California is a state with pleasant weather, and Santa Clarita is a wonderful place for locals to ride their bikes. Because of the mild temperatures and the many bike trails, there are dozens of bikers in Santa Clarita on a daily basis. Yet this can sometimes become a hazard, as it is common for bikers to be hit by distracted drivers or to fall in a horrible wreck then there is an item or a barrier in the bike path. Throughout the United States, at least 52,000 people were injured while riding a bike in one year. 716 of these bicyclists in 2008 sustained fatal injuries, and in 2008 2% of all traffic fatalities had to do with bike accidents. This is because bikers are often invisible for drivers out on the road. Whether it is in broad daylight or in the dark of night, a bicyclist can hide in a driver's blind spot or may blend in with the surrounding darkness at night time.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) accident statistics from 2010, there were a total of 111 fatal bicycle accidents and more than 12,000 accidents that resulted in bicyclist injury. Statistics over the past five years seem to indicate a growing number of bicycle related injuries annually. For example, in 2006, there were 2,000 fewer bicycle related injuries than there were in 2010. Many people use a bicycle as their primary mode of transportation and many others bicycle for leisure.
According to the California Vehicle Code, 21200-21212
A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division.
Basically what this means is that bicyclists are bound to certain traffic codes listed out in the California Vehicle Code (CVC). If a bicyclist was injured in an accident, but the accident was caused by the cyclist's failure to adhere to one of these regulations, then they may not be entitled to recover financial compensation, because they could be considered the liable party in the incident.
Bicycle accidents can happen in virtually any city in the United States. Because Santa Clarita encourages biking, this suburb may be even more prone to bicycle accidents than other locations are. People can be injured in a bike accident if they are hit by a moving vehicle. This can typically result in severe road rash, broken bones, spinal injuries, or even a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI.) As well, a biker may suffer a crushed limb, vision loss, or a host of other problems as a result of being hit by a moving vehicle. Bikers can also get into accidents when they hit a large bump in the road, or are unable to control their bike any longer.
An average of 618 people dies in a bicycle accident every single year. Some of these accidents are because of car collisions, but there are also times that bikers may fall off of a steep incline, or may hit a barrier such as a fence or a wall and this can facilitate an injury or fatality. Bicyclists can also suffer soft-tissue injuries, scrapes, lacerations, bruises, or internal damage depending on the severity of the accident.
According to data released by Harvard University, nearly half of all bicycle accidents are caused by motorists making left turns in front of approaching bicyclists. Another 23 percent of accidents are caused by motorists failing to make an accurate judgment of how much space there was between their vehicle and the cyclist. A majority of accidents involving bicycles and vehicles are caused by negligence on behalf of the driver of the vehicle. If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you may be suffering from serious injuries, since there is little to protect a bicyclist from the open road and surrounding environment other than a helmet.
Contact our firm if your accident was caused by a driver who failed to yield the right of way, failed to see you before changing lanes or turning or collided with you while they were driving drunk. Unfortunately, even when bicyclists are abiding by all of the necessary safety regulations laid out in the CVC, serious accidents can still occur because of negligent motorists. If you are interested in filing a claim, please do not hesitate to call a Santa Clarita bicycle accident lawyer at our firm. Don't wait- contact us today!