Folsom Intersection Collision Causes Cyclist’s Death
An intersection collision in Folsom resulted in the death of a bicyclist on June 3. It happened at the crossroads of Iron Point Road and Willard Drive at roughly 6:24 in the morning. A representative of the Folsom Police Department said that the bicyclist died at the scene where he was pronounced dead. The bicyclist was identified only as a male at this time, pending further investigation and family notification. The driver who struck the bicyclist stayed at the scene and is cooperating with police. The intersection was closed to traffic for several hours on Monday morning as police conducted an investigation into the intersection collision. It was reopened at 12 p.m.
We send our deepest sympathy to the family and friends who lost their loved one.
Bicyclist Injuries and Deaths
In 2017, 784 cyclists were killed nationwide. Over the past decade, the number of bicyclist fatalities increased by about 32 percent. This is in comparison to the total number of traffic fatalities, which decreased by nearly 1 percent.
The age of cyclists killed has increased over time. At present, most deaths happen in the 50- to 59-year-old age category. Males are more commonly injured or killed, with a fatality rate that is 6 times higher than it is for females. Children under 14 account for about 5 percent of deaths in bicycle accidents. The vast majority of deaths occur on urban streets. Of all accidents involving the death of the bicyclist, 37 percent involved alcohol use by either the motorist or the cyclist.
Intersection Collisions and Cyclist Fatalities
The cyclist’s risk of being injured or killed is greatest in an intersection. Forty-five percent of all car/bicycle accidents happen in an intersection. Cyclists must take care to make sure they are visible to motorists as well as understand their responsibilities as a bicyclist. Some of the reasons that intersections are so dangerous for cyclists are:
- Motorists underestimate the speed of the bicycle.
- Drivers are not actively looking for bicyclists.
- Because of visibility issues with bicycles, drivers may not see them.
What Bicyclists Can Do to Avoid an Intersection Collision
There are things a bicyclist can do to increase their safety profile:
- Increase visibility: This can be done if the cyclist wears bright colored clothing during the daylight hours or light clothing at night. The bicycle should be equipped with lights in both the front and the back of the bike. Reflective clothing is a great idea to increase nighttime visibility. The use of reflective tape on the wheels helps too.
- Riding defensively: A bicyclist who stays alert for hazards is less likely to be involved in an accident. It is best to scan the intersection for danger and proceed accordingly.
- Maintain a lookout for motorists: A bicycle rider should always be aware of their surroundings. It is important to actively look for approaching motorists. That is one reason to not use headphones when biking since a cyclist will not be able to hear a car or their horn.
- Learn emergency maneuvers: Just because a bicyclist obeys the rules of the road does not mean that everyone else does. Knowing how to handle emergency situations is vital to safe biking. Signing up for a course in safe biking is a good idea.
Liability in an intersection accident where a cyclist was hurt or killed revolves around specific issues. Let’s look at a few of them:
- Right of way: Intersections are notorious for motorists and cyclists alike not knowing who has the right of way. Since some intersections do not have traffic signals, it makes them more dangerous. The usual rule-of-thumb is that whoever arrives first has the right of way. If two vehicles arrive at an intersection simultaneously, the one to the right has the right of way. Alternately, if one of the two roads crossing another is a major roadway and the other isn’t, then the one on the major road goes first.
- Failure to yield right of way: This can occur due to either the motorist’s or the cyclist’s negligence. Obeying the rules of the road can keep everyone safe. If either party fails to do this, they can be considered negligent and liable for damages.
- Motorist turning left: This is a common cause of an intersection collision. When this occurs, the motorists and the bicyclist are heading opposite of one another. The cyclist has the right of way. However, many times, the driver turns left in front of the bicyclist, causing a collision to occur. This is often referred to as a left cross.
- Motorist turning right: In this case, the biker and the motorist approach the intersection. The bicyclist continues across the intersection, but the car makes a right turn. Liability depends on who had the right of way. Most of the time, the motorist is at fault in an intersection accident.
Related article by Folsom bicycle accident lawyer Ed Smith:
Folsom Bicycle Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Folsom bicycle accident lawyer. Bicyclists are often seriously injured or killed in a collision with a motorist. If this happened to you or if a loved one died, you need the services of an experienced injury lawyer. Reach out to me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can contact me online too.
To learn more about my practice, click on the following links:
Photo Attribution: Depositphotos_93628166_l-2015
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