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Cycling has become a very popular method of transportation and exercise in recent years. Unfortunately, this increase in popularity has also led to an increase in cycling-related accidents. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 455 cyclists were killed in California between 2016 and 2018. That figure translates to about 3.9 cycling-related fatalities per million people, the highest rate in California over any three-year period since the mid-1990s.
Phillips & Associates has been representing cycling accident victims since the firm’s inception in 1991. We believe strongly that anyone responsible for causing a cycling accident should be held accountable, and we take all action necessary to secure appropriate compensation for our cycling accident clients.
Common Causes of Cycling Accidents in California
Being knowledgeable of the most common causes of cycling accidents can help you avoid an accident before it takes place. Here are some of the most common ways that cycling accidents occur in California.
Almost one third of cycling accidents are caused by a negligent motorist. Negligent operation of a motor-vehicle can lead to accidents in a variety of ways, including the following:
Straying into the bike lane and striking a cyclist or running them off the road
Running a red light or stop sign and t-boning the cyclist
Changing lanes into a a cyclist that was traveling in the driver’s blind spot
Clipping a cyclist by making a right turn in front of them.
Road hazards are another extremely common cause of cycling accidents. Road hazards include such things as potholes, large cracks in the street, hazardous sewer or drainage grates, gravel in the road, or debris in the road. Often times, the government entity responsible for maintaining the road is liable for any road hazards leading to cycling accidents.
In some cases, cycling accidents can occur for reasons not involving the roadway or other drivers, but instead due to defects with the bicycle itself. Companies that manufacture bicycles are required to design and assemble their products in a manner that makes that safe for operation. Unfortunately, bikes are sometimes designed or assembled in a manner which causes them to unexpectedly fail, leading to an accident. In those case, the bike manufacturer is potentially liable for the cyclist’s injuries. Common defects in design or assembly that may lead to a cycling accident include malfunctioning brakes, defective bike frames that spontaneously collapse, defective wheels that separate from the bicycle, fork failures, and defective helmets.
Cycling Accident Statistics
Here are some recent statistics regarding cycling accidents in the United States:
1,260 cyclists lost their lives in cycling accidents in the United States in 2021
Adults ages 55-69 have the highest bicycle death rates
Bicyclist deaths are highest during the summer months between June and September
California had over 3,600 bicycle fatalities in 2019 alone
California Hospitals treat more than 500,000 people for bicycle accidents every year
Cycling Accidents in Southern California
While many cities in the United States have advocacy groups to fight for the rights of the cyclist, let’s take a look at one of California’s beautiful cities, San Diego. It has near perfect year-round weather making cycling a great form of transportation. With a sprawling 1,700 miles of bikeways that connect people from home to work and back, and just about anywhere else you want to go within the city, San Diego is a cycling friendly city.
Nevertheless, more than 500 bicycle-car crashes occur each year in San Diego, despite the efforts of advocacy programs pushing for better infrastructure and safer laws. In 2013, the city had a master bike plan that has since been updated. Its focus is the development of a cost effective plan for “an interconnected on-street and off-street bicycle network that serves all of San Diego’s neighborhoods and provides connections to transit centers, shopping districts, parks, and other local amenities.in place with the goal of improving bicycling in the city.” While plans such as this one is good, it simply cannot always protect cyclists from being struck by inattentive drivers.
Staying Safe While Cycling
Cycling is undoubtedly an enjoyable and efficient way to get around, but it’s important to stay safe while doing so. Here are some tips to help you stay safe while cycling:
Wear a Helmet: Wearing a helmet is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself while cycling. Make sure your helmet is properly fitted and certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Be Visible: Wear bright colors and reflective clothing to make yourself more visible to drivers. Make sure your bike has proper reflectors and lights, and consider adding a headlight and taillight to your bike.
Follow the Rules of the Road: Obey all traffic laws, including stopping at stop signs and red lights and yielding to pedestrians. Ride in the same direction as traffic and use designated bike lanes when available.
Be Alert: Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of potential hazards, such as potholes, debris, and parked cars.
Use Hand Signals: Use hand signals to indicate when you’re turning or stopping. This will help alert drivers to your intentions and help keep you safe.
Keep Your Bike Maintained: Make sure your bike is in good working order. Check the brakes and tires regularly and make sure the chain is properly lubricated.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your cycling experience is enjoyable and safe. Remember, cycling is a great way to get around, but it’s important to stay safe while doing so.
Phillips & Associates - Experienced and Trusted Cycling Accident Attorneys
If you have been in a cycling accident caused by another’s negligence, you need experienced attorneys. Phillips and Associates are here to help. Our experienced, compassionate and professional legal team will assist you in navigating the often complex and confusing insurance and legal process involved in cycling accidents. You need Phillips and Associates involved in your case because your leverage to negotiate a settlement is the threat of a judgment at trial.
If you are handling your own case, the insurance company will not take the threat of a judgment very seriously and, therefore, they will never offer full value on your case. Phillips and Associates will navigate the process to help get your medical bills paid and get you the compensation you deserve.
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5850 Canoga Ave., Ste. 400
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
San Diego Office
990 Highland Dr. Ste. 212-D
Solana Beach, CA 92075
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