The Orange County Register reports that a man was sentenced to one year in jail and three years of probation for his part in a hit-and-run accident that took the life of a 55-year-old Laguna Beach bicyclist. The 21-year-old driver swerved into the bicycle lane, struck the cyclist, and failed to stop after the collision. Two witnesses who saw the crash contacted emergency services, then followed the heavily-damaged vehicle until the driver pulled off the road about a mile away.
Sharing the road with bicycles isn’t just a suggestion for motorists, it’s the law. Bicyclists have the legal right to travel safely on roads that aren’t otherwise barred from bicycle traffic. However, bicyclists must be aware and take extra caution of their surroundings, as automobile drivers aren’t always predictable.
Safety Tips for Riding Your Bicycle in the Street
While car drivers need to be responsible for their behavior on the road, there are a few actions that you can take in order to make your bicycle trip as safe as possible:
- Wear a helmet. This is the simplest thing that you can do to minimize the risk of severe head trauma, or even death, in the event of an accident. No rider should ever be without a helmet.
- Ride with traffic, not against it. Keep as far right as you safely can, but be sure to give yourself clearance from the curb and room to move if a parked car should open its doors.
- Ride defensively. That means keeping your eyes and ears open at all times to hazards, and never expecting that a motor vehicle will yield to you. Be prepared to account for the poor behavior of drivers.
Ultimately, you can’t control the actions of others on the road or account for the negligence of a motorist. But as a bicyclist, you do owe it to yourself to play it as safe as you can and minimize your chances of an accident.
If you are ever injured or a loved one is killed in a bicycle accident, good legal representation can help you recover financially and get justice from the person whose careless actions lead to tragedy.
Steinberg Injury Lawyers has been handling accident and injury cases since 1982. We have the legal experience to help you get the financial recovery that you need, and we will treat your case with the compassion and respect that you deserve. Call us for a free case evaluation at 1-800-350-8888.