Bicyclists have responsibilities and rights to share the road, the same as motorists in California. They have a right to be in the roadway, provided they know and follow the rules of the road. Bicyclists are forced to share the road with large and dangerous trucks and cars, along with many drivers who do not understand bicycle right-of-way. A cyclist who is seriously injured by a negligent driver has a right to a fair recovery and to hold the at-fault driver accountable.
As reported by the Long Beach Post, a young man named Bradley Lembke is seeking to hold the City of Long Beach accountable for a bicycle accident that ultimately killed his father. Bryan Lembke, Bradley’s father, was rear-ended on his bicycle by a driver traveling at a high speed. The crash left Bryan Lembke brain-dead, and his son to face the tragic decision to take his father off life support. Bradley Lembke claims that the city neglected a dangerous stretch of roadway where his father’s accident occurred.
People in the city of Long Beach love their bicycles – and with good reason! Southern California boasts a wonderful climate year-round, and riding a bike is an efficient way to travel around town and also to get some exercise. There is a downside though, and that is that bicyclists face a great deal of more risk to their safety than other motorists on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 743 people were killed in bicycle accidents in 2013. That number is close to the recent peak of 772 deaths in 2006 and significantly higher than the 682 deaths reported in 2011.
Overall, bicyclists account for just over two percent of all people killed or injured in car crashes each year – but they account for significantly less than two percent of the traffic on U.S. roads. Distracted driving claims the lives of many bicyclists each year as motorists fail to share the road safely.
Students all over southern California will soon be heading back to school. Many children will exercise newfound independence by riding their bikes to school, as well as to sports practices, friends’ homes, and other places and events.
Whether you’re running errands on your bicycle or planning a longer trip, checking the weather before you head out is a wise move when you’re bicycling in southern California. Experienced California accident lawyers know how often weather conditions can affect not only the behavior of drivers, but also the operation of equipment like bicycles and the quality of the roadways.
Here are just a few of the ways in which sudden storms and other summer weather can affect bicyclists, increasing the risk of an accident, according to the Federal Highway Administration:
As of 2014, California led the nation in bicycle accidents. With one of the largest populations of any state and hundreds of miles of bike lanes and bike trails, California’s place at the top of the bicycle accident and death list isn’t surprising – but it is a ranking that experienced southern California bicycle injury lawyers watch closely.
Just how many bicycle accidents occur in California each year – and how do they stack up to the national averages? Here are some quick facts:
Long Beach already holds the title of one of the most Bicycle Friendly Cities in Southern California, but in an effort to increase the use of bicycles and public transportation further, the city will host its own version of “CicLAvia” – an open street event that shuts down select streets to automobiles.
The Beach Streets event will allow cyclists and pedestrians to explore local neighborhoods, socialize with family and friends, and listen to live music, all while enjoying a more eco-friendly, health-conscious form of transportation. The hope is that by participating in the city-sponsored community events, residents will be more likely to take advantage of the Long Beach’s bicycle-friendly roads on a more frequent basis.
California currently leads the nation in injury-causing bicycle accidents suffered every year. With great weather and miles upon miles of bike lanes and trails, many California communities are great for cyclists.
California law requires bicyclists under age 18 to wear a helmet, and experienced California bicycle accident lawyer at The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV strongly encourages all riders to wear properly-fitting helmets designed specifically for bicycling. Many riders still avoid helmets, however, because they believe that a helmet will not prevent a head injury or reduce the severity of an injury if a bicycle crash occurs.
California currently leads the nation in bicycle accident deaths, raising concerns among many avid bicyclists as well as experienced California bicycle accident lawyers. Bike crashes in California have increased in recent years even as similar crashes in other states have decreased.
In response to these growing concerns, state senator Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge) recently introduced a bill into the state Senate that would require California bicyclists to wear helmets. SB 192 would amend California’s Vehicle Code to require everyone to wear a helmet while “operating a bicycle, riding on a bicycle as a passenger, or riding in a trailer towed by a bicycle.” Bicyclists caught breaking this law could be fined $25.