The law in California recognizes bicycles as vehicles. This means that riders are obligated to act the same as they would behind the wheel of a car. They are required to follow the rules of the road, such as coming to a full and complete stop at a red light and riding their bike with the flow of traffic.
Bicycle riders also enjoy the same rights as drivers. They are entitled to ride in a travel lane if there is no designated bike lane available. They are also permitted to ride two abreast in a single lane. Many drivers cause bicycle accidents by choosing to disregard cyclists’ rights by failing to give them enough room or attempting to pass a rider when it is not safe to do so. This disregard for rights often results in death or serious injuries for cyclists.
Recent statistics make it clear that California leads the United States in the total number of annual bicycle accidents and fatalities. Most of these accidents take place in metropolitan areas, where riders and motor vehicles often interact. Drivers hitting cyclists is the foremost cause of injuries and fatalities to bicycle riders statewide.
The majority of these cases involve a driver who did not look for a bike rider before pulling out, failed to yield the right of way, ran a traffic light or stop sign, or was not paying attention to their surroundings. Texting while behind the wheel, driving under the influence, and reckless driving are all frequent contributors to serious bicycle accident cases.
Sadly, drivers usually escape unharmed while riders endure catastrophic or even deadly injuries. As a bicycle rider in Orange County, it is essential to exercise caution and prudence when navigating the roadways. Never assume that a driver is going to yield the right of way or come to a stop for you. You should always practice defensive riding for your best chance of avoiding serious or fatal bicycle accidents.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible for a cyclist to avoid a bike accident when a driver is behaving recklessly or negligently. Following a collision, bicycle accident victims should not wait to speak to a bicycle accident attorney. Regardless of the nature and severity of your injuries, you deserve to have your questions adequately answered and at least learn if you are eligible for financial compensation from a qualified professional.
Many injured cyclists find out that they can collect compensation for their medical bills, property damage, pain, suffering, and more following a severe bicycle accident. If you were recently injured in a bicycle accident, contact an Orange County bicycle accident lawyer from Beckerman Anderson today.