Sacramento Resident in Rio Linda Fatal Collision
A fatal collision between a bicycle and a minivan occurred in Rio Linda on May 12. It happened at the intersection of Elkhorn Boulevard and Cherry Lane at about 7:20 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) – North Sacramento division. The deceased, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was identified only as a 59-year-old male from Sacramento. The coroner’s office said it will release the name of the bicyclist once the family has been notified. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my condolence to the family and friends of the decedent.
Additional Details of the Fatal Collision
The bicyclist collided with the Toyota minivan when it entered the intersection from the Northern Sacramento bike trail. The CHP said that the bicyclist had a red bike signal not to proceed but continued anyway. The Toyota was heading west on Elkhorn and had a green light. The motorist, 43, is a resident of Clovis and stayed at the accident site, cooperating with authorities. Drugs or alcohol is not considered to be a factor in the fatal collision, and no charges were made.
Problems for Bicyclists in California
Bicyclists in California face the same problems that those from other states deal with day after day. One is riding on crowded roadways. In California, the law states that motorists must give bicyclists enough room when passing. That means that the driver must stay at least three feet away from the cyclist. This rule, intended to prevent fatal collisions, is not always enforced since it is difficult to determine after an accident.
Many cities, states, and countries are considering the implementation of protected intersections. These are intersections where cyclists and pedestrians are separated from motor vehicles. Some cities with protected intersections in California include Los Angeles and Davis in Yolo County. Protected intersections include strong street markings, staggering of traffic lights for motorists and cyclists and right and left-hand turns on red for cyclists and walkers. In some areas, protected roundabouts are also being used to avoid fatal collisions.
The Problems Encountered at Intersections
Intersections are fraught with danger for cyclists. It is important to know how to protect yourself when approaching and driving through an intersection. Here are some tips on how to do this:
- Right turns: When making a right turn, check to see if the road is clear, extend your right arm and turn. It is best to stay in the middle of the right lane. This keeps a motorist who is also turning right from hemming you in towards the curb. If you are able to legally turn right at a red light, make sure that traffic and pedestrians are not already crossing the intersection.
- Left turns: Such turns are a challenge to any cyclist. To be safe, always use the left-turning lanes at an intersection. If there are no exclusive lanes to turn left, try to stay on the left side of the lane. Alternately, if you are riding on a two-lane thoroughfare, stay to the right side of your lane before turning left. Be careful of left-turning vehicles that attempt to turn left along with you.
- Changing lanes: In order to turn, it is often necessary to change lanes. It is best to do it in steps. As you move from one lane to another, check to make sure that you can safely do so by looking back at traffic.
- Walk your bike: If you feel more comfortable, it is always possible to walk along with the bike.
Looking Back When Turning
It is a good idea to check behind you when turning or changing lanes. Some cyclists refuse to do that because they swerve when they try this maneuver. It helps to practice doing this to eliminate the tendency to swerve for your own safety. It is particularly important to look back when changing lanes. Don’t rely on your hearing to know if traffic is approaching. Today, electric vehicles are essentially silent. When you decide to turn, check one more time to ensure that the way is clear.
Help After a Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accidents can be complex when determining fault. An experienced injury attorney will use all the tools at his or her disposal. For instance, intersections often have CCTV cameras placed strategically. The attorney can obtain the film as well as that of store owners to prove fault. A lawyer will also speak to witnesses who hold a good deal of valuable information. Once fault is decided, the injury attorney will work to build a strong case against the negligent party.
Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer. Being injured while cycling is a danger many bicyclists face. Because of the lack of protection afforded to a bicyclist, injuries are usually serious, and fatal collisions can and do occur. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can also contact me online.
I would like to present two organizations to which I belong:
- National Association of Distinguished Counsel: This organization picks members who are among the top tier of attorneys who provide legal excellence to clients.
- Million Dollar Advocates: Membership is limited to those lawyers who have won more than $1 million for a client.
Learn more about my practice by visiting the following pages:
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/grave-flower-urn-cemetery-death-15623/
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