Recently, a 47 year old Berkeley man riding a bicycle was fatally struck by a Muni bus. The accident occurred on Market Street between Battery and Sutter in San Francisco. The streets were closed for several hours while police were on the scene.
The bicyclist was riding in between two buses. He was not in a bicycle lane or a shared lane. While he was between the buses, he fell to the pavement and ended up wedged underneath a westbound bus. He died at the scene. The passengers on the buses were questioned about whether they had witnesses anything.
Investigators are attempting to determine how the bicyclist was struck by the bus by examining video surveillance from the buses. Investigators have not yet made an official decision on who was at fault in the accident. The bus driver that hit the bicyclist will undergo drug and alcohol testing and bus officials will be working closely with police to determine how the collision occurred.
Another accident occurred about 30 minutes later between a bicyclist and a horse trailer. A 46 year old female bicyclist was injured at Embarcadero and Chestnut Street when she was hit by a truck hauling a horse trailer. The bicyclist in that accident was transported to San Francisco General Hospital and is expected to recover.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is calling on police to thoroughly investigate both accidents and to identify the primary contributing factors in both collisions. They are also pressuring elected leaders to double their efforts in delivering solutions to the dangers facing bicyclists. The SFBC also pushes for expanding safety education.
Unfortunately, these two accidents are not uncommon for San Francisco. In fact, San Francisco is one of the few cities where bicyclist deaths are actually on the rise. Plans are underway to improve the city’s streets for cyclists. However, those changes have been implemented very slowly. Approximately 70 percent of all severe and fatal bicycle accidents in San Francisco happen on only 125 miles of total streets in the city. There are roughly 1,200 miles of road in San Francisco.
The city promised to complete 24 roadway safety projects by 2016, but so far only nine have reached completion. In addition, many biking safety experts say there should be more enforcement by police against dangerous driving behaviors. The San Francisco Police Department has pledged to hand out half of its traffic citations for the five most dangerous traffic behaviors: speeding, failing to stop at red lights, failing to stop at stop signs, failure to yield, and unsafe turning. However, the SFPD had only increased the total number of citations for those behaviors by 24 percent.
When a bicyclist is involved in an accident with an automobile, the bicyclist typically suffers very severe injuries, such as paralysis, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and lacerations, or is killed. If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious bicycle accident due to the fault of another driver, it’s critical that you seek legal representation quickly. An attorney can help advise you on the best course of action to take and can help accumulate evidence that is critical to your case.
At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that all bicyclists who are injured due to another driver’s negligence should thoroughly explore their legal options. Call Micha Star Liberty, San Francisco bicycle accident attorney at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000 to learn more about your legal rights. She works with clients throughout the Bay Area. Call today to schedule your free consultation.