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sunspotbaby

SoWal Insider
Mar 31, 2006
5,017
733
Santa Rosa Beach
Another factor around here is people who follow too close. I think a lot of our visitors are from large cities where it's common to tailgate and intimidate drivers to move over. I remember teaching my son to drive and it wasn't long after the 4 lane was complete, but i showed him how if he's following someone too close, he can't see what's ahead....a bike, a pedestrian, a car broken down on the shoulder. I hope he remembers those things as he drives now. There are way too many accidents that could be avoided if people remember they aren't on an interstate highway. So sorry for all involved.
 

Will B

Moderator
Jan 5, 2006
4,475
1,031
Atlanta, GA
We were discussing this today and I just caution everyone to withhold any judgement. Anything could have happened. Cyclist could have hit something or swerved, another driver could have swerved toward this girl causing her to swerve, deer are out right now, bike have blowouts, text messages happen, coffee gets spilled, someone sneezes violently, water bottles get hung up in cages. I've had close calls as a driver and as a cyclist. Sometimes it was not the fault of either party, things just happened and somehow we all walked away. We don't know, may never know what happened. Please just take it to heart and keep an eye out, cyclists and motorists be careful, focus on the road and err on the side of caution.

I agree with you on all points except the text message. If she was texting, she deserves to be strung up by her thumbs. There's no text so important that it can't wait until you are off the road. I hope it was an unfortunate accident and not as a result of negligence. Sorry for the insensitivity, but I avoid texting idiots every day on my motorcycle despite the new law banning it. They drive like they are drunk. It's a pet peeve.

Prayers to the Frankel family...
 

Alicia Leonard

SoWal Insider
I meet a lot of cyclist on 285, when I have to travel over to Niceville. I always worry about hitting one. I slow down, and make sure there is no oncoming traffic, so I can move over and pass them safely. Texting while driving should be handled like a DUI, imho. There is no way you can keep a true eye on the road and text at the same time. At least with a phone call you can still look at the road, but I try not to answer the phone when I'm driving. This is a tragedy, but if she was texting, and I'm only saying if, she should face some consequences for this man's life, imho.
 

bluemtnrunner

Beach Fanatic
Dec 31, 2007
1,502
144
Oh no I wasn't saying texting would be excusable, I meant it is possible another driver was texting and their lack of attention caused this driver or cyclist to veer off.
 

Kurt Lischka

Admin
Staff member
Oct 15, 2004
12,457,823
4,585
SoWal
mooncreek.com
I passed 2 cyclists on road bikes today on 98. At 55 there is very little room for error for either driver or cyclist.

On the way back I saw 3 guys on mountain bikes on one side and 2 young girls on beach cruisers on my side. This was half way between Inlet Beach and 395. I'm not sure why I mention it except it didn't seem like the place for bikes, especially young tourists.
 

Paula

Beach Fanatic
Jan 25, 2005
3,747
442
Michigan but someday in SoWal as well
I meet a lot of cyclist on 285, when I have to travel over to Niceville. I always worry about hitting one. I slow down, and make sure there is no oncoming traffic, so I can move over and pass them safely. Texting while driving should be handled like a DUI, imho. There is no way you can keep a true eye on the road and text at the same time. At least with a phone call you can still look at the road, but I try not to answer the phone when I'm driving. This is a tragedy, but if she was texting, and I'm only saying if, she should face some consequences for this man's life, imho.

I know a lot of people drive while talking on their cell phones, but the research is pretty clear that it's still distracted driving, even if you're using a speaker - and you are more at risk for an accident when using a cell phone in any way in a car. As a parent, I never use my cell phone while driving (nothing is that important to say on my cell phone that can't wait until I'm not driving given that it increases the chance of accidents - I pull over into a parking lot and just call back the person who left the message if I think it's that important) and I tell the kids not to do so as well (and I think they don't use their cell phones when driving because I've been warning them about cell phone use in the car, but who knows) because it puts them and others at risk. It's not just the texting that's dangerous. I realize that just about everyone I know talks on their cell phone when in the car, but we're in denial if we ignore the studies that say any kind of cell phone use slows down our reaction time and is more likely to lead to an accident. Here's a summary of some of the studies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phones_and_driving_safety.

I am not making any assumptions at all about the young girl who was driving. My heart goes out to everyone involved in this accident. I'm just responding the message above.
 
Frankel was an assistant professor at Georgia Tech, not an instructor, much higher ranked. My son-in-law is an instructor in electrical engineering at Georgia Tech, and he's just in his first year of grad school there. Ditto for me as a calculus instructor at UF when I was 22. Assistant professors have Ph.D.s. Not that the life of a prof is more valuable than that of an instructor of anyone else, but just to set the record straight.

http://www.gatech.edu/directories/index.html?index=0&name=frankel,

RIP.:sosad:
 

tistheseason

Beach Fanatic
Jul 12, 2005
1,072
93
49
Atlanta, GA
So sad to hear! We passed another similar accident here in Atlanta yesterday. Man was biking with his adult son and got hit from the back. So many lives changed in a split second!
 

Teresa

SoWal Guide
Staff member
Nov 15, 2004
28,756
4,046
South Walton, FL
sowal.com
I was checking out the "bike lane" on Hwy 98. it is no bike lane. why don't they put in a proper bike lane - there is plenty of room to do so. Even with a proper bike lane, I still think it would be a dangerous place to bike but at least there would be room to do so.
 

scooterbug44

SoWal Expert
May 8, 2007
16,736
3,327
Sowal
I was checking out the "bike lane" on Hwy 98. it is no bike lane. why don't they put in a proper bike lane - there is plenty of room to do so. Even with a proper bike lane, I still think it would be a dangerous place to bike but at least there would be room to do so.
I would like to see a separate bike path on 98, but that striped off lane with a long flat clear road is far better than most places people road bike without any problems.

Sadly the safety factor is mostly determined by how alert and aware drivers are - the biker really has little to contribute aside from wearing bright clothing and staying in their lane.
 
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