Summer is a time of year when all types of road users are out and about, especially bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. These are among the most vulnerable road users on Orange County roadways.
Crashes involving bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists usually happen when drivers fail to recognize the rights of other road users or behave as if they own the road.
- 783 bicyclist deaths - 53 involving children
- 5,977 pedestrian deaths - 214 involving children
- 5,172 motorcyclist deaths - a 15 percent increase since 2008
Bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists are at a greater disadvantage when it comes to surviving crashes on Orange County roads. Not only are they less visible and less regarded by drivers, they are not afforded the same protections drivers have. They don't have seat belts or airbags. The front end of a motorcycle or bicycle isn't designed to absorb the impact of a crash. At best, they have helmets and other protective gear that can somewhat lessen the severity of being injured.
Even when bicyclists and motorcyclists are equipped with helmets, they can still sustain serious or fatal head injuries.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety:
- California saw a 5.9 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities from 819 in 2015 to 867 in 2016
- There was also a 13 percent increase in deaths among pedestrians ages 65 and older - from 193 in 2015 to 218 in 2016
- Bicyclist fatalities went up by 8.1 percent - from 136 deaths in 2015 to 147 in 2016
- Motorcyclist fatalities went up by 11 percent - from 494 in 2015 to 548 in 2016
What drivers should be doing
In order to prevent serious injuries or deaths from occurring, it's up to drivers to consider the following:
- Watch out for pedestrians, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic and around crosswalks, and be prepared to stop
- Look both ways when backing out of a parking space or navigating a parking lot
- Give bicyclists plenty of space, especially when passing
- Understand the signals bicyclists use, particularly turn signals
- Keep a safe distance from motorcyclists
- Yield the right-of-way to other road users
- Lastly, understand that other road users have just as much right to access the road
Get an Orange County attorney dedicated to protecting the rights of vulnerable road users
If you are a bicyclist, pedestrian, or motorcyclist who was injured in a crash, you have rights that must be upheld, even if they weren't recognized by the driver who hit you. Personal injury lawyer Daniel C. Carlton is dedicated to upholding your rights and fighting to hold negligent drivers accountable.
Don't worry about the financial burden of medical expenses and lost wages. He'll fight to recover every penny you're entitled to. Don't waste your time trying to negotiate with the driver's insurance company. Let attorney Dan Carlton do the work for you.
To get started, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton, located in Costa Mesa, and set up your free case consultation today.