Bicycle Accidents in Orange County
National Bike Month is coming up in May and riders will be taking to Orange County streets in record numbers. Bicycling is a very popular method of transportation and recreation, particularly here in the OC where the trails and roadways are so inviting. However, cyclists must share those same scenic roadways with motor vehicles and that can prove dangerous. In fact, in 2018 at least 14 cyclists were killed in Orange County accidents. When you are aboard a bicycle on a roadway, there are things you can do to minimize the risk of an accident.
Bicyclists Need to Stay Visible
Whether you are riding to the right of a travel lane or near the center of it, bicyclists need to ensure they stay visible to motorists at all times. This may only require doing something as simple as wearing fluorescent colors during the daylight hours and reflective materials at night. These colors and materials tend to make cyclists more visible, particularly when they are used on moving body or bicycle parts at night. For example, reflective tape on shoes and pedals may more easily catch a driver's attention when compared to being used on something that remains relatively still, such as reflective material on a shirt or jacket. Perhaps most importantly, lights should ALWAYS be used when riding on the street at night. It is in fact the law.
What Happens When You Are in an Accident
Bicycle accidents tend to result in serious injuries even when the proper safety equipment is used. After a bicycle accident, you should do everything you reasonably can to ensure you document what happened and who is at fault. This includes taking pictures with your cell phone camera, obtaining witness names and maintaining as much physical evidence as you can, such as your damaged bike and equipment. Photographs taken at the scene and of the resting position of the vehicles (BOTH the bike and the car) are extremely important. Thereafter, documenting the condition of the roadway and the visible injuries sustained can later help with the reconstruction of the accident. For whatever reason, when the police are called to the scene of a bike accident they seem to empathize with the driver more often than with the bicyclist, perhaps because it is easy to understand how a motorist might not see someone on a bike. Because of this, it is always important to give as much accurate information as possible to the police at the scene of a bicycle accident. Make sure your account of what happened is clear. Traffic Collision Reports are given a lot of weight by insurance company adjusters when deciding fault.
If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a bicycle accident, contacting an Orange County injury attorney may be the best first step to recovering compensation for the injuries and damages sustained.