What Causes Most Bicycle Accidents in Anaheim?

Bicycle Accident Lawyer FAQs

Injured cyclists in a bicycle crash

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 961 bicyclists lost their lives on U.S. roads in 2021. Most of these deaths involved a collision with a motor vehicle. Whether you are an experienced cyclist or a just casual rider, it is important to be aware of the risks involved and what you can do to ensure your safety. If you were in a bicycle accident, our Anaheim bicycle accident lawyer will help you get back on your bike and secure your financial future. Call Katella Injury Attorneys at (714) 395-5514 to set up a free consultation. 

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Many serious bicycle accidents in Anaheim happen at intersections. Harbor Boulevard, one of Orange County’s busiest north-south roads, sees a large number of car accidents per year. Bicyclists should be especially cautious around the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and La Palma Avenue. 

There are several factors that contribute to a bicycle accident. For one thing, bicycles are not as easy to see. Motorists may be speeding or distracted and hit a bicyclist. Here are some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in Anaheim:

  • Speeding: One third of motor vehicle accidents involve speeding. When it comes to bicycle crashes, speeding leads to much more serious and potentially fatal injuries for the cyclist. 
  • Drunk driving: Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of fatal vehicle crashes in the U.S. A drunk driver may hit a turning cyclist who has the right of way. 
  • Distracted driving: Distractions, like texting and driving, are a serious problem on California roads. Cyclists have a lower profile than vehicles, making them particularly at risk of being hit.
  • Left turn accidents: Left turns can be dangerous, especially for bicyclists. One of the most common scenarios is when a driver suddenly makes a left turn in front of a cyclist. 
  • Dooring: This happens when a person in a car opens a door into the path of a bicyclist. Many injured cyclists sustain serious head trauma in these types of crashes. 
  • Unsafe lane changes: It is actually against the law for drivers to make unsafe lane changes. Drivers must always signal and check their blind spots before changing lanes. 
  • Failure to yield: Drivers must yield the right of way to a cyclist traveling beside them who is making a right turn. If a driver overtakes the cyclist and hits them, they can be considered at fault. 
  • Road hazards: A road hazard like loose gravel or oil-slicked roads can cause a bicyclist to lose control and crash. 

Who Is At Fault: The Bicyclist or the Driver?

A bicycle crash can involve multiple at-fault parties.

After an accident, both parties may try to place the blame on each other. The driver may believe it was the bicyclist’s fault, while the bicyclist might point the finger at the driver. However, fault is  determined by negligence – that is, who acted negligently and caused the accident.

A lawyer will first look into which party breached their duty of care. All drivers and cyclists have a “duty of care” to operate their vehicle or bike in a safe manner. A breach can be defined as speeding, driving under the influence, texting while driving, or running a red light. 

Determining liability in an accident goes beyond naming who is at fault –  the suing party must also prove the other elements of negligence, including proving the other party directly caused the accident and the victim suffered damages, or losses, because of the injury. Experienced bicycle accident lawyers can help you determine fault and calculate your damages after a bike accident. 

What Should I Do After a Bike Accident?

A bicycle accident is an extremely distressing event. Try your best to remain calm, and follow these steps if you are not seriously injured. 

  1. Check for Injuries: Check yourself and then others for injuries. 
  2. Call 911: Call Anaheim police and wait at the scene. The responding officer will create an official report. 
  3. Gather Information: Exchange information with the other party, including their name, phone number, address, license plate number, and insurance company policy number. 
  4. Talk to Witnesses: If there are any witnesses, get their contact information. 
  5. Seek medical attention: Even if you feel fine, you should still have a doctor look at you. Injuries from bike accidents may show up hours or days later. 
  6. Contact a bicycle lawyer: Only bike crash attorneys can fully understand your situation and be on your side. Let one of our trusted attorneys help you in a bicycle accident case. 

What Not to Do After a Bicycle Accident

There are a few things you should NOT do after a bicycle accident: 

  • Do not discuss fault at the accident scene or speak with the other party’s insurance company.
  • Do not sign any insurance paperwork or other documents.
  • Do not post about your accident on social media.
  • Do not exaggerate or minimize your injuries.
  • Do not delay in getting medical treatment. 

Bicycle Safety Tips

Bicycle accident cases in Anaheim

Riding a bicycle requires a certain level of attention, focus, and experience. Riders of both traditional bicycles and e-bikes must follow laws and safety precautions. Avoid a bicycle crash with these tips:

Check Your Bike

There is an easy and quick way to check your bicycle before you hit the road, called the ABC-E Quick Check:

  • Air
  • Brakes
  • Chain, cranks, and cassette
  • Electric
  • Quick Release
  • Check

Wear a Helmet

In California, all riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet under bike law, while all riders operating a class 3 E-bike are required to wear a helmet. According to nationwide research, helmets reduce the risk of head and brain trauma by up to 88%. 

Be Careful When Riding At Night 

As per bicycle law, bicyclists riding at night must have a front white light, a rear red reflector, white or yellow reflectors on each pedal or shoe, and white or yellow reflector on the front wheel. Cyclists are also advised to wear bright or reflective clothing. 

Respect Traffic Stops and Signs

As a bicyclist, you must follow all of the same traffic laws as vehicle drivers. This means stopping at stop signs, giving pedestrians at crosswalks, and riding in the same direction as traffic. Always ride in a bike lane when available, or on the far right side of the road. Any disregard to basic traffic rules can result in an accident. 

Be Predictable

When bicyclists do not communicate their intentions while out riding, it can be hard for a driver to predict what they are going to do. Let drivers know when you are turning, changing lanes, or stopping, either by scanning or using appropriate hand signals. 

Do Not Drink and Ride

While separate from a DUI offense for motorists, it is against the law to ride a bicycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Riding while intoxicated puts you at a high risk of a collision and a serious injury. 

Contact an Anaheim Bicycle Accident Lawyer 

Injured bicycle accident victim

The Anaheim cycling community is growing by the day. Unfortunately, the more bicycles there are on the road, the more accidents there will be. In the event of an accident, our bike accident lawyer in Anaheim can help you recover compensation from the at-fault party. Leave the hard work to us while you focus on your recovery. Our bicycle accident attorneys are available 24/7 for a free consultation at (714) 395-5514

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