Driving on public roads is a privilege for individuals who, through the completion of required driving tests, have shown a certain ability to operate and control an automobile within full knowledge of motoring laws. After attaining the privilege, there is no guarantee that a vehicle owner will be a responsible driver, and as a consequence, many accidents and many injuries and even deaths, occur every year. Drivers responsible for such incidents are also liable for prosecution under criminal law.

Each car accident tends to be singular in its impact. The life of the victim can be, at the least, thrown into temporary chaos, with recovery from injuries suffered likely to be a prolonged process. A Roanoke, Virginia, man will be knee-deep in this process due to injuries suffered after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle. The rider fractured a leg, punctured a lung and broke ribs, whose healing will require rehabilitation lasting nearly weeks. The driver of the car that hit him was driven by a Lexington, Virginia, woman who was later arrested on a hit and run felony charge and reckless driving.

The incident has brought into question laws which punish distracted drivers for causing accidents by losing control of their vehicles. It was reported that the driver responsible in this accident is currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation and had apparently been involved in a fatal crash a year ago. She has also been charged with other traffic violations since this accident.

Another aspect of the case is the care that motorists take when slower vehicles, such as bicycles, are present on the road. According to current Virginia law, drivers must maintain a two-foot distance between rider and motorist, a gap which this month will be increased to three feet. This may not assuage accident victims or their families, but it does suggest that following the law might make such accidents less common.

Source: Roanoke.com, “Casey: Victim of collision on slow road to health,” Dan Casey, June 23, 2014