Bicycle Accident in Turlock CA Ends Tragically
On Wednesday, May 2, 2018, a motorist driving through Turlock hit and killed a bicyclist near Lander Avenue. Local police hope this tragic accident will serve as a reminder for motorists to take extra precautions on roadways, especially near cyclists.
According to the Modesto Bee, this accident occurred at 8:30PM on East Harding Road. Before the crash, a 2005 Mercedes was apparently heading east and driving close to the dividing yellow lines.
Allegedly, the Mercedes driver hit a bicyclist from behind, which caused the cyclist to fall backward onto the car’s windshield. According to the article, the cyclist had no rear reflector and also the driver “failed to see” the cyclist.
When safety crews arrived on the scene, they transported the 71-year-old cyclist to a local hospital for treatment. Sadly, the bicyclist was pronounced dead soon after he arrived at the hospital. The Mercedes driver had no major injuries. Although it’s still under investigation, police don’t believe DUI was a factor in this case.
While we wont speculate what happened here without all of the facts, we do, unfortunately, hear far too often that drivers were distracted and didn’t notice the cyclist.
No Helmet? Cyclists, Demand Your Rights
Cyclists involved in car accidents who weren’t wearing not weargin a helmet at the time of the crash are often fearful about filing a lawsuit. Many insurers try to get cyclist victims to believe they are somehow at fault for their injuries because they didn’t take necessary precautions. You should know, however, that California law only requires cyclists under the age of 18 to wear a helmet and most injuries occur due to someone’s negligence.
Remember, insurers are always concerned about their bottom line. They will look for any excuse (i.e. the fact that you weren’t wearing a helmet or reflective gear) to get you to settle for as little as possible. The truth of the matter is, however, that negligent drivers need to be held accountable for their actions, especially in fatal bicycle accident cases that involve cyclists.
Bicycle Safety Month Reminders
This crash couldn’t have happened at a more poignant time of year: the start of Bicycle Safety Month. As the name suggests, Bicycle Safety Month is dedicated to raising awareness of cyclist rights and issues with the hope of reducing fatalities and injuries on America’s roadways.
The popularity of cycling is only set to increase in the near future. Recent statistics suggest that there are already 80 million dedicated cyclists throughout the USA sharing the roadways with motorists. One of the critical road safety issues in the 21st century USA is increasing communication between cyclists and motorists.
For their part, motorists are encouraged to treat cyclists with the same courtesy they would any other vehicle. California law requires motorists to have a minimum of three feet in clearance before passing a cyclist. It’s also illegal for motorists to drive in bike-protected lanes unless they are 200 feet away from making a turn.
There are also a few things cyclists could do to decrease their risk of getting serious injuries. While it’s not the law, safety experts strongly encourage bikers to wear a helmet to protect against traumatic brain injuries. Also, it’s a good idea to wear bright clothing or to put reflective lights on your bicycle if you’re planning on traveling at night.
Contact Bay Area Bicycle Law
If you or a loved one was struck down while riding their bike, it’s time to give Bay Area Bicycle Law a call. Our expert team knows all the ins-and-outs of the legal rights of cyclists in the Golden State. Over the years, our attorneys have helped cyclists just like you win the compensation they deserve.We are the only personal injury law firm in northern California focused exclusively on bicycle accident cases.
All calls to Bay Area Bicycle Law are 100 percent free and confidential. No matter the nature of your case, our compassionate lawyers can help you better understand your legal options and explain how to get the damages you’re entitled to.