Top Tips for Safe Bicycling in Rancho Cordova
I’m Ed Smith, a Rancho Cordova personal injury lawyer. As most people know, bicycle riders are vulnerable when sharing the roadways with other vehicles. In 2016, bicycle riders made up 2.2 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities at a total of 840. Learning how to drive when bicycle riders are around is important to avoid collisions resulting in severe injuries or death. Riders as well must learn how to stay safer, including obeying traffic laws and not engaging in behaviors that may lead to a serious bicycle accident.
Bicycle Accidents Caused by Motor Vehicles
Drivers of motor vehicles can cause collisions with bicycle riders in a number of ways, resulting in serious accident injuries. Many of them have to do with either not seeing the rider or failing to obey traffic laws and yielding the right of way. Some common ways this happens are:
- Motorists, making a turn, move into the path of a bicycle rider.
- Coming out of a driveway, side street or parking lot, the driver pulls out without looking for bicyclists first.
- A driver misjudges the distance between his/her vehicle and a bicycle rider. In California, under Vehicle Code section 21760, a motorist has to keep at least three feet from anyone on a bicycle.
- A motorist commits a traffic infraction by running a red light or stop sign or makes an illegal turn.
- A bicycle rider is hidden by an obstruction such as a vehicle, sign or tree.
- A driver opens a car door in the path of a bicycle rider.
Bicycle Rider Safety
Bicycle riders are expected to follow the rules of the road by obeying traffic laws and to exercise caution when riding. Some of the following suggestions may help:
- Wear a helmet. Although helmets are not required in California for riders over the age of 18, they have been proven to lower the incidence and severity of head injuries.
- Ensure the bike you ride is the appropriate size and is well maintained.
- Carry items on a rack or backpack. The hands need to be free to steer without being encumbered.
- Dress in visible clothing, especially after dark. Bright colors and reflective tape can make a bicycle rider more visible to motorists.
- Do not listen to music or talk or text on a cell phone while riding a bike unless you are pulled over to the side. Riding a bicycle without paying attention is just as dangerous as distracted driving in a motor vehicle.
- Always assume that drivers in motor vehicles do not see you. Making eye contact before proceeding is a good idea whenever possible.
- Obey traffic laws and keep an eye out for vehicles that are backing out of driveways or exiting from side streets or parking lots.
- Stay on designated bicycle paths whenever possible. If not, try to take a route where there is less traffic.
Compensation for Bicycle Accident Injuries
When a bicycle rider has been injured due to the negligent actions of a driver or other entity, he or she may wish to consider filing a claim for fair financial compensation. This can be used to cover medical expenses, time lost at work and other costs associated with the incident. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer can help.
Related Articles by Rancho Cordova Personal Injury Lawyer Ed Smith
Rancho Cordova Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Rancho Cordova personal injury lawyer. Bicycle collisions with motor vehicles can cause devastating injuries, resulting in high medical costs and lost time away from work while recuperating. They might even result in the death of a loved one. If you or someone you care about was injured, I have free and friendly advice to offer you. Give me a call at (916) 921-6400 in Rancho Cordova or at (800) 404-5400.
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Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/biker-cyclist-bicycle-biking-sport-446071/
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