A 25-year-old cyclist was struck by a passenger vehicle around 9 p.m. Saturday, May 25, 2019, and was taken to a local hospital. She was riding her bike on Westborough Boulevard and turned to enter Olympic Drive and was struck by a motorist.
Police at the scene say that she sustained injuries to her left arm and her face but they were not considered to be life threatening. The motorist stayed at the scene and cooperated, and a police spokesperson says that it appeared he did not yield to the right-of-way to the cyclist.
Low Profile Accidents
Safety experts call it “tunneling” or inattentional blindness and say it affects cyclists, pedestrians, scooter riders and even motorcycle riders. It’s when a motorist looks right at someone but doesn’t “see” them and then strikes the person or turns into their path.
The reason is that for the most part, motorists are used to seeing other motor vehicles on the road, and will often look past the lower profile of a cyclist or pedestrian and not really see them.
Several studies have been conducted to show that the phenomenon does exist and has deadly consequences. In a University of Toronto study researchers followed the eye movements of drivers and found that more than half of drivers didn’t scan for cyclists and pedestrians when they are driving in the city.
Another study asked experience drivers to look at traffic photos, and they were much more likely to spot a car than a pedestrian or a cyclist.
Tunneling and Liability
What this means that in many cases, the motorist may not have been doing anything out of the ordinary but still hits a cyclist or pedestrian. While this is understandable, the law requires that each person operate their vehicle so that others around them may proceed in safety. So, even if they were a “victim” of a known psychological phenomena, they are liable for any damages when they are at fault in an accident.
Typical Injuries from Tunneling
Cyclists suffer from common injuries that come from a bicycle-car collision. In most cases, a cyclist will be involved in two impacts in a collision with a single car. The first impact is when the bicycle and the car hit each other, and the second is when the rider hits the pavement. Because of this, there are trends in types of injuries:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Broken Wrists
- Broken Legs
- Chest Compression Injuries
- Facial Injuries
Contact a Local Attorney
Getting injured in a bicycle accident can be painful and cause serious—even permanent—injuries. A car outweighs a bike and person by about 20 times, and with the double impact the cyclist suffers, the results can be devastating.
If this has happened to you, do not speak to anyone from the insurance company or their attorneys until you have spoke to an attorney. This is so you can be advised of your rights under the law and so you don’t say anything that can be used to deny or greatly reduce your claim.
Call the attorneys at Bay Area Bike Law. They have the knowledge and experience to help you in these cases, and they are the only firm in North California that deals exclusively with bicycle law. A consultation is free, and if you decide to have them represent you, there are no fees paid until you get paid by the insurance company.
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.