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Older driver strikes and kills bicyclist

An accident involving a bicyclist and the driver of a car has left the bicyclist killed and raised a number of questions about the wreck. The crash happened in the middle of the day as the 69-year-old bicyclist was riding in the designated bike lane. The 89-year-old driver of the motor vehicle struck the bicyclist while trying to merge onto the road. The 89-year-old stayed at the scene and police don't suspect any impairment.

This is obviously a sad story, but it raises a couple of questions, one of which is a controversial and uncomfortable topic. First, let's discuss the bicyclist's side of this story.

Bicyclists are in a dangerous position out on the road, even though they have their own designated lanes. That may seem like a safety zone, but those lanes are nothing more than painted lines on a hard concrete road. If a car swerves over them, they can hit a bicyclist and the resulting crash will usually result in serious injuries to the biker. It is imperative that drivers pay special attention to bicyclists out on the road.

The other issue here, though, is the age of the driver of the motor vehicle. At 89 years of age, it is only natural to assume that his ability to see and react to things happening out on the road is diminished. It is part of the aging process. It will happen to us all. Our reactions and ability to see will fade. So it raises the question: should something be done about drivers who reach a certain age? Do new laws and systems need to be put in place to test the efficacy of an older driver?

Source: News 4 Tucson, "Victim in Fatal Bicycle Accident identified," Jan. 24, 2016

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