Cyclist Killed in Head-On with SUV near Diablo
An SUV struck a cyclist head-on near Mount Diablo Scenic Boulevard and Diablo Ranch Drive just outside of Diablo. The accident happened around 4:30 p.m., June 26, 2019, and according to the California Highway Patrol, the officers first on the scene found him lying in the road.
The officers treated him until EMS arrived, and then he was transported to a local elementary school where he met up with a medical helicopter that took to a hospital. Unfortunately, he died once he arrived at the hospital.
The driver of the SUV was uninjured, and he remained at the scene and cooperated with authorities.
In-Traffic Bicycle Accidents
Cycling is continuing to increase in popularity in California especially in the Bay Area as cities look for ways to encourage alternative commuting options. This also means that cyclist will be on the same streets with the cars and truck, and that accidents will inevitably happen.
Bike Lanes in Bay Area
In California, many cities have bike lanes, and in fact, there are around 1,200 miles of bike lanes in the larger cities in the Bay Area. Under the law, CVC §21208, cyclists are required to travel in those lanes if they are going slower than the average flow of the traffic—which for cyclists is most of the time.
There are a few exceptions:
- If you are passing a slower cyclist, or
- If you are making a left-hand turn or a right had turn that requires you to leave the bike lane, or
- To avoid dangerous or hazardous conditions.
Riding in Traffic
If there are no bike lanes, then the cyclist has to ride on the streets with the motor vehicles. For the urban areas, it’s more often than not that cyclist will be riding in the streets with traffic. When doing so, California law requires a cyclist to ride with the flow of traffic and on the far-right side of the outside lane as practical. There are exceptions to that as well, and they are roughly the same as when riding in bike lanes.
Liability for Cyclists Riding in Traffic
What happens when a cyclist is riding against traffic or in the middle of the road and gets hit? Many cyclists think that since the law requires them to ride in a bike lane or with traffic, and they didn’t and got injured, then they are to blame for their injuries.
However, this isn’t true. It may end up still being the cyclist’s fault, but it’s not only because they were violating a traffic law. In fact, California law says that a traffic violation can’t be used to suggest someone was negligent in a personal injury case.
Personal injury law assigns liability to the one who was negligent. This means the person who didn’t operate their vehicle or bicycle in a safe and reasonable manner which ended up being the cause of the accident. Also, for motorists, they have to do what is reasonable under the circumstances which includes looking out for cyclists and pedestrians.
The law will also look at the area where the accident occurred, and if it’s a neighborhood or there is a school or park nearby, then the motorist should be on notice that there might be bicycles around and should proceed with caution.
What Happens if I am Injured Riding my Bicycle?
If you were hit by a motor vehicle while riding your bike, don’t speak to the insurance company until you have spoken to an attorney. The insurance company has one job to do when dealing with a personal injury claim and that is to pay as little as possible. They can take anything you say and use it to put the blame on you for your injuries.
The attorneys at Bay Area Bike Law are the only firm in northern California that deals exclusively with bicycle law, and they have the experience to get you full compensation under the law. Call them at (415) 466 8717 or click here to contact then online. If you still wonder if they’re the right firm for you or even if you need an attorney, read this this for help answering these questions.