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Bike Accidents

California Tops the List in Fatal Bicycle Crashes

California is the most dangerous state in the country for bicyclists. More bicyclists died in California than in any other state in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). With 147 pedal cyclist fatalities, California outstripped the second-highest state (Florida) by nine deaths. This is, unfortunately, a trend that continues year after year in the Golden State. As a bicyclist in California, take your safety into your own hands. Do not depend on drivers to follow the rules, watch the road, or prevent collisions. Instead, learn why bicycle collisions happen and how to prevent them. Being proactive…

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Most Dangerous Areas for San Francisco Bicyclists [New study]

San Francisco is widely considered one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation, scoring high in both road safety and accessibility to the city’s diverse neighborhoods. However, despite the city’s embrace of bicycling as a viable method of transportation, its compact intersections and frequently busy roads still make bicycle collisions a regular occurrence, with many leading to serious injury and even death. We wanted to properly assess where bicycle collisions occur more frequently across the city, so we turned to data visualization firm 1Point21 Interactive for help. We analyzed five years of CHP crash data from 2013-2017 to pinpoint…

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Can I Still Sue If I Wasn’t Wearing a Bicycle Helmet?    

Thousands of bicycle accidents happen every year in California, and injured bicyclists may wonder what their options for legal recourse are after such an event. California law changed in 2015 to allow bicyclists over the age of 18 to decide whether they wish to wear helmets while riding. The state still requires that riders under the age of 18 wear helmets, but adults are free to ride bicycles without helmets. However, they do so at their own risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that wearing a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of death or head injury…

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Can Drunk Bicyclist get a DUI?

After a few drinks it might sound like a nice idea to beat the uprising Uber fares and get some fresh air – why not bike home? How dangerous could it be? After all, a bicycle is not motorized. The answer: it can be very dangerous, even illegal in some states. The definition of a DUI or “driving under the influence” charge is as follows: “operating a motor vehicle while one’s blood alcohol content is above the legal limit set by statute, which supposedly is the level at which a person cannot drive safely.” Does biking and drinking count as…

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What Do I Do If I’ve Been “Doored” By a Car?

Bicycle commuting is rapidly gaining popularity across the nation, but especially in California. San Francisco saw commutes rise by nearly 9 percent in 2016, with an estimated 82,000 bike trips every day. However, with the prevalence of bicycles also comes the potential for danger, as cyclists and motorists learn to coexist on the busy SF streets. One of the most dangerous things that can happen is “dooring” – when a parked vehicle unknowingly opens their door to obstruct the path of an incoming cyclist. While it may sound comical, dooring may result in potentially serious, painful injuries including: Severe road…

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Leaving The Scene Of An Accident Is Wrong

A driver in downtown San Francisco fled the scene of a serious accident recently, but the police fortunately apprehended her later in the day. This is yet another example of drivers who try to get away from the problems they caused, only to suffer more extensive punishment because of their decision. No one should flee the scene of an accident. There is no reason to do this. You immediately escalate a civil wrong to a criminal act. And drivers who stay at the scene are able to help those who have been hurt by their conduct The 32-year-old defendant driver…

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San Francisco unveils 1st ‘protected intersection’

San Francisco’s Vision Zero campaign includes an effort to avoid personal injuries to citizens by, in part, changing city’s streets to better protect pedestrians and bicyclists. City officials optimistically hope to eliminate traffic fatalities in San Francisco by 2024. Making pedestrian and bicycle safety a priority is especially important at high-volume intersections. Last month, one of San Francisco’s most dangerous intersections received safety upgrades intended to eliminate the danger riders and walkers face from reckless drivers. On Dec. 21, city officials officially unveiled San Francisco’s first “protected intersection” at Ninth and Division streets. According to SFBAy.ca, the intersection now includes…

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San Francisco Bicyclists the Victims of Road Rage

The mission of San Francisco’s Vision Zero campaign is to eliminate fatal bicycle and pedestrian crashes in the city. Much of the effort is focused on eliminating accidents, but sometimes there are collisions that are not accidental at all. Sometimes, motorists use their cars and trucks as weapons to inflict serious harm on cyclists. In a recent example, an eyewitness told SFist.com that he saw a motorist strike a bicycle with his car in a fit of road rage. The incident happened outside the San Francisco Art Institute. It is not clear what enraged the driver, but he apparently knocked…

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SEPARATE BIKE ACCIDENTS LEAVE ONE CYCLIST DEAD ANOTHER INJURED

We speak often on this blog about bicycle safety in San Francisco, which is a passion at our firm. A pair of recent crashes shows that the city has a long way to go to be a safe place to ride. The incidents took place within half an hour of each other on Oct. 11, with one rider sustaining fatal injuries and another being taken to the hospital. Both involved large vehicles that dwarfed the victims’ bicycles. In the first crash, the victim was riding a mountain bike when he became caught between two Muni buses in a “high injury…

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Bicycle-on-bicycle accidents can cause injury too

This blog frequently reports on people who were hurt or killed while riding their bicycle, which is an all-too-frequent occurrence in San Francisco. Most of the time, our posts are about cyclists getting hit by cars, trucks and other motor vehicles. However, sometimes two or more bicycles collide with each other. While the force of impact is unlikely to be nearly as strong as when a car crashes into a bike, any bicycle accident has the potential to be serious. In an example from outside of California, a 69-year-old man was killed recently when his bicycle crashed into another bike….

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