Bicycle Accidents | San Diego, CA

People flock to California from all over the world to enjoy the friendly people, beautiful weather and breathtaking scenery. Naturally there is a significant amount of bicycle traffic on the roadways. Unfortunately there are far too few dedicated bike paths and bicyclists risk sharing the road with cars in many circumstances. If you have been hit in a bicycle accident consult a bike accident lawyer as these cases tend to be more complex than a typical auto accident as right-of-way issues can come into question. While bicycles are considered vehicles under California law, it is not uncommon for bikers to break the law by riding against traffic or failing to stop for red lights or stop signs.

Far too frequently, motor vehicles pull out in front of bicycles before the cyclist has a chance to stop. For hundreds of Sacramento bicyclists each year, this means risking serious injury. Cars and trucks hit bikers when turning a corner and failing to double-check their distance, or simply run them over. Nearly three-quarters of bike accidents occur at intersections and driveways, indicating that the Rules of the Road are not fully understood by either party.

Less than two years ago in 2009, 630 bicyclists died on US roads representing 2% of all traffic fatalities that year. Statistics available for California indicate that as many as 10,000California bike accidents occur every year, causing thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities.

Most accidents are caused by a collision between a motor vehicle and bicycle. Most vehicles weigh in the thousands of pounds while a bicycle weighs very little, which is why so many bicycle-motor vehicle collisions result in serious injury or death. While helmets help to prevent head injury in a bike accident and should be worn, they do not protect the rest of the body.

Rarely are experienced bike riders found to be at fault in accidents involving motor vehicles, although less experienced riders may create dangerous situations by riding against traffic, not abiding by stop lights or signs, or a number of other infractions. The best way for a bicyclist to avoid an accident is to fully embrace the fact that not all drivers feel it is their duty to share the road with bikers. They often fail to check blind spots or rear view mirrors with the frequency they should. Other tips include:

  • Avoid riding beside a car into an intersection
  • Use care when passing a parked car, as they may unexpectedly open their door
  • Install mirrors on your bike and check them frequently
  • Install lights if you ride at night
  • Use hand signals when making turns
  • Use both hands for optimal control

When a person is hit and injured in a bike accident and the driver of the vehicle was negligent, there may be grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for medical costs, lost income and pain and suffering. Seek the help of a bike accident lawyer if you or a love one have been injured.

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