You can barely make it down any of the most popular roads in Los Angeles without seeing several bicyclists. Many Los Angeles residents refer to the goal of creating a greener city when deciding to ride bikes. The idea of taking Los Angeles back to the time when people rode their bikes rather than sitting in congested traffic is nice. However, Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers see the disadvantages of an increase in bike riders through the city combined with decreased driver awareness.
Bicycle accidents happen. When they do, drivers are sometimes at fault, while at other times, bicyclists share the blame. Nationwide, bike accidents are declining, but the number of bike accident fatalities is increasing at the same time.
Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyers Know LA Dangers
The fact that the nationwide count on bicycle accidents is going down is a result of changes in infrastructure and awareness for rider protection. There is also a greater presence of advocacy groups. LA Bike, or the LA County Bicycle Coalition, works closely with various facets of the LA Community to increase education about bicycling and how to ride safely through the city.
However, all their hard work is raising awareness of a serious bike accident problem. Los Angeles County remains the most dangerous area for bicyclists in California. Between 2016 and 2018, 106 bicyclists died in LA County accidents.
One of the biggest problems that make Los Angeles so dangerous for bicyclists is that there is insufficient bicycle infrastructure. Very few streets have dedicated bicycle lanes, and there are only a handful of separated bicycle paths. Another contributing factor is that the city’s congestion often leads to road rage, low levels of patience, and driver frustration.
When you combine traffic congestion, driver frustration, and a lack of infrastructure, it is clear why so many fatal bicyclist accidents happen in the city. Drivers are not watching out for bicyclists, and bicyclists do not have a safe place to ride. There are too many bicyclist deaths in Los Angeles, and there are even more of those people injured. Often, these injuries or deaths take place in hit-and-run situations.
Bicycle Accidents – Know the Risks
Bicycle accident statistics for Los Angeles show us that some of the biggest dangers with bike riding are closer to home than most of us imagine. It is not enough that Los Angeles is one of the most dangerous cities for bike riding in the US. In fact, LA is also the nation’s hit-and-run capital.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
The most common causes of bicycle accidents include distracted driving and distracted riding. Drivers are not the only ones distracted when they are on the road. Certainly, driver distractions such as texting behind-the-wheel, talking with friends, or even watching videos on the road are issues for bicyclists. Bike riders should be just as aware and attentive as they expect drivers to be. For that reason, bicyclists should not be on their phones or engaging in other distractions while riding. It is common to see someone on a bike with their phone out or using an earpiece to talk while riding. As more drivers and bicyclists are looking down at their screens or talking on the phone, the risks of injury and accidents increase for both parties.
After distracted driving, there are two other main causes of bicycle accidents. The first is when drivers are speeding. Bicyclists simply cannot travel at the same rate of speed that cars can. The trouble in Los Angeles is that many people are just getting off the freeway and go from traveling at 60 or 70 miles per hour to driving at 25 or 35 miles per hour. Many drivers take time to slow down and unintentionally speed on LA’s surface streets.
The other leading factor worth mentioning is how road users go through intersections, and this falls to both drivers and bicyclists. Many bicyclists are not aware of what they should do when on the road. A lot of the rules of the road that apply to standard vehicle drivers and motorcyclists also apply to bicyclists. Bicyclists must travel with the flow of traffic, they must follow traffic signals and signs, and they must signal when changing lanes or turning.
A bicyclist cannot cruise through an intersection while ignoring traffic signals or signs. Just the same, bicyclists typically have the right of way when they are moving with the flow of traffic through an intersection. Here is an example. If a bicyclist is using the bike lane and wants to go straight through an intersection on a green light, then a vehicle turning right onto the cross street must wait for them.
Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents in Los Angeles
Most common injuries suffered in bicycle accidents involve serious physical trauma. Broken bones, head trauma, brain injuries, and open wounds such as lacerations or abrasions are common.
The American Academy of Family Physicians acknowledges that head injuries are present in 22% to 47% of bicycle accident injuries. Worse, head injuries are the cause of over 60% of bicycle accident fatalities.
How to Handle Bicycle Accidents in Los Angeles
Bicycle accidents are not as easy to resolve as most standard vehicle collisions. Drivers behind the wheel know what to do when they get into a wreck with another car Typically, they report the accident to their insurance company, may speak to an attorney and get checked out if they feel sore. Bicyclists do not have the same resources, even though it is likely that an insurance provider will handle their claim.
Bicycle accident victims usually do not know where to start or have the energy to deal with an insurance company. They may not even have the driver’s information and could be the victim of a hit-and-run. Bicycle accidents in Los Angeles continue to be an ongoing issue and will probably become more common. Fortunately, Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers give victims the chance to access fair compensation for their medical damages. If you have questions about pursuing a claim against an at-fault driver or possible resolution of a hit-and-run accident, consider the attorneys at TorkLaw.