Driver Pulls in Front of Cyclist Causing Severe Injuries
An 83-year-old driver of a pickup pulled in front of a cyclist causing the cyclist to hit the pickup who then was ejected from his bike and thrown into the road. The cyclist sustained life-threatening injures and was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of the pickup said that he looked to his left and saw the cyclist, then looked to his right and waited for vehicle traffic to pass, and then he accelerated not expecting that the cyclist would be there so soon.
The driver stopped to help and then called 911. CHP does not believe that the driver will face charges for the incident.
Older Motorists Bring Higher Risks
According to a new study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, older drivers carry a greater risk of fatalities and serious injuries than their younger counterparts. The study looked at data from three federal agencies analyzing both fatal and non-fatal injury rates for drivers, their passengers and occupants of other vehicles.
They found a moderate increase in drivers from 60 to 85 years of age and a greater increase in drivers 85 plus. However, the risk of injury to other drivers were still higher in the youngest group of drivers, 16 to 25. Older drivers involved in accidents were less likely to inflict more serious injury compared to the younger drivers most likely to the risks taken by the younger drivers.
What Can Older Drivers do to be Keep Safe?
Older drivers have the benefit of experience and greater rationality than the very young drivers, however, their reaction time and observation skills have diminished. Insurance and safety experts list certain steps older drivers can take to minimize these risks:
- Avoid driving at night if you have trouble with your vision, and don’t tint your windows.
- Keep your windshield, headlights, and mirror clean to improve visibility.
- Limit distracting noise inside the vehicle. This includes the radio and conversations with passengers and use of cell phones.
- Stay alert and watch for flashing lights of emergency vehicles if you have difficulty hearing.
- Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead so you have ample time to brake safely if necessary.
- Allow adequate stopping distances.
- Don’t drive if you’re feeling tired, lightheaded, or stressed.
- Avoid driving during inclement weather.
- Use other transportation services such as taxis and buses if you’re unsure of your ability to drive safely.
- Drive on familiar streets, and limit trips to those close to home.
What if I’m Injured by a Driver?
The first thing to do if you’re in an auto accident is to get help for you or anyone else injured, and then cooperated with medical and safety officials. After that, it is best to talk to an attorney who knows personal injury and bicycle laws. After doing so, you can always decide not to get representation, and almost every personal injury firm does not charge for a consultation.
Don’t face the insurance agents and their attorney alone. They know the law and how the system works, and you need the someone in your corner.
At Bay Area Bicycle Law, we have years of experience representing clients in all sorts of bicycle related injuries including those caused by older drivers. To start putting someone on your side, call us (415) 466 8717 or click here to contact us online. If you still wonder if we’re the right firm for you or even if you need an attorney, read this this for help answering these questions.