Riding a Bicycle and Safety – They Go Hand in Hand!

As kids, we rode our bikes everywhere—to the playground, the park, school, and our friends’ homes. Now, as adults, many enjoy bicycling for exercise, fun, and sightseeing.  Here, in the City of Santa Clarita, there are over 100 miles of beautiful trails and paseos for those who wish to partake.

However, bicycling does not come without risks.  Unfortunately, according to statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities amongst bicyclists from traffic accidents have steadily increased since 2010.  Indeed, from 2010 to 2021, the number of bicyclists killed in bicycle accidents ranged from 623 to 966, with an annual average of 800.

As for non-fatality bicycle accidents, they also remain high with an annual average of 45,400 bicyclists getting injured in vehicle v. bicycle accidents. The main culprit in these accidents appears to be light trucks, such as SUVs, pickup trucks, and vans.

So, if you are one of many who enjoys bicycle riding, whether it’s for exercise or fun, please take extra precautions to protect yourself.  But, in order to take the appropriate precautions, it is important to understand the causes behind bicycle accidents.

Bicycle accidents typically occur because 

               1.    Motorists are careless and don’t keep their distance from bicyclists;

               2.    Bicyclists are not visible to motorists;

               3.    A motorist tries to overtake a cyclist and, in the process, drives the cyclist off the road; or

               4.    There are insufficient traffic signals or stop signs.

Now that you know what typically causes a bicycle accident, what is the best way of protecting yourself? 

                1.  The single most effective way to protect yourself from a head injury is to always wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet.

                 2.    Most bicycle accidents occur at dawn and dusk, when visibility is poor. Therefore, you should increase your visibility to motorists by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing.

                 3.    When riding at night, you should use a front light, a red reflector, a flashing rear light, and retro-reflective tape on equipment or clothing. This will increase your visibility to motorists.

                 4.    Bicyclists are considered “vehicle operators”. So, you must obey the same road rules as operators of other vehicles. This means obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.

                5.    If you are a motorist, you should allow at least three feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist, look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space, and yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by traffic signs and signals. You should especially watch for cyclists when making right or left turns.

What are you entitled to if you are in a bicycle accident?

As with any personal injury or vehicle accident, if you are injured in an accident while riding your bicycle, you are entitled to 

                   1.    Compensation of your medical bills, including ambulance, Emergency Room, and subsequent treatment including any surgery, orthopedic consultation, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy and pain management.

                   2.    Compensation for your lost income due to your injuries.

                   3.    Compensation for your pain and suffering, including physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement (i.e. scaring), anxiety, and emotional distress. 

We have over 27 years of legal experience in Personal Injury and Accident Cases, and we are here to protect and help bicyclists. So, if you are involved in a bicycle accident and want to know your rights, please call us at (661) 476-5678 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation and assistance.   

We work in a contingency basis. This means that you never pay us anything our of your pocket.  We only get paid through the resolution of this case, i.e. when the case is resolved.  

Bicycling remains a healthy and safe activity. So enjoy the weather, enjoy your day in the sun, and exercise with your bike—but take some precautions to be safe.

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