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UPDATE: Roberta Walker Critically Injured In Car Accident While Riding Bicycle On the North Coast Highway 101 By The Leucadia Post Office In Encinitas


Dec 10, 2018

Roberta Walker Encinitas: Bicycle Safety Advocate Roberta Walker Critically Injured In Truck Accident While On Her Bicycle On The North Coast Highway 101

ENCINITAS, CALIFORNIA (December 10, 2018) – A bicycle safety advocate and North County community leader identified as Roberta Walker was critically injured in a truck accident in Encinitas on North Coast Highway 101 by Phoebe Street.

The accident took place just outside of the Leucadia Post Office around 6:00 a.m. Roberta Walker is the executive director of Cardiff 101 Main Street Association and is widely known as a passionate advocate for pedestrian and cyclist safety. 

She was transported to the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla in critical condition where she was treated for a spinal injury, several broken bones and a head injury. 

Roberta Walker is a passionate advocate for the proposed Leucadia Streetscape project. It was thought up as means improving the North Coast Highway 101, which has become notoriously unsafe for cyclists.

Sheriff’s officials do not believe  that alcohol was a factor in the car accident that injured Roberta Walker and are continuing their investigation at this time. 

Designing Safe Roads For Bicyclists

 It has been estimated by the Centers for Disease Control that nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed every year in car accidents. Organizations like Cardiff 101 Main Street  are advancing an important cause in our community. Bicycle accidents can be dramatically reduced when a number of basic safety features are present like bike lanes and street signs. 

A number of companies are developing very creative and interesting solutions to help make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Salt Lake City is now building roads with protected intersections, concrete refuge islands and physical barriers separating bike lanes. When a city knows that a road is dangerous for cyclists or pedestrians and they fail to take corrective action they could face civil liability if anyone is injured. 

Liability In Truck Accidents Involving Cyclists

There are a number of entities that could potentially face liability for the tragic car accident that injured Roberta Walker. Generally speaking, when a truck driver is negligent and causes an accident they could face civil liability for any person that is injured. A number of bicycle accidents occur as drivers make unprotected left turns into businesses without checking to see if pedestrians are nearby. In addition to negligence on the part of a truck driver, their employer may also face liability if they were working at the time of an accident. 

Companies are generally responsible for the conduct of their employees. This includes responsibility for drivers that fail to adhere to safety standards on the road. A number of truck drivers cause accidents while they are fatigued or distracted. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are 5 major risk factors for truck accidents. These include alcohol, illegal drugs, fatigue, unfamiliarity with an area and driver inexperience. Victims of truck accidents may have the ability to file a vicarious liability claim against the company that employed the negligent driver. 

Of course, the majority of accidents are due to driver error. But adequate road design and construction are important as well. The probability that a bicycle accident will happen increases when roads lack basic safety features or are otherwise poorly constructed. This is why the work of safety advocates is so important. A road could be dangerous if it lacks roundabouts, bike lanes or if the road is too narrow. Cities in California have a responsibility to design roads that are reasonably safe and a city may be liable for an accident if it was caused by a “dangerous condition on public property.”

According to California Government Code 835, “Except as provided by statute, a public entity is liable for injury caused by a dangerous condition of its property if the plaintiff establishes that the property was in a dangerous condition at the time of the injury, that the injury was proximately caused by the dangerous condition, that the dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of the kind of injury which was incurred.” Victims of bicycle accidents caused by a defect in the roadway may have the ability to file a municipal negligence claim in order to recover damages. 

Getting Help From A Bicycle Accident Attorney

At West Coast Trial Lawyers we are deeply passionate about bicycle and pedestrian safety. It was absolutely heartbreaking to learn that such a remarkable and passionate safety advocate was seriously injured along this road. We extend our thoughts and good wishes to Roberta Walker as she continues to recover from this horrific accident. It is our sincere hope that city engineers will take notice of what has happened and implement additional safety measures along this stretch of road to help make this less dangerous for cyclists.

If you or someone that you love has been injured in bicycle accident in Encinitas you may have legal recourse. Our team of highly experienced and compassionate personal injury attorneys will fight hard on your behalf to make sure that you are taken care of. We are passionate about standing up for our clients and working hard to make streets and cities safer. In fact, we’ve helped recover over $1 billion for our deserving clients. Whether you need help investigating an accident or just have questions about your rights we are here for you. You can reach us anytime by calling (888) 888-9285.

Sources:

  1. City News Serice. North County bike safety advocate seriously injured after being hit while cycling in Encinitas. December 10, 2018
  2. FMCSA. Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) Analysis Series: Using LTCCS Data for Statistical Analyses of Crash Risk. 2018

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