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The Official Word

by Rich Savitt



* The Free Lap Rule

* Race Numbers 101


How to Stay Safe and What to Do After a Bicycle Crash in Yorba Linda, CA

editor's note:  This article was received from a club member via email, and the origins of the article are unknown.  Canyon Velo Cycling Club does not encourage or endorse the use of any attorneys or third parties with respect to any cycling accidents.

Bicycling has gained significant popularity in recent years. Unfortunately, as more cyclists are on the road, more crashes involving bicycles can occur. Even the safest riders can still be injured in a cycling accident, so everyone should be prepared and know what to do in the event they face that situation.
Colliding with an automobile is one of the greatest fears many cyclists have about riding. While many people enjoy riding bikes, they don’t feel safe about venturing out when there is inadequate or nonexistent or inadequate bicycling infrastructure. On occasion, bicycles and cars will collide regardless of the safety precautions in place.

What to Do if You Are Involved in a Car Crash

• Make sure the police are called to the scene to complete an official report. Sometimes a bicyclist may not realize he or she has suffered injuries until several hours after the crash. What seems to be minor injuries could actually be serious and permanent, so make sure you have a report done regardless of how minor the crash may appear.
• Don’t try negotiate with the driver who was at-fault. The driver may not give you information that is accurate. While there are drivers who will initially apologize and accept blame, they may later deny their negligence. The officer will get accurate identification, insurance information, and details about vehicle ownership.
• Make sure the accident report is accurate. Make sure that you give a statement and that all witnesses are listed, along with their contact information. Even if an accident report is not given, make sure you get the actual name, address, phone number and insurance information for the other driver as well as the names and contract information for any witnesses.
• If you are able, use your smartphone to take photographs of the crash scene. Take pictures of the roadway, the damage to your bike and the vehicle, photos of your injuries, and photos of any damage to your helmet or your clothing.
• Seek medical treatment for your injuries as quickly as possible. This is the most important thing to do after a crash! Your very first stop should be your local hospital. Your injuries may be much more serious than you believe. You will also need medical records to establish the extent of your injuries and to confirm that you were indeed hurt in the accident.
• Follow up with medical treatment as necessary. Have any recommended medical care, such as chiropractic care, physical therapy, or orthopedic specialists. You will need an accurate record of all your medical bills to write a demand letter for the other driver’s insurance company.

If you are involved in a bicycle crash in Yorba Linda, CA, there are several places to seek medical treatment:

• Placentia-Linda Hospital, 1301 N. Rose Drive
• Kaiser Permanente Orange County Medical Center, 441 N. Lakeview Ave., Anaheim
• Anaheim Regional Medical Center, 1111 W. La Palma Ave., Anaheim

When bicycling, use extreme caution. But remember, regardless of how safe you may be you could still end up in an accident. You should always be prepared for emergencies. One of the best ways to avoid crashes is to follow local bicycle laws.

California Bicycling Laws:

• Contrary to many motorists’ belief, you aren’t required to ride in the bike lane, and you aren’t actually required to stay on the right of the lane. While in general the law says you should stay to the right and use bicycling lanes when available, you can ride your bike elsewhere if you believe it is safer to do so.
• In order to avoid obstacles, bicyclists are permitted to move into the middle lane. This is also permitted when there are cars parked along the curb because motorists may open car doors without noticing the bikes approaching.
• You have to make yourself visible at night. You are required to have a headlight on the front of your bicycle and reflectors on the rear of the bicycle. You are also supposed to have reflectors on each of the bike’s pedals, your shoes or ankles as well as on the sides of the bike.
• In California, bicyclists must yield to pedestrians. You are required to stop just like a car for people who are crossing the street.
Take all of the proper precautions to protect yourself and avoid the likelihood of a crash. If you stay alert and take care to follow all of California’s bicycle laws, you can hopefully avoid all crashes and ride without incident.

This article was provided by Personal Injury Help and was not written by an attorney, and the accuracy of the content is not warranted or guaranteed. If you wish to receive legal advice about a specific problem, you should contact a licensed attorney in your area.



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