Communities up and down the Central Coast are driving less, and bicycling more. While this is great for the environment and keeps us fit, it has a down side. Injury bicycling accidents.
According to a City of Santa Barbara September 2014 media release, by that time, there had been a 26 percent increase in bicycle traffic collisions compared to the year-to-date figure from 2013, and a 44 percent increase compared to the same period in 2012. (Santa Barbara Independent, April 20, 2015).
When a car or truck hits a bicyclist, the bicyclists almost always get hurt. The injuries range from cuts and bruises to broken bones, brain trauma and other life-threatening injuries. On too many occasions, the bicyclist dies.
To avoid accidents, bicyclists could be better tuned into the street hazards of motor vehicles and pedestrians. Like the old TV commercials, bicyclists should be the masters of “watch out for the other guy”. The major causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Bicyclist taking off before red light turns green.
- Driver running a red light or stop sign.
- Bicyclist darting between pedestrians.
- Bicyclist not stopping at a stop sign or red light.
- Bicyclist darting between moving or stopped vehicles.
- Driver turning in front of a bicyclist.
- Bicyclist hitting pedestrians on a sidewalk.
- Bicyclist under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Driver under the influence of alcohol.
- Driver under the influence of drugs.
Being aware of your surroundings and watching out for the other guy is the best way to protect yourself from a serious injury bicycling accident. However, if the accident still finds you, seeking counsel from an experienced attorney is the best way to protect yourself legally. Don’t hesitate.