Police say that the taxi driver that drove into a group of bicyclists in Miami Beach on Sunday fell asleep while driving. The traffic accident, which happened around 8am in the morning on the MacArthur Causeway, knocked many cyclists onto the ground.
Six of the bicycle accident victims were transported to the hospital. Five riders sustained serious road burns that were treated at the crash scene.
The taxi driver was Checker Cab company driver Herbert Morais, who admitted to falling asleep while on the road. He did not have any passengers riding in his cab when he hit the riders from behind.
Traffic records show that Morais has received several tickets for traffic violations in Miami-Dade County over the last five years. Just last month, he was ticketed for failing to halt at a stop sign. He also has received tickets for speeding and not obeying HOV lane requirements.
Common crash scenarios that can lead to accidents between bicyclists and motorists:
• A driver merges into a bicyclist’s lane.
• The bicyclist rides into a motorcyclist’s path.
• The driver tries to ride past the bicyclist.
• The driver or bicyclist does not yield the right of way.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says over 1/3rd of drivers have fallen asleep or nodded off while driving at least once in their lives. The National Sleep Foundation says 32% of adults say they’ve driven while sleepy at least once a month.
Most fatigue and sleep-related auto crashes occur between 12am and 6am, but 1pm to 4pm is also a time when there are drowsy drivers on the road.
Driver Fell Asleep At Wheel Before Hitting Cyclists, Police Say, Local10.com, August 25, 2008
Cab barrels into bicyclists in Miami Beach crash, PalmBeachPost.com, August 24, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program