Last Sunday night, July 31, Joey Harrington, former Falcons quarterback player, suffered injuries when he was hit by a sport utility vehicle while biking in southeast Portland, Oregon.
A 26 year old man was driving an SUV and hit Harrington, 33 years old. He was cited for following too close. Harrington was a major asset to the University of Oregon Ducks as he helped lead the team to victory in the Fiesta Bowl his senior year and was also a Heisman Trophy finalist. He was soon drafted by the Detroit Lions and then over eight seasons, he played for three other teams in the NFL. It was in 2007 when Harrington played in 12 games for the Falcons. While playing for the Falcons, he passed for 2,215 yards, 8 interceptions, and 7 touchdowns.
Harrington was wearing a helmet at the time of this bicycle accident. A major change has recently occurred in Georgia towards bicycle safety. Georgia law now requires motorists to maintain at least three feet of distance when passing bicyclists. Before, Georgia law only required that drivers keep a safe distance.
Bicyclist safety is very important as studies show more people are using and riding bicycles. The Georgia Department of Community Health says that there were about 795 road crashes in 2007 involving bicyclists. Eleven of those bicycle accidents were fatal.