Cyclists have to make safety a higher priority than others who travel on California roads. It only takes a moment of distraction on the part of someone else to cause a cyclist severe harm.
Cyclists often wear brightly-colored gear and defer to other vehicles when they technically have the right of way just to help keep themselves a little bit safer. Despite all of those efforts, they could still end up seriously hurt in a crash. On top of these challenges, the drivers who cause those collisions may blame cyclists for a wreck. As a recent tragedy involving a physician on a bicycle illustrates, road rage can be as much of a safety concern as distraction and negligence for cyclists in California.
An accident followed by a rage-induced tragedy
A doctor who committed himself to the care of others got hurt in a rear-end crash on February 1, 2023. The driver who hit the physician on his bike was far from remorseful over the situation. In fact, he ended up attacking the doctor and stabbing him at the scene of the wreck before bystanders intervened.
Emergency responders attempted to stabilize the wounded physician and transported him for emergency treatment at a hospital where he occasionally worked, but their efforts were unsuccessful. The man who caused the crash now faces murder charges. There is no known prior connection between the two. This doctor’s death is a poignant reminder that not only are drivers often negligent on the road, but they frequently become angry at others when they are the ones to blame for an unfortunate situation.
How can cyclists stay safe?
There are many ways for cyclists to protect themselves from collisions and road rage. One tip can help reduce the risk of both of these threats.
The less time a cyclist spends on public roads and the more they try to stay on dedicated cycling paths or designated lanes, the less likely they are to have unfortunate encounters with vehicles and the people who drive them. Even if it means going slightly out of the way, it may be safer for a cyclist to plan a route that keeps them in designated bike lanes for their entire trip whenever possible.
Those affected by a cycling collision may have grounds for an insurance claim and/or a lawsuit. Holding irresponsible and dangerous drivers accountable can lead to compensation for those who have been affected by a vehicle-bicycle collision. Making this effort can also deter motorists from engaging in similarly dangerous behavior in the future.