A woman in a Ford Expedition hit a man riding his bicycle on Highway 273 near Happy Valley Road. According to the California Highway Patrol, the Expedition was traveling in the far right lane when it struck the cyclist around 1:30 pm, Sunday, January 13.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene, and the trooper at the scene says that the driver of the SUV wasn’t injured and is cooperating. Neither drugs or alcohol are believed to be a factor in the accident.
Cycling in Traffic
Cycling can be a great way to get exercise, commute and just enjoy an afternoon. However, it can also be dangerous when a cyclist rides in traffic. Most California cities, including those in the Bay Area, have miles of bike paths and designated bike lanes. This can reduce the risks to both cyclists and motorists and make cycling much safer. Some safety tip for riding in city traffic include:
- Know how to properly use designated bike paths
- Obey traffic laws
- Bike lanes are traffic lanes, not safe zones
- Don’t wear headphones
- Don’t text while riding
- Be courteous to other bikers, pedestrians and motorists
Cycling on Highways
Not all cycling is on city streets. Sometimes its fun to go longer distances and ride on the highways. This too can be dangerous. Traffic fatalities in the U.S. have been steadily decreasing since 2006—with a spike here and there—however, cycling fatalities have been trending up. According to the Governor’s Study on Bike Safety, bicycle fatalities rose 12.5 percent between 2015 and 2016, while in the same year, the rate of fatalities for motorists was down .7 percent.
Of these deaths 47% occurred on city/urban streets and 47% on highways as a percentage of miles traveled. With city cycling outstripping rural riding by almost 2 to 1, this makes driving on the highways much more dangerous.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the largest contributing factor to the higher fatality rate in rural/suburban roads is due to the speed of the cars. The second factor is impairment on the part of both the driver and the rider.
Safety Tips for Riding on Suburban/Rural Highways
- Know/obey traffic laws
- Ride with traffic
- Wear a helmet
- Don’t expect motorists to see you.
- Look behind you.
- Avoid riding into the sunset.
- Watch for oncoming traffic.
- Pause in high-visibility places.
What to do if I’m Injured in a Bike Accident
The first thing to do is to get safe. You’ve already been hit, so don’t get hit again. If you are able, get to a safe place. Then get help. Call for someone or use your cell phone if you can. Once your safety is taken care of—and again, only if you are able—get as much information as you can. Take pictures of the scene including your bike.
Get info from the driver yourself. Don’t assume the authorities are just gong to take care of everything. Don’t get your bike fixed without pictures and documentation of the damage. Don’t assume it was your fault and tell the other driver that it was.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Unfortunately, when you are injured by another person’s negligence, you can suffer great financial losses as well as physical and emotional injuries. If everyone did what was right, then you wouldn’t have to worry about money during this time.
However, the truth is, once the insurance company for the driver looks at the case, they are going to try to blame you either fully or in part, and then pay out as little as possible and only if they have to. Don’t take it personally, it’s their job.
At least talk to an attorney who can advise you and evaluate your case. You need an attorney that understands bicycle law and is experienced in bike accidents and dealing with insurance companies. Bay Area Bike Law is the only firm in North California that deals exclusively with bicycle law, and the attorneys have years of experience dealing with insurance companies.
Start putting someone on your side, call us at (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.
Please be aware that these case results do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. Every case is different and case values turn on small facts and differences. Thus, the results achieved on one case do not necessarily mean the attorney will achieve the same result, or a similar result, even for a case which may have some similarities.