In our roads, we have cars, motorcycles, bicycles and scooters. This indicates the importance of sharing the road. Most cities are now equipped with bike lanes to protect bicyclists from potential accidents. However, there are still lots of cities that don’t have bike lanes. This increases the likelihood of bicycle accidents. Bicycle accidents can be very dangerous especially during a collision with an auto vehicle.
Statistics on Bicycle Accidents
In one year only, around 18,477 cyclists were injured in the US while on the road. 3,499 of those were killed or seriously injured. The majority of these victims are adults. But children also get affected. In 2016, 1,981 children were involved in a bicycle accident.
In California, the numbers are also quite high. Every year, there are more than 100 people killed on bicycles. And more than 10,000 injured in accidents. A large number of bicycle accidents is caused by cyclists negligent behavior. Cyclists negligent behavior includes lack of skill, distraction or failure to follow road rules and regulations.
Safety tips to maintain to avoid a bicycle accident
The first rule to maintain safety is to follow the law. California has laws pertaining to bicycles that cyclists must be aware of and follow. In general, the same laws that apply to car drivers apply to cyclists. Riding a bike under the influence of drugs and alcohol is illegal and has legal consequences. Other rules include:
- The bicycle you ride must have functional breaks.
- Your bicycle must have appropriate handlebars that are not above your shoulder height.
- You must have a lamp or headlight when riding your bicycle at night.
- Your bike must be equipped with a rear red reflector to be seen from 500 feet away.
- The bicycle pedals must be equipped with bright color reflectors.
Cyclists must also wear helmets at all times while riding their bikes on the road. Helmets reduce the probability of sustaining any head injuries.
Communication while sharing the road
Car drivers learn to communicate with other vehicles on the road through right and left signals. Cyclists should also learn how to communicate with other vehicles. Using your hands, you can signal to other drivers or cyclists if you are going left, right, slowing down or stopping. By leaving one hand on the handlebars, use your other hand to:
- left turn: slightly take a look behind you, over your left shoulder, then use your left arm to signal left.
- right turn: put your left arm up with your elbow bent.
- stopping or slowing down: extend your left arm down.
Legal consequences of failure to abide by the rules
You will face legal consequences when you do not follow the rules indicated above. When you are convicted, you will be punished by a fine of $250. If you are more than 13 years old and younger than 21 years old, you will have your driving privilege suspended or delayed.
If you are a cyclist and got hit and injured in a bicycle accident
Bicycle accidents are considered a type of personal injury claims. A cyclist may be injured in many ways. An injury can be caused by the cyclist or by other conditions or people. If the cyclist is not at fault, he can be injured due to the negligence of other parties. In an auto accident, a cyclist can be hit by another car and sustain small or fatal injuries. A cyclist could also be injured because of road pits and hold, etc. Regardless, the statue of limitations for a cyclist to file a claim is two years. If the claimant is a minor, he/she can wait until they are twenty years of age to file a claim.
It is very important to get legal consultation in this case. Such cases can be complex and require the expertise of legal professionals. That is why you should contact the offices of Napolin Law for a free consultation.