Bicycle accident lawyers at Sette Law in Stockton look at national trends regarding safety for residents who enjoy bike riding for fun and recreation. Those statistics, according to our Stockton personal injury attorneys, show a heightened need for vigilance and adherence to traffic laws for both bicyclists as well as motorists in Stockton.
Bicycle accidents increased from 2011 to 2012, according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Center. This trend may be due to an increase in riders nationwide and, our Stockton bicycle accident attorneys say, probably underestimates the number of people injured in bicycle accidents. Law enforcement is often not notified about minor accidents, victims may not visit hospital emergency rooms and many bike injuries go unreported. Safety Center researchers estimate the number of Stockton bicycle accidents reported may be as low as 1- percent. Our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers believe that a great deal of education needs to happen to create a safer urban environment for bicycle riders.
Stockton bicycle accidents are most threatening to youngsters. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, the number of accidents involving riders under the age of 15 earned a dubious ranking for Stockton. Bicycle accident lawyers explain that, out of 13 similar cities, Stockton ranks the second most dangerous for these young riders. The city placed ninth on the scale for riders over 15 in Stockton. Bicycle accident lawyers say the reported 138 bicycle accidents logged in 2011 probably represent a fraction of actual Stockton bicycle accidents.
Lawyers at Sette Law believe riders and motorists must step up vigilance and build greater awareness of safety on the streets of Stockton. Bicycle accidents most often result in serious injuries to riders, given the vast difference in speed, weight and protection between bikes and cars. Consequently, our Stockton injury attorneys call for mutual respect on the roads. Motorists should be on the watch for bike riders and bicyclists must not only anticipate movement in vehicle traffic but also ride responsibly.
Unfortunately, because bike riders are so vulnerable in Stockton, bicycle accident lawyers advise riders to adopt consistent rules for riding in traffic. A first basic rule would be to always, unfailingly, wear a helmet on the streets of Stockton. Our personal injury attorneys know that most bicycle accidents result in head injuries – damage that can impact victims for a lifetime.
Another simple prevention practice is for riders to dress in brilliant colors to make themselves clearly visible to vehicle drivers in Stockton. Bicycle accidents can, and do, happen because the rider seemed to blend with the environment. Our bicycle accident lawyers encourage riders to be colorful when riding on the streets of Stockton.
Bicycle accidents can also be minimized if bikes are outfitted with good lights, reflectors and mirrors. Making eye contact with vehicle drivers signals awareness of both rider and car for mutual safety in Stockton. Furthermore, our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers say riders need to think ahead about the intentions of drivers. Something as simple as a car door swinging open can cause serious injury or death in a resulting bicycle accident in Stockton.
If these suggestions seem to place the greatest responsibility on riders to avoid bicycle accidents, our lawyers agree. After all, the bicyclist is almost always at greatest risk in a bicycle accident. Ultimately, if the result is serious injury or death in a Stockton bicycle accident, lawyers know that, despite monetary recovery that may be won, the rider suffers the greatest harm. It is in the rider’s personal interest to adopt consistent safety habits when riding in Stockton.
Bicycle accident lawyerrs urge riders to take these simple precautions and to also recognize that their actions can contribute to Stockton bicycle accidents. Our attorneys are watching a case in nearby Sacramento in which a rider hit a pedestrian and left her disabled for life from a bicycle accident. The bicyclist was riding on a sidewalk and hit the woman from behind. In this case, the bicycle was the dangerous vehicle. The victim is suing for damages in the bicycle accident, contending that the city vehicle code regarding riding on sidewalks is unclear. The rider who caused the bicycle accident has not been identified. Our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers know that riding on busy streets can be a frightening experience. Proper bike lanes are often nonexistent and bicyclists are drawn to the safety of sidewalks. But, Stockton personal injury attorneys point to the Sacramento incident as a case in which a bicycle proved as dangerous as a car to a pedestrian.
Clearly, responsibility for bicycle and pedestrian safety is shared. Our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers believe it is time for state and local traffic laws to adapt to an increase in bicycle use. This requires education and vigilance of bike riders and motorists to keep themselves and pedestrians safe from Stockton bicycle accidents.