Bicycles are not always the safest way to get around. While you might be an excellent rider who follows the rules of the road, other drivers have the potential to be a hazard.
Sometimes, drivers don’t see cyclists. They might turn a corner not thinking about a cyclist being in a bike lane or having the right of way. In any case, there is an increased risk of serious injuries if a larger vehicle collides with a cyclist on the roads.
Recently, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department decided to run a safety operation to identify the dangerous driving behaviors that are putting pedestrians and cyclists at risk in the city. On August 23, 2022, the LASD was out on the roads between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. to determine which safety risks were most prevalent.
Some of the things the LASD looked for included:
- Speeding violations
- Illegal turns
- Failing to stop for stop signs
- Failing to stop for traffic signals
- Failing to yield to the right of way of cyclists or pedestrians
The department also put out a number of safety tips for drivers, which included following the speed limit, slowing down when approaching intersections and avoiding blocking crosswalks.
Drivers play a role in many significant crashes in L.A.
It’s the unfortunate truth that drivers are responsible for many of the bicycle crashes that happen in L.A. Those who drive when intoxicated or who don’t slow down when approaching an intersection could make mistakes that put other people’s lives at risk.
While cyclists are asked to be predictable and to obey traffic laws whenever possible, the reality is that cyclists have little control over what drivers of larger vehicles do. Their lives are at risk if someone makes a mistake, and they must rely on others being attentive and cautious to bike safely on the roads.
If you’re hit, know that you do have rights. As a victim of a crash, you can take steps to help yourself.
Seek medical attention first, and then look into making a claim against the at-fault driver. Holding others responsible for bad driving behaviors could help change the way people drive in the future and minimize the risk of accidents moving forward.