Badly injured cyclist: One moment that changed everything
A Coolum Beach cyclist is urging drivers to pay attention and avoid distractions after she was hit and severely injured in a collision.
Ariane Monticeli Da Silveira was riding south along David Low Way at Peregian in October when a driver coming in the opposite direction turned right suddenly into a side street at full speed and did not see her.
Ms Monticeli Da Silveira said the car would have been travelling at around 60km/h when she was hit by the front of the vehicle, flipped twice and landed on a traffic island.
"I was riding in the bike lane before the car struck my right leg and I landed on my left leg, with the impact causing the muscle to come away from the bone," she said.
"I just had surgery where they opened up my leg and put three screws in to reattach the muscle.
"I cannot put any weight on my leg for the next six weeks and will be laying down 95 per cent of time.
"It's disappointing to know this accident could have been avoided if the driver hadn't been looking at her watch or distracted by her passenger."
Ms Monticeli Da Silveira said her life has been put on hold.
"It is going to take a year to recover from this, that's my one year of my life, that's a huge impact," she said.
The 38-year-old had just started working as a personal trainer and had to seek legal support from Slater and Gordon Lawyers to lodge a motor vehicle accident claim against the driver, to recover her medical costs, loss of wages and for pain and suffering.
Doctors have said it will likely take her 12 months to recover and gain her original strength back.
Slater and Gordon Birtinya Senior Associate Nicola Thompson said the majority of road accidents she had come across throughout her career were often caused by distraction.
"Accidents like these are preventable and unfortunately they have the potential to contribute to Queensland's road toll, which is currently much higher than this time last year," she said.
"Ms Monticeli was a keen runner and swimmer and had completed professional triathlons in Brazil for 12 years before moving to Australia in 2017.
"The accident has delayed her starting a new and exciting career and will prevent her from earning money and taking part in doing the active things she loves until she has recovered."
Ms Monticeli Da Silveira is calling on drivers to be patient on the roads, to drive safely and keep an eye out for other road users.
"A distraction like looking at your phone only takes a second and it only takes a second to miss a cyclist or pedestrian and to cause them devastating injuries," she said.
"Please remember that bike riders you are impatient with are living people and we need to show each other respect.
"Whether it's impatience or distraction, everything can change in one moment.
"You are supposed to slow down, look and turn before changing direction no matter what you are driving or riding.
"Cyclists like me have little chance of coming off unscathed in accidents involving vehicles."