Does California Law Do Anything to Keep Cyclists Safe From Accidents?

Does California Law Do Anything to Keep Cyclists Safe From Accidents?California’s State Assembly is introducing a bill that would require cyclists to wear either a blinking backlight on their bicycle or reflective clothing. Every year, cyclists are injured or killed due to a lack of visibility.

Current law requires that a bicycle be equipped with a red reflector on the rear, and visible from 500 feet if being operated in the dark along a highway, sidewalk or bikeway. Assembly Bill 28 will add to the current law by requiring that a bicycle operating under those conditions use a white flashing light or requiring the rider to wear reflective gear.

Most cycling accidents occur in urban areas, and unfortunately, California has the highest number of fatal accidents. In 2012, California had 123 deaths from cycling accidents. Efforts to improve upon the safety of cyclists to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities have been underway in several cities.

Many cities are adding more bike lanes or bike paths. Some research has found that only 3 percent of cycling accidents happen in bike lanes, and adding more bike lanes is just one of many ways to make roads more cycling friendly.

What Other Policies Can Keep Cyclists Safe?

There are other ways to make cycling a safer hobby, but ultimately the decision is up to drivers to be mindful of their surroundings and to drive safely.

Cyclists are not often at fault when in an accident, and data gathered by the Transport Research Laboratory shows that drivers are responsible for cycling accidents 60-75 percent of the time. According to the data, one of the most common reasons for an accident was because a driver failed to look properly. Data gathered from the research also found that it was rare for a cyclist to be at fault and that reduced speed limits, stronger traffic enforcement and cycle-friendly road design would contribute to a reduction in cycling accidents.

If you have been injured in a cycling accident, medical bills and the cost of long-term recovery can become extremely expensive. It is highly advisable to contact an attorney to get his or her opinion on whether or not you can recover damages.

Frederick M. Dudek is an avid cyclist and experienced personal injury attorney. To learn more about Southern California Cycling News, please visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Dudek Law Firm, APC – San Diego Bicycle Accident Attorney

You can read more about the California Assembly bill by visiting its website.

Did You Know? California, Florida, Texas, New York, Illinois and Michigan account for 54 percent of all fatal cycling accidents.