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Bicycle Accidents Spike During the Summer Months

With time away from work and school, adults and children take to their bikes more frequently in the summer. Unfortunately, the number of accidents between bicyclists and motor vehicles also increases this time of year.

Because bicyclists have very little projection from the impact with a car or truck, the personal injuries sustained can be serious, including broken bones, internal injuries, head trauma, paralysis and even death. In 2011, automobiles killed 142 bicyclists across California, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. This represents an increase of 13.2 percent from 99 in 2010.

To stay safe this summer, we encourage our readers to consider the following tips from the California Department of Motor Vehicles:

  • Maintain control of your bicycle. Ensure your bicycle is the right size and properly adjusted to fit you. A properly fitted bicycle is easier to control, more comfortable, and causes less fatigue. Also, never rise your bicycle while impaired; it is both illegal and dangerous.
  • Protect yourself. Reduce the risk of head injury by always wearing a helmet. By law, bicycle riders under 18 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet while riding on a public road.
  • Be visible, alert, and communicate your intentions. Even if you obey all traffic laws, there is always a risk of being hit by a motorist who is not obeying the laws, or who simply does not see you. Ride carefully–vehicles waiting at stop signs, in driveways, or parking spaces may suddenly pull out in front of you. Watch for vehicles that have just passed you and may turn right, as well as vehicles coming the opposite way that may turn left in front of you.
  • Ride with traffic. Ride in the same direction as traffic. This will make you more visible to drivers entering roads or changing lanes, because they will know where to look for possible conflicts. On a one-way street, you may ride on the left as long as you are riding with traffic.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.