Drivers have an obligation to pay attention to other roads users and changes in traffic. While that seems like a simple duty, accidents claims are built upon Los Angeles drivers who act carelessly.
The driver of a semi-truck had no idea he caused a recent, fatal bicycle accident. The trucker was stopped by people who saw the tractor-trailer strike and kill a teen. The sophomore was on his way to school, wearing a protective helmet and riding in a designated bike lane.
Cupertino investigators said the teen was headed to Monta Vista High School when he was hit by the semi-truck. The driver, claiming he was clueless about the bike crash, just kept his rig moving. Authorities said the man expressed genuine shock after learning he killed the 15-year-old boy.
At least one local government official has been concerned for some time about traffic on the road where the bicyclist was hit. The road apparently is narrow and often crowded with commuters, driving to and from local businesses and four nearby schools, including De Anza College.
A plan to provide shuttle service for students to alleviate congestion in the area apparently never came to fruition. A proposal has been under consideration by Cupertino City Council to allow bicyclists, 15 and younger, to share sidewalks with pedestrians.
Bicyclists can be harmed, even when they do everything by the book. Wearing helmets and reflective gear, following the rules and riding defensively lower the chances of being involved in a serious bike accident. However, without the cooperation of drivers, biker safety precautions can be useless.
Bike visibility is a problem, but it is not an excuse to escape responsibility. A driver does not have to be charged with a crime to be held liable for civil claims. Bike accident victims and their families have a right to file claims for compensation from negligent parties.
Source: KTVU.com, "Teens mourn high school student killed in collision with big rig" Azenith Smith, Oct. 27, 201