Bike accidents are a big problem in Los Angeles. In 2020, an article was published sharing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealing that between the years of 2016-2018, the rate of bicyclist fatalities in the state of California hit a 25-year high. 455 cyclists were killed during that three-year period. In Los Angeles, where levels of traffic are high and many people choose to commute by bike, the risk of being severely harmed or killed in a bicycle accident is very real.
As a cyclist, you may feel helpless against the negligence of drivers. One thing that you can do, though, is to familiarize yourself with some of the major causes of Los Angeles bike accidents. This may help you to avoid an accident. Here’s what you need to know–
Top Causes of Bike Accidents in Los Angeles
Bike accidents are caused by various different things, including cyclists’ errors, defective roads or bikes, and driver negligence. Common examples of driver negligence that can cause or contribute to a bicycle accident include:
- Failure to look. One of the most common ways that bike accidents happen is when a driver simply fails to look before performing a maneuver, such as changing lanes. Failure to look is especially common when a driver is making a right-hand turn at an intersection (and a cyclist to the driver’s right is traveling straight through the intersection), and when a driver is making a left-hand turn. It is always imperative for both bikers and rivers to be aware of their surroundings and double-check before proceeding.
- Failure to yield. Sometimes, even if a driver does see a cyclist, they will still perform a failure to yield maneuver. This may be a result of proceeding out of turn at a stop sign or traffic light, running a stop sign or traffic light, or proceeding through an intersection.
- Speeding. Speed is a major factor that contributes to accidents of all types. In Los Angeles, where speeding is especially common, the risk of accidents is particularly high. Not only does speeding increase the risk of an accident occurring, but it also increases the amount of force involved in an accident and therefore the amount of damages.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving is deadly, plain and simple. Even the best of drivers may miss seeing something or may perform an error that’s fatal as the result of a distraction. The same is true for cyclists – riding a bike is no time to be texting, talking on the phone, or even listening to music. For all who use the road, paying close, distraction-free attention to surroundings is essential.
- Drunk driving. Like distracted driving, drunk driving is incredibly risky and puts everyone on the road at risk.
- Aggressive driving. Finally, cyclists should be aware of aggressive drivers who tailgate, swerve around cyclists in frustration, or fail to give cyclists enough passing room. Whenever possible, cyclists should use designated bike paths that are car-free.
Steps to Take if You’ve Been in a Bike Accident in LA
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident in LA or have lost a loved one in a bicycle crash, our hearts go out to you and your family. A bicycle accident can be devastating and change the course of a life forever.
If you’ve been in a crash, the first thing that you should do is make sure that your crash is reported to the police. Also, be sure to get the driver’s name and information. Of course, seek medical care and make sure that all of the care you receive is well-documented. You need to create a link between the accident and your injuries.
As soon as possible after a crash, call an experienced bicycle accident attorney. Your attorney will gather evidence related to your crash, work hard to determine fault and prove liability, calculate your damages, handle your claim documents, negotiate your settlement, and more. Having an advocate on your side can make a big difference.
How Our Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyers Can Help
At the offices of Fisher & Talwar, our Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers care about you and are here to help. We understand what you’re going through and the significance of the degree of losses that you’re facing. When you need an advocate on your side, you can count on us. Our experienced LA bike accident lawyers have a track record of success and prioritize results. Call us today or send us a message using the contact form on our website to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.