An Alabama cyclist, Christopher Lavaugn Davis, was struck and killed on a rural road last week. The driver, Marcos Grabe Fernadez, 21, fled the scene. The crash occurred in the evening, but Davis’ body wasn’t found until 5:30 a.m. the next morning.
Police have released few details about the circumstances of the collision, but an inspection of the section of the road where the crash occured on Google maps shows the area lacks adequate shoulders, bike lanes, and lane markers.
In recent years, Alabama has spent just 1.4 percent of the federal transportation funding it receives on bicycle and pedestrian safety projects. That’s about $1.80 per person per year.
The most recent version of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s found some 630 cyclists are killed in the United States each year.
Rural roads, such as the road Davis was killed on, rank as the most dangerous type for both motorists and bicyclists. Motorists are about twice as likely to be killed on poorly-designed rural highways than urban roads.
According to a recently published Federal Highway Administration report, rural roads are more hazardous to cyclists than urban roads. Nationally, about a quarter of fatal bicycle accidents occur on rural roads. Key contributing factors include the fact that rural roads often have unpaved shoulders, high rates of speeding, and few street lights.