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Bicyclists Beware: Failure to Yield is a Major Cause of Bike Accidents in California

Sep 13, 2008
With hundreds of bike accidents occurring every year, the busy roads of California can be a dangerous place for bicyclists. However, a biker who pays attention to signage and practices defensive biking can significantly decrease their chances of being involved in a serious bicycle accident.

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, over 20% of fatal bike accidents in California over the past 5 years have occurred due to a failure to yield right of way. A failure to yield right of way can mean many things, but it occurs most often when a motor vehicle does one of the following:

Intentionally interferes with the movement of a person who is legally riding a bike,

Overtakes and passes a bicyclist in an unsafe manner, or
Does not yield right of way to a bicycle that is being operated within a designated biking lane.

With staggering amounts of injuries and deaths occurring in California because of this issue, it is necessary for a biker to learn defensive biking skills to avoid bicycle accidents. When a serious bike accident happens in California, it doesn't matter so much whether you were "right" or "wrong"; whenever you are riding a bike you are in a much more vulnerable position than a person in a motor vehicle.

Here are three ways you can go out of your way to prevent a serious bike accident from occurring:

1. Be Visible: If you are ever biking at night in California, you should wear reflective biking gear, have a red light for the back of your bike and a headlight to see where you are going. You should also wear a helmet light so you can illuminate any place you decide to look.

2. Be Observant: While you might have the right of way when going through an intersection, a bicycle is much more difficult to see than a car. Always scan intersections cautiously so you can avoid a bike accident because of another person's mistake. By paying attention to your surroundings you can greatly reduce the chances of being in a bicycle accident in California.

3. Be "Right": In California, it is recommended for bicyclists to stay as close as possible to the right-hand side of the road. This allows motor vehicles to pass you easily without putting you at risk of a bike accident.

Biking in California can be a lot of fun, especially when the sun is shining. However, there is also a lot of responsibility to riding on state roads with a bicycle. Applying these tips won't guarantee road safety, but they will decrease your chances of being in a bike accident in California.
About the Author
John Bisnar is a partner at Personal Injury Law Firm Bisnar Chase. The Bisnar Chase law firm has dedicated their practice to victims of serious injury due to negligence and malpractice.

Visit the main website at http://www.Accidentinjuryattorneyscalifornia.com or call 888-265-0161
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