Newport Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyer on Bicycle Accidents
What is the most dangerous sport that leads to the highest number of injuries? You may think mixed martial arts or football, maybe even ice hockey, but a Newport Beach bicycle accident lawyer knows that the leading sport (recreational, professional or functional) for injuries is bicycling.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to the Governors Highway Association in 2014, California led the nation in cycling deaths. From 2010 to 2012, six states, including California, made up 54% of cycling traffic deaths. Although bicycle deaths account for 2% of the deaths involving motor vehicles nationwide, they account for a little more than 4% of motor vehicle accident-related deaths in California.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (HS) / Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), there were 722 bicyclists who were killed in crashes involving motor vehicles in 2012. The majority (73%) of those who died were male and older than 20.
65% of the bicyclists killed in 2012 were reportedly not wearing helmets and of the 65% killed, 18% of them did not know they should be using helmets.
HS/HLDI reported that approximately 69% of the fatal accidents occurred in urban areas and 31% occurred in rural areas. Thirty-seven percent of the fatal bicycle accidents occurred at intersections while 63% occurred in non-intersections.
These statistics do not include bicyclists who received non-fatal serious injuries or minor injuries.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
An experienced Newport Beach bicycle accident lawyer knows that the most common causes involve another vehicle. Often times, the collision with another vehicle occurs at a road junction due to either the driver or cyclist, or both, failing to look properly before continuing into the road junction. This includes when a motorist emerges onto the path of a cyclist or turning across the path of a cyclist.
Another common cause of bicycle accidents is when the cyclist rides into the path of a motor vehicle, often riding off a pavement. This could also be caused when both the bicyclist and motorist are moving in the same direction and the bicyclist, while turning his or her head to look behind, will accidentally move the bicycle directly into the path of the motorist.
A knowledgeable Newport Beach bicycle accident lawyer has seen cyclists involved in accidents while making right turns from a major or minor road. Often times, if the cyclist is going fast, the cyclist, while turning right, will make a large arc, going into the middle of the road and, possibly, moving into the path of either an oncoming vehicle or a vehicle moving in the same direction.
Oddly enough, another common cause of bicycle accidents, especially in urban areas, is when a cyclist is unable to stop in time when a motorist opens his or her vehicle door. This happens more often than one may think and could lead to serious or fatal injuries.
Another common cause of bicycle accidents resulting in fatal injuries involve the cyclist having consumed alcohol and was tested to have a BAC level of 0.08 or higher.
Children injured or killed in bicycle accidents are usually due to them playing or riding too fast. Often times, children will lose control of the bicycle.
There two most common types of bicycle accident injuries are limbs and head injuries. Skilled Newport Beach bicycle accident lawyers have also seen cyclists suffer injuries to the chest or abdomen, although less frequently. However, injuries to the head, chest and abdomen are often serious. And injuries to the chest and abdomen are frequently accompanied to injuries to the head.
Injuries to the head range from fatal skull fractures and brain damage to minor concussions and cuts. The more serious injuries usually result in permanent damages or death.
There are a number of ways a bicyclist can take safety measures, including wearing reflective gear and a bicycle helmet. Newport Beach bicycle accident lawyers also recommend bicyclists to familiarize themselves with hand signals to notify drivers if and when they will be making a left or right turn. Rear view mirrors on bicycles will also help cyclists to view oncoming vehicles without needing to turn their head and accidentally turning the handle of the bicycle, causing the bicycle to move into oncoming traffic. Reflective gear on the bicycle wheels and/or a headlight in the front of the bicycle will also help cyclists be more visible to motorists.
Cyclist’s behavior will also help save them from injury or death. Remember, bicycles are vehicles too and are subject to traffic laws (e.g. tickets speeding, failing to yield, failing to stop). Thus, cyclists should slow down or stop when necessary. They should also not consume anything that may impair their judgment.
California Helmet Law
Helmet use is estimated to reduce head injuries by 85%. California requires bicyclists and passengers on the bicycle who are under 18 to wear bicycle helmets while riding a bicycle. The helmet must meet the standard of the American National Standards Institute, Snell Memorial Foundation’s Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling, or the American Society for Testing Materials. The helmet must also be properly fitted to the wearer of the helmet. Newport Beach bicycle accident lawyers have seen cyclists or passengers of bicycles fined up to $250.00 for failure to wear a helmet in accordance with California law.
Contact A Newport Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyer
For more information, contact Newport Beach bicycle accident lawyers with Russell & Lazarus APC at (949) 851-0222.