Riding a bike is a great alternative to public transportation or walking. You’ll save gas money and other car expenses if you don’t own one. Plus, it’s a great way to exercise while completing your errands. The only downside is that California drivers aren’t too fond of sharing the road with cyclists, leading to an alarming rate of accidents. Between 2016 and 2018, 455 cyclists died from accidents, according to California Healthline.
Car–bike accidents can cause serious injury to the cyclist, who has less protections than a driver. Just like driving, there are some things you need to keep in mind when riding a bicycle, like how to keep yourself safe and what type of injury you may receive if you’re in an accident. A California bicycle accident lawyer can review your case and inform you of your options in pursuing financial compensation.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Just like car accidents, every bicycle accident is different. One person may receive a concussion, while another may have a few broken bones. There’s no way to predict what type of injury you may sustain. Common injuries in a bike accident include:
- Concussions or skull fractures
- Head or neck injuries, such as hemorrhages or whiplash
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken, shattered, or fractured bones
- Muscle pulls or strains
- Road rash
Similar to motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents can cause severe injury or even death to cyclists. To keep yourself safe, you should always wear a helmet and knee and elbow pads. Protective equipment may not stop injuries, but they may help reduce the severity.
What to Do after a Bicycle Accident
After a bike accident, there are probably many things going through your head. Make sure to take pictures of the accident, including your bicycle, the car or bike that hit you, and any injuries you may have sustained. You’ll also want to obtain contact information from the other party and any witnesses.
It may also be in your best interest to schedule a doctor’s appointment. Not all injury symptoms appear right away, and a doctor can diagnose any internal injuries.
What Are the Worst Times to Ride a Bike?
The worst time to ride a bicycle is during rush hour traffic and after sunset. Between 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., there’s too much traffic on the road. Cars stopping suddenly or weaving in and out of lanes can be very dangerous to cyclists. Once the sun sets, it may be hard for drivers to see you. If riding at night is unavoidable, make sure you have a light on your bicycle or wear reflective tape on your clothing. This will ensure drivers and other cyclists see you.
Tips for Riding with Other Cyclists on the Road
Bike accidents may not involve a car. With so many other cyclists on the road, your accident may include another cyclist instead of a driver. There are ways you can keep yourself and other cyclists safe when riding.
- Only pass on the left side
- Slower cyclists should stay to the right
- Don’t follow other cyclists too closely
- Call out when you’re about to pass someone
If you’re riding with a group of people, you should always alert them of potential road dangers, such as oncoming cars or poor road conditions.
Contact a California Bicycle Accident Attorney
In California, all bicycle accident victims have two years from the accident date to pursue a legal claim for damages. However, we recommend you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you speak to an attorney at Setareh Law, the more we can help.
Our team provides unmatched legal representation for plaintiffs across California. We’ll evaluate the facts of your case, discuss what type of compensation is available to you, and serve as your legal counsel. Our team will always put your best interests first and fight for you to receive the maximum amount of compensation.
Call (310) 659-1826 or complete a contact form to schedule a free consultation.