A 23-year-old bicyclist was killed earlier this month in San Francisco when his bike collided with a police car. The victim was riding home from a bike polo event when he collided with the cruiser around 9 p.m. at the corner of Sunnydale and Persia Avenues, near the edge of John McLaren Park.
Authorities are investigating the circumstances of the collision. It’s not clear if the police car hit the cyclist, or if he hit the police car. People who live near the scene of the crash report that it’s common for police to travel fast through the neighborhood to get to high-crime areas nearby. The service road on which the biker was riding has loose gravel, which could have contributed to the accident.
This tragic accident is one of thousands of crashes that will occur this year between bicycles and automobiles. 743 people were killed in bicycle accidents in 2013. Another 48,000 injuries were recorded. However, it’s been estimated that only a fraction of bicycle crashes that cause injuries are actually reported so the number of injuries is probably much larger.
Bicycle fatalities account for about two percent of all traffic fatalities. Bicycle trips only account for one percent of all trips in the U.S., so bicyclists are over-represented in the crash data. The good news is that the number of bicyclist deaths has been steadily declining. It’s not clear whether the decline in deaths is because conditions are safer.
California leads the nation in bicyclist fatalities, followed by Florida and Texas. About a third of the injuries to bicyclists are caused when they are hit by a vehicle. Some other common causes of injuries include falls, roadways in poor condition, and rider inattention or error.
If you are a bicyclist, following some basic safety tips can help you avoid an accident, or can help protect you in the event you are involved in an accident. First, always wear a properly fitted helmet. This is the best thing you can do to avoid serious injuries. Many of the serious injuries and deaths that occur to bicyclists involve brain damage. You should also check your equipment – adjust your bike to fit your body, inflate your tires and check that your brakes work. Before riding, make sure that you can easily be seen by wearing neon or other bright colors, or something that reflects light. Watch for and avoid road hazards. Finally, don’t ever ride while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In about 30 percent of automobile-bicycle crashes in which the bicyclist was killed, either the driver or the bicyclist was legally intoxicated.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident that occurred because of another party’s negligence, you have legal rights against the negligent party or parties involved. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other expenses. Your loved ones may also be entitled to compensation for the accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in the Oakland-San Francisco area, you should speak with an attorney. At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that injured bicyclists should seek full compensation from negligent drivers as soon as possible after an accident.
Call Micha Star Liberty, San Francisco bicycle accident attorney, at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000. She will be happy to provide you with a free consultation on your case. Call today to learn more or to schedule your free consultation.