Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

Over the years we have seen an increasing number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents on our streets and roadways around the Bay Area. One of the best things about living and working in our beautiful region, is that commuters have so many choices when it comes to how they get to work. Recently, an El Cerrito woman was killed when she was riding in a bicycle lane in West Oakland. She was hit by a truck while she rode. The cyclist was a regular commuter on the ferry from across the bay to her employment as a scientist in South San Francisco. Friends report that she was committed to her own safety and was very careful about making sure she had on reflective or other type gear that drivers can see. Despite all her efforts to be safe on the road, she lost her life riding her bicycle.

The driver that allegedly struck her while she traveled in the bicycle lane, has been cooperating with authorities on this bicycle accident. This is important to emphasize, as these days we have seen a major rise in hit and run accidents involving all sorts of vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. The rise in hit and run accidents has been so startling that it is beginning to make national news. Unfortunately, the fact that a driver actually obeys California law and stops after an accident is becoming notable. California Motor Vehicle Code section 20001 makes it mandatory for drivers to stop at the scene of a crash when there is injury involved.
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One of the most heart wrenching tragedies happened earlier this week very close to home. A young teen was riding her bicycle to school and was hit by a car and lost her life. As California cycling injury lawyers, we want to express our sympathies to her family and school community.

According to reports, the bicycling teen and the vehicle that fatally injured her were making a right turn at the same time. She was wearing a helmet. Authorities are still trying to piece together how this bicycle accident occurred. The driver stopped and stayed at the scene. Police say that the cause of the collision is not clear and that the driver will not be charged.

The teen’s family is not speaking about this tragedy. She attended Woodside High School and resided in Redwood City. According to the statement issued by her school principal, she was an engaged and committed student and athlete.

Unlike in this accident, we read often read reports about situations in which a person is hit while riding a bicycle or walking, and the motorist leaves the scene. Hit and run accidents appear to be on the rise all over the country.

California law requires that motorists stop after an accident that involves the injury of another person. Under California Vehicle Code section 20001, drivers must, among other things, immediately stop, provide identification to other parties or law enforcement and provide reasonable assistance to the injured person or persons. This driver appears to have done everything right.

We hope that over time, the young teen’s family can heal and that her school community can as well.
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Earlier this week, a bicyclist was riding at the intersection of Market and New Montgomery Streets in San Francisco, when tragedy occurred. The wheel of his bike was caught on the Muni tracks as he rode parallel to an SF Muni Bus. He then fell under the bus, which drove over him.

The bicyclist apparently was seriously injured and was taken to the local trauma center at San Francisco General Hospital with what were said to be life threatening injuries. Our hearts go out to the injured bicyclist and his family. We do not know the status of his injuries, but will keep readers posted if we learn of his condition.

As Bay Area bicycle accident lawyers, we are aware of situations in which bike wheels have become caught in storm drains, train tracks and other permanent or temporary road fixtures. This scenario can be very dangerous.

As California consumer and injury lawyers, we have seen the tragic consequences of serious accidents of all kinds. Among the most likely to cause catastrophic injury, are those that occur when cars and people or bicyclists collide.

Recently, a Ventura County driver hit and ran after striking and killing a bicyclist — he was arrested in his driveway. Two other bicyclists were hit but not killed by this driver.

We are all aware that pedestrian accidents and injuries can happen at any time and tragically, can result in serious injury and even death. We sometimes forget how vulnerable we are when simply walking across a street or riding a bicycle on a country lane. But pedestrians and cyclists cannot protect themselves from a driver under the influence who is not obeying the rules of the road.

Last November, a Los Altos woman who was riding a bicycle in Portola Valley was struck and tragically killed when a truck hit her as she was traveling on property maintained by San Mateo County. The woman’s family has filed a wrongful death action against the driver of the truck and the company that employed him. But the driver and his employer are seeking to make sure that the County pays for any judgment against them that might be awarded to the woman’s family.

The defendants in the wrongful death case claim that the accident occurred due to a dangerous condition on public property. But it appears for now that the claim for indemnity could be rejected by the County, as they say the California Highway Patrol determined in their accident investigation that the truck driver made an unsafe turn and that the accident was not the result of any dangerous conditions. There were no eyewitnesses to the crash which occurred near an onramp to I-280.

On the other hand, the defendants in the wrongful death case say that the road is dangerous and poorly designed. And although a new investigation is still pending, there are some possible changes underway for the area in which the accident occurred. The County has met with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and has applied for grants to make changes to the area where the tragedy occurred.

Over the past few years San Francisco, California has risen in the rankings in traffic statistics, but not in a good way.

In 2009, based on the average number of miles driven within the city, San Francisco had more vehicular collisions that resulted in death or injury than other California cities with more than 250,000 residents. The city was ranked third in 2008 and fourth in both 2006 and 2007.

A little good news? The city ranks seventh when the calculation is based solely on population.