A growing number of California residents are taking to the roads to enjoy bicycling activities. Gorgeous weather, lovely areas and a drive for fitness are just some reasons many enjoy biking, but there’s also a dangerous aspect of taking two wheels to the road.
Hundreds of people are involved in bicycle accidents every year, and many riders are seriously injured or killed. According to the California Highway Patrol, over 14,000 cyclists were injured in hit-and-run accidents between 2002 and 2011. The CHP reports that 161 individuals were killed in cycling-related hit-and-runs during the same time period.
One man was involved in a bicycle accident over a year ago. He was struck by a minivan while he was riding a bike. The minivan travelled onto the freeway, dragging the cyclist, who was pinned under the vehicle, for almost half a mile. The man lost one of his legs as a result of the accident.
In April the man helped organize a charity bike ride. The ride, which he was happy to participate in, raised awareness around hit-and-run accidents and brought in funds for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the Los Angeles bike coalition. The ride included 700 cyclists.
One cyclist said she has near misses with automobiles almost every time she rides her bike. In response to such stories, which are all too common, California Assemblyman Mike Gatto proposed a bill that would establish tougher penalties for hit-and-run drivers.
Whether a driver leaves the scene and has to be tracked by police or stops to help, victims of bike accidents often suffer serious injuries and life-long complications. In these cases, the costs of the injury may go beyond what insurance covers, and victims who have been injured in a bike accident may want to speak with a personal injury attorney to assess the long- and short-term costs.
Source: Capital Public Radio, “Cyclist Who Lost Leg In Crash Inspires Hit-And-Run Bill,” Katie Orr, May 5, 2014