Recent statistics suggest that California intersections represent a relatively small portion of a cyclist’s travel route on a given riding day; however, intersections represent the main areas of a cyclist route where a cyclist is most at risk of getting hit by a car or otherwise involved in a car accident while on his or her bicycle. A relatively low 11% of all bicycle accidents involve a direct collision with a car; but of these, an alarming 45% take place in intersections! In opposition to popular fears, the majority of bicycle accidents (approximately) — 59% — involve only the cyclist, who loses control of the bike and crashes. This is why it is so important to make sure bicycle tire pressure and riding gears are in tip top shape. What a bicyclist needs to do t minimize the risk of intersection accidents with cars, cyclists need to maximize their visibility (use mirrors on helmets is one idea), understand the rules of the road (educational bike classes is a great way to learn the rules well), learn to recognize some of the most dangerous intersection hazards (especially in a route that you ride everyday), and take safety precautions when approaching and riding through an intersection (especially if they are known to be busy, or have lots of confusion or prior accidents!).
I also advise it is wise to learn the basic legal rules of liability when it comes to a car versus bike accident — that is, who is responsible for a bike accident when one happens? Cyclists who don’t follow road rules or don’t keep a proper lookout might be deemed responsible for an accident if that can be proved in a court of law. Sadly, bicyclists who do follow the rules of the road and pay attention but are nevertheless hit by a car driver who doesn’t follow the rules of the road may be surprised to learn that both the car driver and the police blame the cyclist for the car and bike accident! Another reason you should consult with an experienced California bike lawyer when you need a legal consult!
Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Bicycle Accident Attorney, and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Pedestrian Injury Law Firm devoted to representing families of injured persons of automobile accidents. If you or someone you love, has been injured or killed in San Diego County, or Southern California, due to the negligence of another, please order your FREE copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information, insights, and secrets that will help you protect your legal rights. It normally sells for $16.95; however, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident.