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Tips to prevent bicycle accidents

Despite being legally afforded the same privileges as other motorists, many drivers fail to respect the rights of bicyclists. Consequently, bicyclists are often subjected to numerous dangers including cars and trucks that whiz by too closely and vehicles that enter bike lanes to make turns in front of oncoming bikers.

Annually, the California Department of Motor Vehicles reports that approximately 100 bicyclists are killed in the state. Many thousands more are injured each year and, with nothing between a bicyclist and car or truck, these injuries are often serious and debilitating in nature.

To help protect bicyclists who travel on San Diego's roads, both bicyclists and motorists are advised to heed the follow safety advice.

For Bicyclists:

  • Always wear a properly fitting helmet
  • Ride with traffic
  • Obey all traffic laws
  • Signal turns and stops using clear arm signals
  • Wear reflective and brightly-colored clothing to remain more visible to other motorists 
  • Remain alert and vigilant especially when it comes to turning vehicles and individuals exiting parked cars

For Motorists:

  • Respect the rights of bicyclists and provide a biker the same courtesies as any driver 
  • Don't ever crowd or tailgate a bicyclist
  • Be extra cautious and alert when making right or left turns to avoid turning in front of or into a bicyclist
  • Upon parking and exiting a parked vehicle, watch for bicyclists
  • Don't allow frustration over a biker's slower pace to turn to acts of aggressive driving 
  • Always signal to alert other motorists and bicycles of one's intentions to turn 

San Diego bicyclists who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident may choose to discuss their case with an attorney. In some cases, the driver of a car or truck may be deemed at fault for causing an accident and compensation awarded via a lawsuit can help pay for medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: California Department of Motor Vehicles, "Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Motorists," 2014, "10 Safety Tips for Motorists," 2014

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