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100 Most Influential Lawyers in America
– the National Law Journal

State law enforcement encourages bicycle safety in California

| Jun 25, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Given the agreeable climate, focus on fitness and growing attempts to improve the environment, it is no surprise that California is a hotbed for bicyclists. The benefits of riding instead of driving are inherent, but that does not change the potential for danger. Drivers who are speeding, reckless, distracted, under the influence or are simply unaware of their surroundings can cause bicycle accidents with catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Avoidance if the best possible scenario and riders are given recommendations to do so. That includes being visible, predictable, wearing clothing that is easy to see and donning the appropriate protective gear. Still, there are some accidents that are unavoidable regardless of how cautious the rider is. After such a collision, there are key factors to remember including how to consider all available options and what steps can be taken to fulfill the financial and personal needs.

Bicycle safety has its own month dedicated to it

May has been designated as National Bicycle Safety Month. The California Highway Patrol is using this as a chance to try and enhance safety for riders across the state. While the benefits of bicycle riding are known, the statistical chance of a bicycle accident is worrisome. This has sparked safety campaigns across the United States. CHP has assessed its data and found that within the last five years, there were at least 51,000 people hurt and almost 800 killed in bicycle accidents throughout the state. In some instances, the rider might have been committing some risky act or violating the law by riding on the wrong side of the road. However, one of the most frequent catalysts for a bicycle-auto accident is if a driver turns in front of or directly into the bicyclist.

Bicycles are granted the identical rights to use the road as drivers and are required to obey the law. Even with the possibility that a rider made a mistake that caused the crash, vehicles and drivers should be cognizant of their responsibilities. For example, many drivers fail to check their side view mirror when opening their car door after parking, thinking it is unnecessary. Unfortunately, this is one of the main ways a rider is injured as an unexpectedly opening car door can cause the rider to flip over and potentially suffer major injuries. When vehicles are turning, riders should not automatically think they have been seen and the driver will yield. This too is a problem.

Prevention is preferable, but advice will be necessary after a bicycle crash

It is always better to adhere to the rules of the road and the basics of safety to try and keep from having a bicycle accident in the first place. As with any potentially treacherous activity, prevention is better than having a collision. That is not always possible. Whether the accident was between a car and a bicycle, a truck and a bicycle, was a door-opening accident or it occurred in another way, it is vital to think about the future. Medical costs can be enormous, especially after a bicycle accident. Head injuries, spinal cord trauma, broken bones, cuts, lost limbs and more can come about. In the worst-case scenario, fatalities are possible. For assistance, it is wise to have knowledgeable, professional assistance to gauge the situation and formulate a strategy to move forward.

 

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