Authorities in California and other states believe that both bicyclists and motorists should obey the rules of the road in order to reduce the numbers of fatalities and traumatic brain injuries suffered by bicycle riders. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s records show that the high number of 682 deaths in bicycle accidents in 2011 rose to an even higher number of 726 in 2012. A police officer in the crime prevention department of another state notes that safe driving habits by all can improve the situation.
Many bicycle and pedestrian accidents occur when cars turn right at intersections without keeping a proper lookout for bicyclists and pedestrians. There is always an increase in concern as summer approaches because more bicycle riders share the roads with motorists. One way of reducing the numbers of bicycle accidents is always wearing reflective clothing. In an effort to limit the severity of any injuries, bicyclists should wear protective equipment such as helmets.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say less than half of children under the age of 14 wear helmets, and an even lower number of older bicyclists use them. Authorities say parents should teach children from a young age that bicycles are to be treated as vehicles and not toys. Common errors that have been found to cause bicycle accidents include riding against the traffic rather that with it, wearing headphones that may distract the rider and failure to use the appropriate hand signals.
California victims of bicycle accidents often suffer life-changing injuries. If there is sufficient evidence of negligence on the part of other parties, they may pursue compensation for medical expenses and other losses by filing personal injury claims in a civil court. In the event of a fatal accident, the surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim to financial relief for end-of-life costs and other documented items of monetary damage.
Source: news-herald.com, “Motorists, bicyclists share safety responsibility“, Matt Skrajner, March 30, 2015