An unidentified bicyclist died in a collision with a cement-mixer truck at the intersection of Grand Avenue and South Las Posas Road near Palomar College in San Marcos, according to San Diego County Sheriff’s Office reports. It is unclear who had the right-of-way, but an investigation is ongoing. No arrests have been made and the driver has not been cited at this time.
Passenger vehicle occupants could be said to have an “unfair” advantage in any collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian, bicycle rider or motorcyclist. This is because today’s vehicles are equipped with all types of safety equipment, including seat belts, air bags, crumple zones and roll cages. It is not surprising that when 40,000 people are killed each year in car accidents, even with these safety advantages, that people die every day in pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle crashes as well.
Bicyclists accounted for 15 deaths and 980 injuries in San Diego County in 2011, according to the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System. Bicyclists accounted for eight percent of all roadway deaths that year in San Diego County. Seven of the fatalities occurred in San Diego, while the rest occurred in other towns or areas of the county.
Bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians together accounted for 110 fatalities or 56 percent of all fatal injuries in traffic accidents in San Diego in 2011.
California law requires bicyclists to follow the same rules of the road as other drivers. The law is clear that bicyclists do not have the right to cut off other drivers or deliberately place themselves in danger.
However, like pedestrians, bicyclists are accorded a bit more leeway when it comes to yielding the right-of-way, simply because a car does have an unfair safety advantage over a bicycle. Simply put, drivers in California are required to stop for bicyclists when it is expedient to do so without causing injury. If they hit a bicyclist, even if the bicyclist is crossing against the light, the driver may be held responsible.
Even if a driver is not charged, however, that does not mean that he or she will escape civil liability for the damages. Daniel M. Gilleon of the Gilleon Law Firm, APC in San Diego has been representing bicyclists injured in accidents for many years. Contact him today about your bicycle accident injuries.