Dangerous Roads in LA Don’t Benefit Cyclists
It’s no secret that being a cyclist in Los Angeles can be very dangerous. This is nothing new for cyclists, but was something that was brought to attention when Mayor Villaraigosa broke his elbow in a cycling accident in 2010. In Los Angeles, pedestrians accounted for about a third of all traffic fatalities, or nearly triple the national average of 11.4%. About 3% of the fatalities were bicyclists. That compares with 1.7% nationally. The study, which compared crash rates in Los Angeles, New York and nationwide, examined data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, California Highway Patrol and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. The database included 449,498 crashes within Los Angeles city limits, with 2,086 crashes that involved at least one death during the eight-year period of 2002 through 2009.
These are scary numbers for anyone who enjoys cycling in Los Angeles. To compound the problem Governor brown recently rejected legislation that would have required motorists to give cyclists at least three feet of room while passing, or slow down — citing concern that it could cause more car accidents. Brown said he worried about requiring motorists to slow to 15 mph when passing bicyclists if there is not three feet between them.
Cycling injuries can be devastating, costly, and have tremendous impact on the cyclists life. Traumatic brain injury is major problem for cyclists and can occur even when the cyclists wears his or her helmet. The problem is there hasn’t been proper education for cycling safety for automobile drivers or for cyclists. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Metro have begun to offer cyclist safety courses but a small percentage of cyclists ever sign up and participate in these programs.
The Metro has also committed to an auto awareness campaign called “Share the Road” which reminds drivers that cyclists have just the same amount of rights on the roads as automobiles. None of this matters if you’ve been injured in a cycling accident or know someone who has been injured in a cycling accident. The important thing to remember is that if you have been injured in a cycling accident, you need good representation in order to get full compensation for your injuries and damages to your bike. Often times cyclists ride away from an accident thinking that they are OK, but later on realize they have had injuries that weren’t accounted for when the accident occurred. Even if you feel like you are OK and your bike is undamaged it’s very important to get the names and information of the automobile involved in the accident.
When your body hits asphalt it can cause major damage to your bones, and organs. Often times the cyclist is in shock and doesn’t realize the extent of his injuries until much later. Most importantly to remember is follow the rules of the road, wear your helmet, and remember that you are no match for a several ton vehicle.