San Diego is a beautiful city with excellent weather conditions for cycling. These factors encourage many residents to adopt cycling as a significant mode of transportation, which is great for environmental reasons and general health reasons. Let’s not discount that cycling improves cardiovascular fitness and improves joint mobility and strengthens our bones.
Riding a bike is packed full of benefits unless you are involved in an accident. If you live in San Diego and have been involved in a bicycle accident, contact TorkLaw to help you.
Unfortunately, when a bicycle is involved in an accident, the person riding the bike generally suffers more injuries. This is because a bicyclist does not have the same protection a motor vehicle offers to the driver. Drivers of other vehicles are responsible for looking out for cyclists and giving them the right-of-way while on the streets. In a busy city like San Diego, many vehicle drivers, unfortunately, forget to look out for drivers.
According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, California has more cyclists than any other state, making cycling accidents more frequent.
Bicycle Law in San Diego
California Vehicle Law has specific laws pertaining to cyclists. These laws cover the proper use of a bicycle and the code of conduct. Here are some of the laws you need to keep in mind if you are a cyclist in San Diego:
- In San Diego, all cyclists who choose to use the street or a highway have the same rights and responsibilities as all other drivers, regardless of transportation mode. In other words, cyclists need to obey all traffic signals, ride to the right, obey all other road signs and speed limits.
- California Vehicle Law has specific provisions for cyclists operating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. California states that a person cyclists caught driving their bike under the influence can face a fine up to $250.
- Young adults under the age of 21 riding a bicycle under the influence can lose their riding privileges for up to a year.
- Every bicycle needs to be equipped with breaks suitable for dry level pavement, handlebars that are adjusted to be below the driver’s shoulder level, a lamp, a red reflector on the rear, and white (or yellow) reflectors on the pedals.
The law also requires the cyclist to be able to stand up while having one foot on the ground and still hold the bike upright.
The following rules need to be kept in mind while operating a bicycle:
- If the person using the bicycle is driving slower than the speed limit, they should ride as closely as possible to the right-hand side of the curb. Exceptions apply if the person operating the bicycle is about to make a left turn or in the process of avoiding a hazardous obstacle on the street.
- It is illegal for people using bicycles to ‘hitch’ a ride by holding on to other moving vehicles.
- No passengers are allowed on bikes unless a properly attached seat is in place.
- Every bicyclist needs to keep at least one hand on the handlebars.
- Bicycles are required by law to be parked in an upright position and never obstruct the normal traffic flow in a bike lane or a street.
- It is mandatory to wear a helmet (if under 18 years of age). The helmet must meet ANSI or SNELL standards.
- People operating bicycles need to always drive with the flow of traffic. Riding against traffic in San Diego and California, in general, is against the law.
- People operating bicycles must indicate a left turn by extending the left hand horizontally. To turn right, the cyclists have an obligation to extend their right hand horizontally.
- If the person operating a bike foresees a sudden decrease in speed, they are obliged to signal to all the traffic behind them by extending their left hand down next to their bicycle.
- California law prohibits using headsets, earplugs, or any other kind of listening device in both ears.
- It is against the law to throw anything on the streets while riding a bicycle (or any other vehicle) as road debris can be very hazardous.
Common Injuries Associated with Bicycle Accidents
Concussions – This injury is a mild traumatic brain injury, but it still comes with serious risks, especially if the person has suffered from concussions in the past. If someone has suffered multiple concussions, they are at risk for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is often seen in professional athletes who get injured while on the job.
Contusion – This injury is associated with the “bruising” of the brain. It can lead to dangerous swelling and bleeding (internal). In many cases, surgery is required to help alleviate the skull’s pressure and prevent additional damage.
Shaking Injury/Rotation – If the person riding the bike is shaken during the crash, they might experience internal injuries, brain tissue injuries, etc.
Coup-contrecoup -This type of injury affects the frontal lobes and can cause severe damage to both sides of the brain.
Penetrating injury – This type of injury involves foreign objects puncturing the body or the head resulting in severe bleeding, cerebral hemorrhage, swelling, etc.
Broken/ fractured bones – This type of injury results in fractures or broken bones in the legs, arms, body, etc. In extreme cases, it can result in limb amputations.
Bicycle Accident Scenarios
The following are some of the most common scenarios we observe in bicycle accidents:
- Left-hand turn collisions
- Intersection collisions
- Road constructions
- Hazardous objects on the streets
- Faulty equipment
What Type of Compensation Is a Cyclist Allow to Claim
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, TorkLaw can help you get the compensation you deserve. We want every person who gets in touch with us because of an accident to focus on resting and healing while taking care of the legal case.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you can claim compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental trauma/onset of riding anxiety, depressions, etc
- Life-changing conditions
- Loss of earnings
- Future loss of earnings
- Hospital bills & other medical expenses
- At-home care
- Transportation expenses
Contact TorkLaw for Legal Help
If you have sustained injuries in a bicycle accident, our experienced team can help you navigate the legal battle of seeking and winning compensation. Any accident can be very traumatic, but bicycle accidents are especially harsh on the body. Our expert and compassionate team will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve.