The California Highway Safety Patrol (CHP) is reminding bicyclists and motorists that it’s critical that they share the roadway together in a safe manner. It’s for this reason throughout the month of May bicycle safety is being shared with the California public. Because California’s weather allows cyclists to use the roadways year-round, it’s critical for the public to embrace this education throughout the month.
Have keen awareness of the facts
Bicycle safety should be an everyday practice and with that in mind, let’s look at the statistics regarding injuries and fatalities in bicycle accidents. Unfortunately, cyclists experience head injuries most often when they experience and accident and according to the Institute for Highway Safety, nearly 2% of collision victims involve bicyclists. By their estimate, wearing a helmet reduces the odds of head injury by 50%. Motorists should also be aware that these accidents typically occur either late in the afternoon or during the evening hours. Nearly 48% of fatalities occur from 4:00 p.m. until midnight.
The “Three Feet for Safety Act”
In 2014, California enacted safety laws drivers must abide by to help improve conditions not only for bicyclists but motorists as well. The law, referred to as the “Three Feet for Saftey Act” means that drivers must allow for at least three feet between bicyclists and their vehicle as they pass. This legislation is not only helpful for bicyclists, but also for motorists because it prevents them from potentially causing an accident.
The need for more public education
Despite the passage of this law, there is still a need for public education and awareness. There were 133 bicycle fatalities in California during 2015 as the result of collisions with vehicles following the passage of this safety law. This statistic represents a decrease of 23% since 2013 and, since then, the number has fallen again. However, the number of fatalities is still far too high.
Contact a personal injury attorney
If you are a bicyclist and have been injured while on riding on California’s roadways, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. In addition to answering each of your questions and addressing your concerns, your lawyer will assist you with determining a strategy for your case from start to finish.