California residents have great reasons to ride bicycles other than our great weather. Riding a bike is an inexpensive way to get from place to place, friendly to the environment and good for your health. Bicyclists sometimes ride together to benefit others, like thousands of riders who take part annually in the AIDS/LifeCycle ride.
Over 2,300 riders set off from San Francisco this year on the way to Los Angeles on a 545-mile, week-long ride. The challenging trek draws participants from all over the world to raise millions of dollars for AIDS research. Riders were headed along Highway 1 not far from Moss Landing when four bicyclists were struck.
A witness from the group of riders said the bike accident occurred when a pickup truck attempted to turn into a gas station. The man saw some of the cut and bleeding victims, but neither he nor a representative of the AIDS/LifeCycle ride knew the nature or the extent of the bicyclists' injuries. None appeared to be life-threatening.
Bicycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, including a biker or driver's failure to pay attention or yield. Bikes are smaller and, therefore, less noticeable than cars. However, that doesn't absolve car and truck drivers of the responsibility to look out for bicyclists.
According to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Information Center, bicycle-auto accidents killed 726 people nationwide in 2012 and injured about 49,000 riders. The average age of riders killed in 2012 bike crashes was 43. Federal data showed that the majority of victims were males riding in urban areas.
As many Los Angeles bicyclists know, riding a bike alongside other traffic is never without risk. Bicyclists need to protect themselves by driving defensively and wearing high-visibility safety gear, but drivers must do their part by acknowledging the road rights of bicyclists and remaining alert. Bicycle accident victims can hold negligent drivers accountable for injuries and losses through California liability claims.
Source: The Salinas Californian, "UPDATE: CHP: Bicyclists hit during AIDS fundraiser ride" Allison Gatlin, Jun. 02, 201