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Personal Injury Firm in Los Angeles

Irvine Bicycle Accident Lawyer

With all the traffic congestion on the 405 Freeway, just getting to work in downtown Irvine can be a real nightmare. Many people are now choosing alternative forms of transportation to get around the city, such as bicycling. Yet they are not entirely aware of the risks involved. As recently as 2016, twelve people in Orange County lost their lives while simply going for a bike ride. In other words, one person a month was killed for just riding his or her bike on Orange County’s public roadways.

It goes without saying that even with proper helmets and safety equipment, bicyclists are completely vulnerable to the brute force of a moving vehicle. In addition to various requirements intended to promote a safer cycling culture on our public roadways, the state of California offers protections for bicyclists.

The state of California is moving in the right direction and enacting measures to protect cyclists on the road, but there are still too many deaths and injuries caused by negligent drivers. Anytime a driver fails to watch the road for bicyclists and does not respect right of way laws, the resulting injuries will inevitably be disastrous.

The Irvine bicycle injury lawyers at West Coast Trial Lawyers are here to help. Our team has decades of experience in assisting bicycle accident victims, and we will fight to recover all the financial compensation you are entitled to so that you can focus on your recovery and on the ones you love.

California Bicycle Laws

Below is a list of bicycle requirements, courtesy of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV):

  • Helmets: All cyclists, and all bicycle passengers under the age of 18, must wear an approved helmet while riding a bicycle.
  • Brakes: Bicycles need to be equipped with brakes that allow a cyclist to execute a one braked wheel skid on dry, level, and clean pavement.
  • Handlebars: Handlebars can not be any higher than a cyclist’s shoulders.
  • Size of the Bicycle: Bikes need to be small enough to allow a cyclist to stop, support it with one foot on the ground, and then start again safely.
  • Seats: All bicycles must have a permanent seat. There is an exception for bicycles designed to be ridden without a seat. Bicycle passengers who weigh under 40 lbs. must also have a seat that secures them in place and protects them from any moving parts.

In addition, there are requirements when riding at night. All bicycles must have the following:

  • A red reflector must be visible from the back. In addition to this reflector, a solid or flashing red rear light may be added.
  • White or yellow reflectors on each pedal must be visible from the front and back of the bicycle. These reflectors can also be added on the bicyclist’s shoes or ankles.
  • Visible from the side: a white or yellow reflector on the front half of the bicycle and a red or white reflector on each side of the rear of the bike. These reflectors are only required if the bike doesn’t have reflectorized tires.

What Are My Rights As A Cyclist?

  1. Riding on the Street : All cyclists have a right to ride on the street and they are not required to ride on the sidewalk. Bicycle riders generally have the same rights and responsibilities as any driver.
  2. Pick a Lane: If lanes are too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle, you are allowed to ride near the center of a lane. Cyclists must ride as close to the right side of the road as possible except when passing, making turns, avoiding hazards, or if a lane is too narrow to share safely.
  3. Obey All Traffic Signs and Signals: All cyclists must obey the same traffic rules as any driver.
  4. Look First and Yield: You must yield to traffic before you may safely enter a roadway.
  5. Ride With Traffic: Cyclists must ride on the right half of the street, following the flow of traffic. One-way streets are the only exception, and you can ride on either the left or right side.
  6. Avoid the Door Zone: It’s a driver’s duty to look before opening a door, but as a precaution it’s wise to ride 3 feet away from parked cars.
  7. Signal and Yield: Use hand signals to let drivers know when you are turning, changing lanes, or stopping.  

Risk Factors For Bicyclists

Even an experienced Irvine cyclist can be involved in an accident. There are, however, certain factors that increase the likelihood of cycling injuries or death, including:

Age: Adults between the ages of 50 and 59 years are at the highest risk of being involved in a fatal bicycle accident. On the other hand, children and adolescents aged 5 to 19 have the highest rates of being involved in a nonfatal bicycle accident.

Alcohol: Alcohol played a role in more than 1/3rd of all fatal bike accidents.

Time of Day: Most fatal bike accidents took place between 4pm and 8pm

Sex: In contrast to their female counterparts, males are at least 6 times more likely to die and 4 times more likely to be injured while on a bicycle.

Area: Most fatal bike accidents occur in urban and non-intersection areas.

Helmets: Helmets will not prevent bike accidents, but they can help prevent head injuries or brain trauma.

What To Do After A Bicycle Accident

It’s impossible to predict when or if a bicycling accident will occur, but it’s important to be prepared in the unfortunate event of an accident. To help protect your rights and increase the likelihood of achieving the best outcome in your bicycle injury case, our bicycle accident lawyers have outlined Seven Steps To Take After A Bicycle Accident

Were You Hit By An Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?

Your Irvine bicycle injury lawyer has options to resort to if dealing with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Please visit our page Bicycling Accident With An Uninsured Driver.

Contact us to find out how we can help

If you have sustained injuries as a result of a bicycle accident in the city of Irvine, a bicycle injury lawyer at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.

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