Unfortunately, cyclists cannot expect motorists to be on the lookout for them. Motorists are too careless and disrespectful of bicyclists to be anything other than a threat to our safety.
Instead, cyclists must always remain vigilant and seek legal help if they are involved in a collision.
Tragedy in Lafayette
According to Patch, the accident happened Thursday, August 2nd, on Reliez Valley Road in Lafayette. The victim, who has not been identified, was treated by emergency personnel at the scene of the crash and taken to John Muir Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
What makes the accident so shocking is that the driver of the big rig that struck the victim initially attempted to flee the scene. Fortunately, police later located the driver and the truck. The police continue to investigate and have not released information about any possible criminal charges.
Bicycle Safety 101
The accident in Lafayette is tragic but not surprising. Any time a cyclist is hit by a vehicle, he or she can suffer devastating injuries. Unlike motorists, bicyclists have nothing cushioning them and can suffer a direct strike from a vehicle.
Fortunately, cyclists can reduce the risk of accidents by taking some simple precautions:
- Choose a helmet that fits. Helmets can help prevent head injuries in a crash. Look for a label stating that the helmet meets the standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Keep your bike in tip-top shape. Check the brakes and wheels before heading out. If your bicycle malfunctions, then you can suffer an accident.
- Increase your visibility. Many motorists aren’t looking for cyclists, so wear brightly-colored clothing. Put reflectors or reflector tape on your bicycle. At night, ride with a light.
- Always obey all traffic signals. Do not zigzag in between traffic or run through a red light.
- Assume motorists will not obey traffic signals. It is always better to stop and check, even if you have the right of way.
- Slow and check for traffic before crossing an intersection.
- Use turn signals. The motorists behind you don’t know what you are going to do. If you don’t know hand signals, then learn them.
- Stay focused. There are too many distracted drivers on the road, so it’s up to you to stay vigilant. Avoid listening to music or sending text messages while on your bicycle.
Lastly, always remember to signal your presence if possible. When passing pedestrians, use a bell or say, “On your left” to give them some idea of where you are. Many cyclists are injured when a pedestrian moves in their way because they cannot hear the bicycle.
Injured while Riding? Call GJEL Today
Accidents continue to happen every day, but you do not have to remain a victim. At GJEL, our Northern California bicycle accident attorneys have decades of experience getting our clients the compensation they deserve. To start the process, please contact us to schedule your free consultation. You have no reason to delay.