injured three others has garnered much attention around the country.  We have reported on his condition, and the weak charges filed against the reckless driver.

Thanks to so many for your kind words and thoughts to Mike.  We have received thousands of messages of support and concern. It is a comfort to be reminded of the power of community.  Cyclists are the best.

The attention prompted an overdue, critical look at our site, the words we actually use, and the message we send.

We have long argued that bicycle crashes are not “accidents.”  North Carolina attorney Ann Groninger (who proudly represents Mike) has made the point on these pages.   Lawyers in our Network have represented injured cyclists in thousands of cases.  We know, first hand, that our clients are rarely injured “accidentally.”  On the contrary, in the overwhelming number of occurrences, a driver made a choice (or failed to make a choice), and that choice caused injuries, often life-changing, sometimes fatal.

Let me / Peter get personal.  My brother, Jim, was killed on his bicycle by an underaged driver running a red light.  It was no accident, because 10 minutes before, the driver’s mother decided to give her unlicensed daughter the keys to drive to school.

Likewise, we know that the crash that has left Mike in such dire condition was no accident.

Same is true in so many of our other cases: read about Matthew Burke, Patrick Wanninkhof, and Dale Thomas, just to name three.

And yet, as was pointed out by a few of you out there, we still clung to the word “accident” on the Bike Law site.  Most noticeably, we titled a box on each page: “Report a Bicycle Accident.”  We appreciate that you guys care enough our mission to point out our inconsistency.

Yes, we used the word “accident” on every page of our site.  We did so on purpose.  We did so in order to be more visible to Google.  In the current state of legal marketing, lots of personal injury lawyers (most with no track record in cycling or cycling advocacy) are flooding the internet, trying to attract injured cyclists.  Because “accident” is by far the most searched relevant term, because “bicycle accident” is what is used by the general public, we used it too.  We want to be visible, and we want to represent injured cyclists, regardless of whether they know or understand the distinction in word usage.

But as of today, we are changing.  It is no longer ‘Report a Bicycle Accident.”  It is “Report a Bicycle Crash.”  And we will be making similar changes across the site in coming days.  We want to be true to you guys, true to our mission, and be a part of changing how bicycle crashes are viewed and understood.

We realize that the distinction does make a difference.

It is worth quibbling over semantics.

A BICYCLE CRASH IS NOT AN ACCIDENT.

PERIOD.

Comments

Peter Wilborn Jan 13, 2021

As a Minneapolis-based attorney, I live, work, play and bike in the city. Although my city might be known for its lakes and our infamous Juicy Lucy, Minneapolis’ dedication to having safer streets for all should be included in that list. To reach the safe streets goal, numerous non-profit organizations and groups are working tirelessly […]

Read More
Ambassador
Rachael Maney Jan 11, 2021

Applications for the Bike Law Foundation Ambassador Program are now live. CLICK HERE FOR THE APPLICATION. The deadline to apply is Sunday, January 24th. Those selected will be notified on or before February 1. Thanks for your support and willingness to work together to make bicycling safer for all. We are committed to you, to one another, and […]

Read More
3-foot passing close call
Charlie Thomas Jan 11, 2021

It happens all the time: Someone emails me video footage, clearly showing they were biking along when a car buzzes past, coming within inches of a horrible crash — and there’s nothing I can do about it because we don’t have the laws in place to do something to help. Luckily, that might be about […]

Read More
killing cyclist bike law
Rachael Maney Dec 22, 2020

BIKE LAW ANNOUNCES THE INDICTMENT OF CARL BEHLER FOR KILLING CYCLIST AND INJURING OTHERS   Today, Carl Behler appeared in court for the first time for killing cyclist Arthur Carter and injuring others. He was indicted on Friday (12/18) by the Anne Arundel County Grand Jury and promptly arrested and detained for 7 crimes related […]

Read More
Bicycle Mayor
Bruce Hagen Dec 03, 2020

When I (Maria of Bike Law Georgia) called Pattie Baker, the first Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor, she was trudging through marshland on her bicycle on Alpharetta’s Big Creek Greenway. I pictured her in my mind with her bike, wearing her signature skirts, and mud on her sandals. Always on the go, the newly minted Metro […]

Read More
Alabama Bike Advocacy
Danny Feldman Dec 02, 2020

When Alabama bike advocate Jamie Miernik was growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she dreamed of being an astronaut.  And today, although she is not an astronaut, as a chemical engineer who worked for Boeing on the NASA space station project, she put her knowledge and talents to use keeping the astronauts safe and sound in […]

Read More
Local bike shop Atlanta Bike Shop Mechanic
Bruce Hagen Nov 06, 2020

We have so many amazing local bike shops in the Atlanta Metro Area and in Georgia that it’s hard to single out any for the service that they provide, but here’s a short list of some of the shops from various parts of town and throughout the state. Eight Great Local Bike Shops in Georgia […]

Read More
Justice Ginsberg Bike Law
Lauri Boxer-Macomber Nov 03, 2020

Last month after Justice Ginsberg passed away, I went on one of those long solo rides to pedal things out.  I was hoping that time in the saddle would help settle the emotional torrent within me.  On one hand, I was feeling driven, empowered, and more motivated than ever to step things up a notch […]

Read More
Women on Bikes Rachael
Peter Wilborn Oct 11, 2020

Rachael Maney is the Director of the Bike Law Network and of the non-profit Bike Law Foundation. As most of you know, she has spent the last two weeks on these pages profiling 16 Women on Bikes leading up to yesterday’s inaugural Women’s Cycling Day. If you haven’t yet, read her profiles of and conversations with […]

Read More
Load More