Did you know that every year more than 100 people are killed in bicycle accidents in California? Many fatal accidents are caused by driver’s not paying attention or driving recklessly. Bicyclists also contribute to some of these accidents so it is important for bicyclists to be proactive on the road to stay safe.

Bicyclists and motorists should be aware of the rules of the road. In California, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers. This means that bicycle riders need to obey the rules of the road, but it also means that motorists need to watch for bicycles and respect their rights.

Motorists may not always see you on the road. Many bicycle-vehicle collisions involve vehicles pulling out of driveways, parking spaces or waiting at stop signs and they fail to see bicyclists. Vehicles turning in front of you are also another common cause of crashes. 

Not all accidents can be prevented. However, bicyclists can take the following steps to stay safe and to reduce the risk of an accident, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles:

  • Ride with traffic 
  • Keep control of your bicycle
  • Be visible 
  • Follow traffic laws
  • Ride defensively 

Bicycle riders can suffer serious and catastrophic injuries if they are involved in an accident. These injuries can be life-changing and very costly. 

Victims of bicycle accidents should know that they have rights. You may be able to file a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for your injuries after an accident. These claims can be complex. An attorney can help you understand your rights and explore your legal options for recovery.