The chances for a collision increase greatly when cyclists and motorists are forced to travel in the same lane of traffic. Studies have shown that cyclists are safest when they travel on their own bike trails or in designated bike lanes.
Cyclists can face numerous road hazards even in their own lane, but their biggest threat comes from drunk and distracted drivers. Cyclists travel at low speeds and are less visible than motorists, so reckless drivers may easily miss a bicyclist on the road.
The most common contributing factor in collisions between a bicycle and another vehicle is “failure to look properly,” especially at junctions. “Failing to look properly” was attributed to the car driver in 57 percent of serious bicycle accidents.
What Counts As Distracted Driving?
Texting and driving is the most commonly cited distracted driving activity, but other distractions can include changing radio settings, eating, looking into a mirror or anything else requiring that a driver take his eyes off the road.
On Saturday, July 12, a San Diego cyclist was seriously injured when a car pulled in front of him as he passed an apartment complex. The rider was traveling southbound in the 3100 block of 30th Street when a 2008 Toyota sedan pulled into traffic.
The cyclist had no time to avoid the collision and struck the car head-on. The driver was uninjured, but the 34-year-old cyclist fractured his femur and had to be transported to a local trauma center for treatment.
Drivers must always be cautious when entering traffic, and always be sure to yield the right-of-way to crossing motorists. If inattentive drivers fail to notice a cyclist in the flow of traffic, their negligence could have catastrophic consequences.
Motorists, especially young or new drivers, often believe that a few seconds of distraction will not make a big difference, but that instant could forever impact a cyclist’s life. Motorists protected by glass and metal can easily escape an accident unscathed, but a bicyclist with no protection from the road can suffer serious injuries even from a minor collision.
Attorney Frederick M. Dudek is very aware of the dangers facing San Diego cyclists because he too is an avid rider. Dudek Law Firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of bicyclists throughout San Diego, including their right to ride safely.
If a distracted driver caused your injuries, call us today to schedule a free consultation. Together, we can help protect bicycle riders throughout San Diego.
[Did You Know: From 2005 to 2010, the number of cyclists killed by distracted drivers increased almost 30 percent.]
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego bicycle accident lawyer