The Vartazarian Law Firm

Bike accidents: California men face the greatest risk

Studies show that California adult men over 20 face the greatest risk of being killed in a biking accident. Biking can be dangerous. Cars do not anticipate bikers, many streets were not designed to accommodate bikes and a number of bikers fail to take proper safety precautions. What can you do to stay safe while biking on California’s roads?

  1. Wear a helmet.You were probably told to wear a helmet growing up. But adults need to be just as vigilant wearing helmets as children. In 2012, over two-thirds of fatally injured bicyclists were not wearing a helmet at the time of their accident. Men in particular are more likely to ignore helmet recommendations.
  2. Do not drink and ride. It has been ingrained in our culture that drinking alcohol and driving a car is dangerous. However, bikers are also moving at high speeds and many seem to think that drinking and biking is acceptable. 28 percent of bikers involved in fatal accidents had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of 0.08% or above. At this BAC, people are considered legally impaired. Reaction time and decision making abilities are lowered, increasing the chance of a dangerous accident. If you are planning on drinking alcohol, find an alternative way home. Ask a friend for a ride, or call a taxi instead of biking.
  3. Make yourself visible. Bikes are much smaller than other vehicles on the road, and are easily missed by drivers not accustomed to looking for bikers. A recent study shows that wearing florescent biker shorts or pants makes bikers more visible to cars than wearing a florescent top. The study also shows that the most visible biking lights are solid lights worn at the biker’s ankles. The lights accentuate the biker’s pedaling movements, drawing attention to the biker’s presence.
  4. Research safe streets. When possible, plan your biking routes around “safe biking streets.” Use streets that have bike lanes, or are wide enough to easily accommodate a biker next to a car. If you are unable to ride on streets that meet these criteria, find streets with better visibility conditions – brightly lit that lack blind turns.

Biking can be a healthy and enjoyable pastime that gets you from one location to another. Just make sure that you carefully consider your biking routes and safety procedures. If you are severely injured in a biking accident, contact an attorney who can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

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