What people think of vehicles in terms of traffic laws, they usually think of cars, trucks and SUVs. Some people will also think of motorcycles. Not as many people realize that bicycles are also included under the definition of vehicles under California law.
If someone chooses to bike on public roads, they have the same obligation as people in motorized vehicles to comply with traffic laws. Unfortunately, cyclists can sometimes be aggressive and may not even know what laws they need to follow.
Many times, cyclists are the ones who end up paying the price for their own aggressive habits or lack of knowledge because they get into crashes with cars. However, cyclists can and do cause severe injuries to pedestrians as well.
Cyclists can cause severe traumatic injury to pedestrians nearby
People on bikes can travel at speeds that a human could never reach when running or walking. In addition to their increased momentum because of the bicycle, they also have the additional weight of the bike itself.
In the event that a cyclist clips or collides with a pedestrian, they could cause catastrophic injuries. Broken bones, spinal cord injuries, severe lacerations and traumatic brain injuries are all possible if the cyclist slams into a pedestrian. In some cases, cyclists can even cause fatal injuries to pedestrians. All of these are reasons why cyclists, like people in cars, have an obligation to yield to pedestrians.
Unlike people in cars, cyclists may not have insurance
The risk that cyclists post to pedestrians increases when you recognize that they also don’t have insurance on that bike. With cars, at least, there is a requirement for liability insurance. If a driver hits pedestrian, that pedestrian knows that they can at least file an insurance claim.
There may not be any insurance to protect a pedestrian hit by a cyclist, which may mean that they need to take legal action against a cyclist who didn’t comply with traffic laws or was illegally biking on the sidewalk.