Like many other parts of the country, biking is popular amongst Orange County residents. Biking can be especially enjoyable along some of the more scenic areas of the county, like the coastline. Whether a biker rides for exercise, recreation or as a means of transportation, riders have to be very cautious about other vehicles on the roads.
At the same time that bikers must be careful, drivers in these larger vehicles also share in the responsibility of keeping bikers safe. All drivers have a legal duty to operate their vehicle in a way that does not unreasonably risk the safety of anyone else on the road, including cyclists.
A group of bicyclists recently rode together along the Coast Highway to remember two riders who were involved in fatal bike accidents along the same route. The riders, who were estimated to number between 200 and 300, were also showing their support for bike safety.
The widower of one of the accident victims said that the event was bittersweet for him. He explained that he was happy to see so many riders participate in the event, but it also took him back to the tragic day when his wife, who was 58-years-old at the time, was killed. The elderly man that hit her is awaiting trial for manslaughter.
Some of the memorial riders were also outspoken about the community’s responsibility to start doing more to improve biker safety. A former president of the South Orange County Bicycle Association noted that he was frustrated by the bicycle fatalities in the area. Likewise, the deceased 58-year-old’s widower said that the city should do more to slow down traffic.
Bicyclists who are hit by automobiles often suffer serious injuries or death. In some cases, the automobile driver will face criminal charges for an accident. But, the cyclists and their families can also hold a negligent driver responsible by pursuing a civil case against the driver.
Source: Laguna Beach Independent, “Riders Vow to Push for Bike Safety,” Kellie Hall, July 25, 2014