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San Francisco and Los Angeles Continue to Struggle With Bike Safety Issues

Many people have pointed out that despite California’s apparent commitment to a “zero-emission” future, the State is surprisingly unaccommodating to cyclists. One would assume that if city planners in California were truly concerned about lowering carbon emissions, they would make urban areas as safe as possible for cyclists. As it stands, however, the number of bike accidents in California dissuades residents from cycling. Judging by the high rate of bike accidents in the Golden State, it is obviously much safer to drive a car. 

Perhaps cycling will always be more dangerous compared to driving, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way. With bike lanes and other improvements, it is possible for cyclists to feel safer on our roads. If you have been injured in a California bike accident, you might be well aware of these dangers – and you may wonder how to pursue compensation for medical expenses, missed wages, and other damages. 

Los Angeles Cyclists Continue to Struggle with Serious “Dooring” Problem

San Francisco and Los Angeles Continue to Struggle With Bike Safety Issues

A recent phenomenon in Los Angeles is the rise of so-called “dooring” crashes. This type of accident occurs when  drivers open their doors directly into the path of cyclists. Often, collisions with opening doors cause fatal injuries for cyclists – ejecting them from their bikes and sending them hurtling toward the pavement. Drivers often show a total disregard for the safety of cyclists – blindly flinging open their doors without bothering to check their surroundings first. 

In many cases, drivers open their doors directly into the green-shaded areas of designated bike lanes. This shows that even when parked – even when doing something as simple as exiting their vehicles – drivers still have the potential to endanger cyclists and encroach upon bike lanes. Numerous “dooring” deaths have been reported in recent months throughout Los Angeles and other major California cities. There is even evidence to suggest that some drivers intentionally “door” cyclists. Many cyclists who have been injured in these accidents are convinced that the driver opened the door while fully intending to hurt them. 

This situation has led many biking advocates to urge drivers to be more careful when opening their doors. Some have suggested that new drivers should be trained to check their mirrors before opening their doors. However, these warnings often fall on deaf ears. In addition, this type of accident represents somewhat of a “gray area” when it comes to accidents. Does this even classify as a “car accident?” How does a cyclist file an injury claim after a dooring accident? Does car insurance cover dooring accidents? These are just a few questions that injured cyclists and their families may have. 

A personal injury attorney in California can help clear up many of these questions. First of all, it is true that if a driver opens their door in a negligent manner without checking their surroundings, they may be liable for any injuries that occur. Their car insurance policy may apply in this situation, and the injured cyclist may file a claim against the negligent driver. At the end of the day, insurance applies to all activities related to the “operation of a vehicle.” This includes not only driving the vehicle but also opening its doors and safely parking. Ultimately, cyclists will need to discuss the finer details of injury claims after dooring accidents with legal professionals in California. 

It is also worth pointing out that many dooring accidents are caused by taxis or rideshare vehicles. These types of vehicles are more likely to pull over and drop off passengers than perhaps any other car on the road. All too often, cyclists are injured because Uber or Lyft passengers fling open their doors without a care in the world. Cyclists who become hurt in these dooring accidents can potentially file claims directly against Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies. 

Senior Motorist Faces DUI and Manslaughter Charges After Killing Famed Cyclist

On November 30, it was reported that a senior driver was facing manslaughter and DUI charges for killing a famed cyclist in San Francisco. The 81-year-old struck Ethan Boyes – a world champion cyclist – while allegedly driving drunk. The accident rocked the cycling world and renewed calls for better bike safety plans in San Francisco. If convicted, this senior faces up to eight years in prison and various fines. 

Boyes’ death prompted widespread displays of solidarity among cyclists throughout California. He was seen as an active member of the community and a role model to younger athletes. Ironically, he was also one of the most vocal advocates of bike safety improvements in California – and one of the most vocal critics of the lack of action taken by major cities in the Golden State. 

Will putting a senior behind bars bring this cyclist back? Of course not. Will it send a message to drunk drivers who might harm cyclists in the future? Maybe. At the end of the day, it seems clear that intoxicated drivers will always threaten cyclists unless serious improvements are made throughout California’s major cities. If cyclists like Boyes had a safe place to cycle and train with protection from vehicles, perhaps this never would have happened. Maybe the only way to avoid bike accidents in the future is to embrace technological and sustainable advances. As it stands, one of the few ways to pursue real action after a bike crash is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver responsible. 

Find a Qualified Bike Accident Lawyer in California

If you have been searching for an experienced bike accident lawyer, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. With our assistance, you can strive for justice and compensation after experiencing a bike accident in California. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal bike accident, we can provide further information about a potential wrongful death lawsuit. We know that cyclists face dangers every single day in California, and a personal injury lawsuit might be one of the few ways to pursue genuine change. Book your consultation today to hold negligent drivers accountable and strive for the compensation you deserve.

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