The Law Offices OfPhilip M. Tobin

Injuries to cyclists may result from driver negligence

Biking on the streets in California is a hobby or form of transportation that you can enjoy year-round. There are many potential benefits to biking, ranging from the health benefits of aerobic activity to the reduced carbon footprint of not driving a car. Unfortunately, sometimes riding your bike on public streets could prove dangerous.

You could suffer severe injuries, likely due to the negligence of someone in a larger, passenger vehicle. Negligence and poor driving habits both contribute substantially to the risk that cyclists face on roadways shared with enclosed vehicles.

People driving often engage in distraction behind the wheel, making them less likely to notice cyclists and pedestrians nearby. Other times, they simply aren't adhering to best practices for driving, meaning that they aren't adequately aware of their surroundings.

People in cars often don't bother to look for bikes

The average person commuting to work or driving for daily errands does not have a total focus on the task at hand. Although driving is dangerous, people tend to mentally minimize the risk involved because it is such a common activity.

Even when they remain aware of the potential dangers of driving, they are probably more focused on their own safety than the potential risk that they posed to other people on the street. As many as half of all drivers may zip through intersections without fully stopping or merge into a new lane without checking their mirrors. They probably assume that they would have noticed a nearby vehicle.

Other vehicles can honk or swerve to avoid a collision caused by an inattentive driver. Cyclists and pedestrians likely won't have that opportunity. Because they are much smaller and travel more slowly than motorized vehicles, bicycles can do little to prevent collisions caused by the maneuvers of motor vehicle drivers. When drivers fail to do their due diligence and check for people on bicycles, the results can be tragic.

Cyclists have legal rights when hurt by people in cars

California law has rules in place to allow cyclists to safely share the road with passenger vehicles. While most people on bikes strictly observe those rules, people in cars may be less aware of the laws regarding the practice of sharing the road with non-motorized vehicles.

Anyone who gets hurt in a crash between a bike and a car will likely suffer severe injuries, ranging from closed head injuries to compound broken bones. Those injuries can mean massive medical bills, to say nothing of lost wages during recovery.

Injured cyclists hurt in a crash caused by the actions of a driver can typically pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver responsible for the crash. Discussing the details of your accident with an experienced personal injury attorney is a wise first step after suffering an injury on a bike.

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