Morgan Stanley exec Martin Erzinger was involved in a rear-end car accident in July of this year, when he drove his 2010 Mercedes Benz sedan into a bicyclist, according to Vail Daily News. But reason for the car accident is no ordinary excuse. Attorneys for Erzinger call foul on the vehicle’s “new car smell”, which, according to his attorneys, triggered the man to fall asleep at the wheel and cause the car accident as a result.
Attorneys for Erzinger say their client suffers from a condition called sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that causes individuals to go into sudden sleep mode under certain conditions. An “accident reconstructionist” in the case says the Mercedes’ new car smell could be a possible contributing factor to the hit-and-run car accident, triggering the man to suddenly fall asleep at the wheel.
The fumes emitted from a “new car smell” are an allegedly toxic compound of volatile organic aromas that arise from the combination of new materials used to construct the interior of a vehicle. This supposedly toxic smell could have spurred Erzinger’s sudden urge to fall asleep at the wheel and lose control over his vehicle, causing him to strike bicyclist Steven Milo, a professor and liver transplant anesthesiologist.
Milo suffered substantial personal injury to include spinal cord injury, brain injury, and numerous other bodily injuries. His spinal cord leaks fluid now and he suffers from debilitating migraines, according to his doctor.
Developments in the case are still underway, and for now Erzinger is booked on two misdemeanors and a felony.
Stay safe as a bicyclist: be a defensive rider to avoid personal injury
Being a defensive bicyclist is a good way to help avert possible dangers and avoid personal injury resulting from a bicycle accident. Many riders use residential streets and trafficked areas to ride their bicycle, so it’s important to be aware of the street signs and laws. In Milo’s case, he could have done very little to avoid being rear-ended by Erzinger.
Three good ways you can be a defensive bicyclist is to:
- Stop for stop signs and look for other alerts on the road. Be aware of your surroundings and follow the road signs, especially stop signs. Even bicyclists need to follow laws on the road. And, doing so can greatly inhibit your chances of being involved in a car accident involving a bike.
- Ride with the traffic signals. Follow the signs as you would in a vehicle. Don’t suddenly stop in moving traffic, swerve, or go on a red light. You never know when a vehicle will fail to notice you, causing an unintended bike accident.
- Use the left turning lane to turn left. In other words, use the appropriate traffic lanes to ride. In this case, use a left-turning traffic lane if you need to turn left. If you feel uncomfortable riding in traffic, don’t risk it and simply walk your bike to a crosswalk to get to your destination.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident involving a bicycle, call us at 1-800-655-6585 or feel free to contact us via our web form for a free legal evaluation. Our law firm specializes in representing bicyclists who have been injured by a vehicle.