[profileleft][/profileleft]As we continue through National Safety Month, we want to highlight a potential danger that anyone who lives in San Diego County has encountered: sharing the road with people riding bicycles. Whether we are driving or riding a bicycle, this situation is one that can lead to stress and much worse if mistakes are made.
Every San Diego bicycle accident lawyer with any experience has heard many horrifying stories of devastation, as the forces at work when a vehicle collides with a bicycle are clearly far from equal. Below you’ll find some statistics relating to bicycle accidents. You’ll also find some ideas for bicyclists and motorists to keep in mind in hopes of minimizing the chance that you or someone you love will be involved in such a disastrous crash.
San Diego County Bicycle Accident Statistics
The California Office of Traffic Safety, or OTS, keeps and organizes data that relates to all different types of traffic accidents that occur throughout the state. A link to a breakdown of the statistics regarding traffic crashes in San Diego County can be found here. The most recent data available from the OTS is from the calendar year of 2013.
During that year, 875 bicyclists were either killed or injured in San Diego County bicycle accidents. Of those 875 people, 58 were younger than 15 years old. That’s nearly 17 people every week who suffer through a bicycle accident in San Diego County.
Ideas for Avoiding San Diego Bicycle Accidents for Motorists
The only reason a San Diego bicycle lawyer would get involved with the aftermath of an accident is because someone made a mistake that led to harm. Below are some ideas for motorists to consider as they share the roads with bicyclists:
- Respect the bike lane – Bike lanes are in place to provide bicyclists with their own defined space. Avoid driving in them.
- Provide room – Bicyclists move fast, but not as fast as vehicles, and the difference in speeds can be easy to misjudge. Provide extra following room for bicyclists.
- Watch their hands – Drivers become accustomed to looking for blinkers in traffic. Watch the hands of bicyclists as that is how they are going to signal a turn.
Ideas for Avoiding San Diego Bicycle Accidents for Bicyclists
It should be said that it’s not always motorists who are at fault for these crashes. Bicyclists should keep some things in mind as well while on the roads. A few ideas include:
- Make yourself seen – Bright colors are always a good idea for bicyclists, as are reflectors both worn and on the bicycle. Lights are also a very good idea.
- Use mirrors and helmets – Mirrors will allow you to see behind you without turning your head, and obviously a helmet is highly advisable.
- Be clear about your intentions – Drivers are not used to following hand signals. Be very clear with those signals if you intend to turn.
Contact a San Diego Bicycle Accident Lawyer
We certainly hope that you ride safely, but if you or someone you love is harmed in this type of a crash, you will also need to make sure that you take steps to protect your legal rights.
Contact a San Diego bicycle accident attorney at Gomez Trial Attorneys to schedule a free initial consultation.