If you have been injured in a cycling accident, you may be struggling with physical, emotional, and financial upheaval as a result. Nationwide, tens of thousands of bicyclists are injured each year, and over 700 die as a result. While there are inherent risks associated with cycling, it remains a popular, healthy way to commute and to exercise. The risks of cycling increase at night and also depend on the location of the rider, the cyclist’s experience level, and the amount of surrounding traffic. If you or someone you love has been injured, we can help.
Bicycle Accidents in San Bernardino: The Stats
The nationwide stats are staggering. There was a 6.4 percent increase in fatalities between 2011 and 2012. Further, while bicycle trips comprise only one percent of all trips nationwide, bicycle fatalities represent almost two percent of traffic fatalities.
The stats in our area are just as dire. In the past three years alone, more than 11,000 people were injured per year in vehicular accidents, with over 200 people killed. Here are some of the bicycle-related stats:
- 2013: 381 cycling crash injuries; 9 cycling-related deaths
- 2012: 401 cycling crash injuries; 7 cycling-related deaths
- 2011: 334 cycling crash injuries; 6 cycling-related deaths
While there are small fluctuations in the number of injuries, deaths are definitely on the rise. Nationwide, studies have shown almost 30% of bicycle injuries result from cyclists being hit by cars. There are numerous other causes of accidents, including:
- Cyclists falling off their bikes: 17%
- Riding on poor road conditions: 13%
- Crashes and collisions: 7%
- A dog running out in front of the cyclist: 4%
- Rider not paying attention: 13%
Bicycle accidents tend to be at their worst during the late afternoon and early evening and in urban areas – prime time for San Bernardino commuters.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
The extent of injury often fluctuates in severity depending on helmet usage, speed of each party, and type of impact. A cyclist getting “doored” (a driver opening a parked car door, and the cyclist crashing into it) will have different consequences than a cyclist being side-swiped by a large delivery truck.
The most severe injuries have devastating results. Commonly, the rider will experience trauma to the head or spinal cord, both of which may cause permanent disability, including physical and mental damage. Facial injuries are also common, and can include broken jaws, damage to the eyes, scarring, and broken teeth. Fractures also result from numerous cycling accidents, including arms, collarbone, legs, back, and neck. In the worst cases, cycling incidents can cause death.
Cyclists and Traffic Laws
Every cyclist is required to obey the rules of the road. According to the California Vehicle Code, a bicycle is legally considered a vehicle, which means the rider receives all relevant rights and privileges while riding on a highway or city road – but is also subject to all traffic regulations.
Cycling Accidents: What to Do
If you have been injured in a cycling accident, the first thing you should do is seek emergency medical attention. It’s important to address any injuries, whether or not you realize they are present.
Once you have received proper care, the next step is to contact a skilled and experienced San Bernardino accident attorney. At Estey & Bomberger, we offer comprehensive legal advice and advocacy. We want to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for your struggles.
Many victims of bicycle accidents wait days or sometimes weeks to contact a lawyer. Always be sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. We won’t charge you a cent until your compensation is recovered, and will always prepare your case for trial. When you contact Estey & Bomberger, you’re in the right hands.