Since California is known for its agreeable weather year-round, many people shun the automobile and choose to get back and forth by riding a bicycle or walking. While this is a positive decision by providing exercise, saving money on fuel and will benefit the environment, there is no doubt that there are inherent dangers for pedestrians and bicyclists as they share the road with automobiles.
Drivers might not adhere to the law for bicyclists and pedestrians, drive distracted, be under the influence, operate their vehicles recklessly or commit other acts that place riders and pedestrians in jeopardy. Legislators and law enforcement strive to emphasize the need for safety. Researchers present statistical facts. Unfortunately, these steps are not always effective. When there is a crash and people are injured or lose their lives, it is imperative to understand the available options in the aftermath.
National Bicycle Safety Month seeks to make the roads safer for riders
May is specifically dedicated to bicycle safety. As part of its endeavor to make road conditions more agreeable to bicyclists, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is giving safety tips, pointing out accident statistics and discussing the laws drivers and riders are expected to follow. Riders must adhere to rules just as drivers do. Drivers, however, are relatively safe from injury if they collide with a bicyclist. The rider is vulnerable to long-term damage and death after an accident.
Basic steps for drivers include checking for riders when turning, coming to full stops at stop signs, yielding and watching both side-view mirrors to check for riders. This is even important when parking. Many bicycle accidents occur when the vehicle is not even moving and a driver simply opens the door without looking. Drivers are required to allow riders three feet of room when passing. They must also reduce their speed. CHP shared its statistics for bicycle accidents in the past five years and the results are troubling. Almost 800 riders lost their lives in a collision. There were more than 51,000 injuries.
Despite reduced traffic, the Los Angeles streets had many accidents
In 2020, there was a substantial reduction in traffic in Los Angeles and across the United States because of the health situation. At first glance, this might make it seem as if there would be a reduction in accidents and fatalities to coincide with less traffic, but that was not the case. When calculating the lack of traffic and the number of deaths, there was an overall reduction in the total with 238 fatalities in accidents – a drop of around 3%. But when the miles traveled was accounted for, the numbers were worse.
Pedestrians have been injured in crashes at a troublesome rise in the past five years even as their safety is a point of emphasis with such programs as Vision Zero. Some areas in Los Angeles were worse than others for pedestrian safety. Researchers and the Los Angeles Police Department are trying to determine how and why this is the case and what factors result in some neighborhoods presenting greater danger for pedestrians and bicyclists than others.
Seeking assistance after bicycle and pedestrian accidents is critical
Riders and pedestrians are among the most vulnerable people on the road to injuries and death when there is an auto accident. Even if they are lucky to survive bicycle and pedestrian accidents, there can be broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord damage, internal injuries and more. This will lead to exorbitant medical expenses, the possibility that the person will not be able to work, challenges contributing to a family and more. When there is a fatality, those left behind will wonder how the accident happened and why. They might also need to consider their options to cover all the expenses they will accrue and how to make ends meet. To be fully prepared, it is wise to have professional, caring guidance with the various alternatives following this type of collision. This should be the first step to decide the best way to proceed.