We often speak of auto accidents and their dangers on this blog, but accidents with bikes should also be taken seriously. Bicyclists are far more vulnerable than others on the road, meaning injuries sustained in crashes can be severe. That’s why speaking with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer is important after collisions and crashes. The Stockton, CA attorneys of Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP are here to help.
It’s estimated that half of all serious collisions occur in intersections, which means that crosswalks can be particularly dangerous for bicyclists. Our lawyers would like to consider some facts regarding these kinds of accidents.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 840 auto accident fatalities involving bicycles in 2016. Of that numbers, 147 fatalities were in the sate of California alone. Additionally, it’s estimated that 45,000 bike accident injuries occurred in 2015. These non-fatal injuries ranged in severity from minor to requiring medical attention.
The Dangers of Crosswalks
A decade-old NHTSA report found that 40 percent of all auto collisions occurred in intersections, including half of all serious auto crashes; that figure also included 21.5 percent of all fatal crashes. More recent findings from the NHTSA noted that there were 5,987 pedestrian fatalities in 2016. In the same year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated 129,000 pedestrian injuries. A number of these fatal and non-fatal incidents occurred at crosswalks or intersections.
Hazards When Vehicles Are Making Turns
When a vehicle is making a left turn or a right turn at an intersection, they may not be as attentive as they would be when driving straight. Bicyclists may be cut off and struck from the side by vehicles turning right because they are lost in a driver’s blind spot. Inattentive drivers making left turns could strike a bicyclist cross the street even if they have the right of way.
Vehicles Running Red Lights
Running red lights puts countless people at risk. A report by Forbes earlier this year noted that more than 800 people were killed in 2016 simply from drivers running red lights or stop signs. When drivers ignore stop signs or traffic signals, they put bicyclists and others on the road at risk.
Failure to Observe the Right of Way
Cars and trucks share the road with bicyclists. “Share” is such an important word to consider. There are times when cars do not observe the right of way for bicyclists, instead cutting off others and even running them off of the road. It’s important for everyone’s safety that drivers observe the right of way at all times.
Safety Issues with an Intersection
Sometimes drivers and bicyclists are observing the rules of the road, but the issue is with the intersection itself. Missing stop signs, obscured traffic signals, malfunctioning traffic signals, and poor lighting at crosswalks could all contribute to an accident that could have been avoided. In such cases, road authorities or the local municipality might be liable for a bicycle accident occurring given the hazardous circumstances at that intersection.
Contact Our Team of Accident Lawyers
For more information about your legal rights and options following a bike accident, be sure to contact our team of experienced bicycle accident attorneys. The team at Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP is here to help. You can reach our locations in Stockton and Walnut Creek by phone at (209) 477-8171.