Loomis Bicycle Accident Lawyer
The City of Loomis, California, is an excellent place for both recreational and short commute bicycling -- the terrain where the Central Valley merges into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada is generally flat with a few gentle hills through rural, semi-rural, and small town environments. As of the city's last bicycle transportation plan, it had a total of about 6.5 miles of existing bike paths. However, these were all "Class II" bike paths -- the type of shared roadway "bike lanes" separated from vehicular traffic by nothing more than a white lane stripe -- on the busy streets of Taylor Road, King Road, and Sierra College Boulevard. Although motor vehicles can co-exist successfully when drivers and bicyclists follow the traffic laws and pay close attention to one another, this doesn't always happen, and bicycle accidents with significant injuries can result. When this occurs, our Loomis bicycle accident lawyers can help seriously injured cyclists and their families receive appropriate compensation for losses caused to them through the negligence of others.Bicycle Accident Statistics
When a two-ton passenger vehicle or a much larger commercial vehicle collides with one or two hundred pounds of bicyclist and bicycle, the bicyclist will almost always lose. As a result, although the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that bicycle trips account for only about 1% of all roadway trips in the United States, bicyclist deaths in roadway crashes are more than double that rate.
Among the statistics collected by the CDC on bicycle accidents, the agency notes that:
- About 1,000 bicyclists die in roadway crashes in the United States each year.
- About 130,000 bicyclists are injured on our roads each year.
- The annual costs of these deaths and injuries -- including hospital care and lost work time -- are more than $23,000,000.00.
- Older adult bicyclists have the highest death rates, while older children and young adult bicycle riders have the highest injury rates.
Data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2021 for accidents in the year 2019 found that:
- Male bicyclists were much more likely than females to be involved in bicycle accidents, with fatality rates six times higher than females and injury rates five times higher.
- Most bicycle accident fatalities (78%) were in urban areas.
- A quarter of all bicyclists who died in crashes had detectable levels of alcohol in their blood. In contrast, alcohol in either the bicyclist or motorist was observed in 34% of all fatal accidents.
Far and away, the best proactive protective effort that bicyclists can take is to wear a helmet. Many studies of traffic accidents involving bicycles and the injuries that they cause have shown the effectiveness of helmets in reducing bicycle accident deaths, such as one recent epidemiological study in 2020 that found that seventy-five percent of bicycle accident deaths resulted from head injuries, of which some eighty-five percent could have been prevented through helmet use. The study noted that children were even more at risk of head injury in bicycle accidents.
The evidence for the benefits of helmet use is so overwhelming that most states now have specific laws requiring helmets for children, and some require use by adults. In California, Vehicle Code Section 21212(a) requires anyone under 18 to wear an approved helmet while using a bicycle, scooter, skateboard, or roller skates on California streets, bike paths, and bike trails.
Other effective methods for reducing bicycle accidents are:
- Verifying that bicycles have required reflectors and lights for nighttime use.
- Wearing reflective clothing and markers for nighttime bicycling and fluorescent clothing to improve visibility to drivers during daytime riding.
- The placement of more formal bicycle lanes on roadways. The Federal Highway Administration notes that most serious bicycle collisions do not occur at intersections and that about one-third of those incidents occur when motorists overtake the cyclists. Even shared roadway bicycle lanes are helpful when they clearly designate bike lanes that are visible to both motorists and bicyclists.
Most serious bicycle accidents involve collisions with motorists, so the same bodily injury liability insurance policies provide coverage in auto-vs.-auto impacts also provide coverage when a motorist causes an injury to a bicyclist. It's also important to note that bicyclists who are injured by motorists who either have no auto insurance or who have auto liability policies that are inadequate to compensate for the severe injuries a bicyclist may sustain are generally also covered by the cyclist's own uninsured motorist auto policy (when they have that coverage). Coverage is often also available in this situation through uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) policies purchased by relatives of the bicyclist with whom they reside.
Untangling these insurance coverage issues and securing appropriate compensation for those hurt in bicycle accidents – often involving severe injuries – are essential services that an experienced personal injury attorney can provide.
View this video from Stanford Children's Health with important types about how to properly fit and wear helmets when bicycling:Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Loomis, CA
The risk of injury shouldn't stop us from using our bicycles for recreation or as a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to commuting in a car, especially when protective measures such as wearing a helmet can greatly reduce the risk of serious injury. But even when bicyclists are careful, the motorists with whom they share our streets may not be, and bike accidents with serious injuries can result. If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, please call us today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
Editor's Note: updated [cha 8.18.23] Image by Pam Patterson from Pixabay gm [cs 978] bw