Guide to Preventing Bicycle Accidents and Injuries in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer. Many individuals in Sacramento and other areas around the city are choosing bicycles for exercise, commuting and as a source of economical transportation. As the bicycle community is growing, so are the number of accidents. Cyclists have the same right to share the road as their counterparts driving an assortment of motor vehicles. Yet, many drivers do not know or obey the rules designed for the safety of all those on the roads. Let’s take a look at the rights and responsibilities of cyclists, how accidents happen and how cyclists can stay safe.
Statistics of Bicycle Accidents
In 2015, about 815 cyclists were killed nationwide. This increased in 2016 to 835. The number of cyclists killed in California also increased. Annually, about 100 individuals die in the state, and approximately 10,000 are injured. Since not everyone who is injured in a bicycle accident is taken to an emergency room, the number reported as injured is thought to be low. In Sacramento County, of the 11,710 injuries and deaths due to motor vehicle and related accidents, 620 were cyclists over the age of 15. Eighty individuals were 15 years old and under. In the city of Sacramento taken as a whole, 4,502 people were injured or killed. In addition, 213 bicyclists over 15 and 18 who were 15 years old and under were killed or injured in accidents.
Common ways to Prevent Bicycle Accidents and Injuries
Cyclists have the same rights as others who share the road. They also share an obligation to make the road safe for everyone. There are ways that bicycle riders can help assure that they arrive at their destination safely. This includes:
- Stay in control: It is important that a cyclist stays in control. One of the first ways to do this is to choose a bike that fits your height. There are online sites that help you do this.
- Be alert for other drivers: Watch out for motorists. Let them know when you are about to make a turn by using hand signals. Make sure you use lights on your bike at night.
- Be alert for hazards: Keep your eyes on the road to be able to avoid hazards such as potholes and debris on the road.
- Use bicycle lanes if possible: They are clearly marked, however, motorists often merge into the bike lane when making a right turn.
- Use protection: Wearing a helmet is a smart thing to do. You must use a helmet until you are 18, and it should fit you properly to be protected. Once you are 18, you are no longer required to wear a helmet. However, many cyclists continue to wear them.
- Obey traffic signals: Remember to obey traffic signals such as stop signs and traffic lights.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
It is important to learn where and how accidents happen in order to avoid them. Some of the most frequent types of situations that lead to accidents are:
- Stop signs: Cyclists need to obey stop signs just as much as motorists do. One of the most devastating accidents happens when a cyclist proceeds to enter an intersection as a motorist, who has the right of way, travels through. In this case, the cyclist would be at fault in the accident.
- Don’t be a wrong way biker: Riding against traffic is an illegal act. It is basically the cyclist’s version of a wrong-way driver and accounts for numerous accidents.
- Watch for motorists making a left turn: On many occasions, a motorist will make a left turn in front of a cyclist approaching from the opposite direction. This is due to the motorist failing to see the cyclist or misjudging their speed. Bicycle riders can counter this by decreasing their speed in the intersection, allowing them to stop in time to avert a crash. Making themselves more visible helps too.
- Watch out for motorists making a right turn: As drivers and cyclists approach an intersection, a motorist may not see the bicycle rider approaching on his or her right. As the driver makes a right turn, he risks cutting off the biker. Bikers can protect themselves by being alert to a vehicle’s turn signals and refraining from passing a vehicle on the right.
Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer. If you are injured while riding a bicycle due to the negligence of a motorist, you need the assistance of an experienced bicycle accident lawyer. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for friendly and free advice. You can reach out to me online too by using my contact us page.
I’ve been helping those who live in Sacramento and the wider Northern California area obtain the compensation they deserve for catastrophic injuries.
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Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/bicycle-bike-cars-city-cyclist-1868162/
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