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Due to much advocacy and efforts across the US, we have seen a huge increase in the number of bicyclists on the roads. With more riders on the roads, the chances of a bicycle-related accident increase dramatically. Cities like San Francisco have taken important measures to make the roads safer, there are still others that have not. It won’t be until all cities across the country embrace bicycle culture and implement changes that bicycle accidents will all but cease to exist.

Your bicycle may be an affordable and environmentally-friendly way to get around San Francisco, but it also leaves you at the mercy of motorists. While the majority of motorists will drive carefully and be mindful of their vulnerability, accidents can happen and, when they do, cyclists tend to come out the worst. Without the benefit of bumpers and crumple zones, you stand little chance against a metal, motorized vehicle in a collision. If you have been injured in a San Francisco bicycle accident, an Allegiance Law attorney could help you to recover the compensation you are entitled to, in respect of your injuries and any resulting damage to your property. Where a motorist has acted negligently, you may have an additional claim for compensation.

At Allegiance Law, our loyalty is with our clients, so you can be confident that your San Francisco bicycle accident attorney will have your best interests in mind at all times. To speak to one of our legal experts, call us today at 415-404-6395.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in San Francisco

Through research, statistics have demonstrated that while the number of bicycle accidents in the country is declining, unfortunately, fatal bike accidents are increasing at an alarming rate. We look at the year 2015 and see roughly 45,000 reported bike accidents in the US, which was down from 50,000 that prior year in 2014. With a decrease in reported accidents, we inversely saw the number of fatalities increase by more than 12% during the same time frame.

You might be wondering how is it possible that the number of bike accidents happens less frequently? The answer that makes the most sense derives from the success of advocacy groups in getting cities and towns within the US to embrace the bicycle culture. Multiple cities have added safety features, like bike lanes and protective barriers, to already existing infrastructures. Other areas have increased efforts to engage the community about bike safety.

Safety measures ensure that drivers be alert of bicyclists and are cautious when sharing the road. Bicyclists are entitled to information regarding their legal obligations on the road and how they can prevent accidents as well.

Having just two wheels means that bicycles are also less stable in a collision than their four-wheeled counterparts, and can be toppled by seemingly minor interactions that may not have an effect on a car. For example, some of the scenarios we encounter regularly as San Francisco bicycle accident attorneys include:

  • Dooring, which occurs when a cyclist is struck by a motorist or passenger opening their door without checking for cyclists or pedestrians
  • Collisions caused by distracted driving, which can include driving while using a cell phone, adjusting the car stereo, or attending to personal grooming
  • Accidents resulting from a dog chasing after a cyclist
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Hit and run accidents
  • Collisions with cars exiting driveways or side streets
  • Accidents caused by road defects
  • Defective bicycle component accidents
  • Road rage
  • Sideswiping, occurring when a motorist passes too close to a cyclist or attempts a right turn with a cyclist to their right

Bear in mind that this list is not exhaustive, so an Allegiance Law attorney can help even if your accident is not mentioned above.

San Francisco Bicycle Accident Injuries

When you compare a bicycle to a car, never mind a truck, it becomes immediately obvious that any kind of collision could result in catastrophic injuries or even death. Some of the injuries which can be sustained in a San Francisco bicycle accident are:

  • Limb, finger, or toe injuries requiring amputation
  • Fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Dental injuries
  • Facial trauma
  • Wrongful death
  • Head injuries
  • Joint dislocations
  • Neck injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Paralysis
  • Nerve damage

As we mentioned earlier, with the decrease in bicycle accidents, the number of fatalities or wrongful deaths is on the rise. The increase is due to new bicyclists being less experienced or familiar with safe biking practices, other auto drivers not using caution when sharing the road, and cities that have planned but not implemented changes to infrastructures in support of bicycle safety.

The most effective way to reduce the number of bicycle accidents and fatalities starts with advocacy efforts that encourage education and changes. Cities can help keep riders safe by implementing educational programs informative on bicycle safety. Education has a history of success in preventing unnecessary accidents or wrongful deaths. Some helpful tactics like offering a bicycle safety course, distributing materials about driver and bicyclist responsibilities, and implementing programs for children and students have proven to drive the point home.

When referring to safer infrastructure the following efforts have been very successful:

  • Striping designated bike lanes
  • Linking gaps in existing bicycle networks
  • Installing traffic calming measures
  • Installing bicycle wayfinding signs
  • Paving buffered bike lanes close to busy highways
  • Constructing more and better bike parking facilities
  • Blazing off-road bike paths
  • Striping bicycle boxes at intersections to increase rider visibility

Bicycle riding will no doubt continue to be popular in the US. Be sure to help keep cyclists safe and advocate for bike safety initiatives throughout San Francisco and across the country.

Get an Experienced San Francisco Bicycle Accident Attorney on Your Case Today

When you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you deserve nothing less than an outstanding legal representation. At Allegiance Law, our San Francisco attorneys are dedicated to ensuring you get the best possible outcome, and will settle for nothing less.

To schedule your initial consultation, call Allegiance Law today at 415-404-6395.