Intersections are dangerous for drivers as well as bicyclists. Whether you are a driver or a bicyclist, you must know how to avoid bicycle accidents at intersections in Sacramento to prevent such collisions. The Law Offices of J.G Winter are dedicated to ensuring your safety on the road. Through our informative blog, we provide valuable tips for avoiding accidents.
If an accident does occur, our skilled legal team is ready to guide you through the claims process and ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. Let us help you stay safe and supported, both before and after any intersection incident.
Understanding bicycle accidents at intersections
Bicycle accidents at intersections often occur due to unsafe lane changes, failing to check before right turns or misjudging speed properly. We must make ourselves aware of these common situations. Following traffic rules diligently and ensuring clear communication between us on bikes and those in vehicles is key to understanding and preventing these crashes at intersections. After all, it’s about keeping each other safe on the roads we share.
Using bike lane
A bike lane is a designated space in the road for bicyclists. Unlike a basic roadside edge, bike lanes adhere to specific width areas with symbols or signs. These lanes sometimes have a bright green hue to enhance visibility and are outlined with a solid white line that may turn dotted near intersections. Riding a bicycle in your lane reduces the chances of getting into a collision.
Being cautious while making turns at intersections
When executing left turns in traffic lanes, cyclists should check left for clear traffic, signal the turn, and move left or into the designated turn lane. Using the entire turn lane prevents vehicles from passing. In a bike lane or on multi-lane roads, signal and check before changing lanes; never make a left turn from the right side.
For left turns using crosswalks, stay on the right, stop at the intersection, and cross as pedestrians. Or make a 90-degree left turn, yielding to pedestrians and waiting for signals.
Navigating intersections safely
Navigating intersections requires keen awareness of surroundings, including other vehicles, pedestrians, and objects. As a bicyclist, you must monitor speed, lane position, and distance and interpret signals to predict other drivers’ actions and plan reactions. While experienced bicyclists often do this defensively, intentional considerations of intersection dynamics help ensure safe navigation.
Being visible on the road to others
As a bike rider, you must implement several measures to increase your bike visibility. Always wear bright clothes, use lights, and give proper hand signals while making a turn. Similarly, using brake lights when slowing, avoiding blind spots, and making yourself visible to drivers ahead helps prevent accidents. Remember, visibility is key for safety.
California laws for cyclists
Understanding your legal rights and responsibilities as a cyclist in California is crucial, especially in the aftermath of bike accidents.
California law provides shared equivalent rights and duties among cyclists and motorists. Bicyclists are responsible for riding as close to the right as practicable when riding slower than traffic. Full lane use is permitted in various circumstances, such as normal traffic speed, preparing for a turn, overtaking, avoiding hazards, or mandatory turn lanes. Cyclists must exercise caution when passing a parked or moving vehicle in the same direction. Whereas motor vehicle drivers must pass cyclists at a distance of at least three feet without compromising bicycle operation.
Nighttime biking requires a front white light, a rear red reflector, and additional lighting options. It fulfills the safety requirement of being visible. Also, all bicycles must have a functioning brake system.
Parking on bike paths or sidewalks is prohibited. Crossing toll bridges, freeways, and expressways is forbidden unless a cyclist acquires permission from DOT. Similarly, riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited.
Also Read: Sacramento Bicycle Accident Laws
Watch out for these common bicycle accidents at intersections
Common bicycle accidents at intersections are left-turn and right-turn accidents.
Left-turn accidents happen when a motor vehicle and a bicyclist approach an intersection simultaneously from opposite directions. The driver may misjudge the bicyclist’s speed, leading to a failure to yield the right of way during a left turn, resulting in a collision.
Right-turn accidents occur when a bicyclist is on the far right of the roadway, moving in the same direction as a motor vehicle. Having passed the bicyclist, the driver forgets their immediate presence and initiates a right turn in front of the approaching bicyclist, resulting in a collision.
Keep an eye out for dangerous intersections for bicyclists in Sacramento
Several factors contribute to the danger at the intersections in Sacramento, CA. Some of the dangerous intersections for bicyclists include:
- Due to high traffic density, Folsom Boulevard, Howe Avenue, Mack Road, and Center Parkway are particularly hazardous.
- Florin Road and Stockton Boulevard witness frequent turns and pedestrian activity, increasing the risk of collisions.
- The intersection at 12th Street and B Street also leads to accidents due to its poor road maintenance.
These intersections are considered the most dangerous for bicyclists in Sacramento and demand attention to enhance safety for all road users.
Steps to follow after a bicycle accident
No matter how much you try to avoid, accidents might still happen. Being aware of the steps after the unfortunate bicycle accident will help you become better as a cyclist. There are a few steps you should consider following after a bicycle accident, which include:
- Prioritize safety and move to a safe location to avoid potential harm.
- Call 911 for immediate police help and emergency services.
- Stay calm and check yourself.
- Check your helmet and head for any signs of head injuries.
- It is your legal obligation to stay at the scene.
- Exchange the details with other parties involved.
- Document the accident scene, including your injuries, in a photograph or video.
- Avoid admitting fault or negotiating and Consult a bicycle accident lawyer.
J.G Winter Law: Contact us for a free consultation
Understanding how to avoid bicycle accidents is important, but it’s not always enough. Accidents can still occur due to others’ negligence. If you find yourself in such a situation and are unsure of your next steps, the Law Offices of J.G. Winter are here to support you. We empathize deeply with the pain and upheaval caused by such accidents. Although no amount of money can completely offset your loss, our dedicated team is committed to helping you navigate these difficult times and ensuring you receive the assistance and compensation you deserve.
With our 99% client win rate, you’re in good hands. Schedule your free consultation today, and let us guide you through each stage of your case.
Avoid bicycle accidents at intersections’ FAQs:
What are the different challenges of bicycle accidents in Sacramento, CA?
Bicycle accidents in Sacramento, CA, carry challenges connected to traffic congestion, infrastructure limitations, and driver behavior. Addressing these challenges may involve enhancing the cycling infrastructure, promoting safe practices, and tackling the regional factors contributing to accidents.
How can you prevent bicycle accidents?
You can prevent bicycle accidents by prioritizing visibility, riding in your lane, and consistently signalling your moves. Additionally, you can opt for alternate routes to avoid high-traffic roads, reducing the chances of collisions.
While on the road, communicate your intentions clearly and never assume drivers see you. Furthermore, you can also minimize the risk of getting into bicycle accidents by using a bicycle mirror and keeping an eye on potential rear threats without constant distraction.
What are the most common causes of bike accidents?
Bicycle accidents often result from various causes, such as distracted riding, speeding, inadequate buffer space, etc. Additionally, unsafe lane changes and turning without checking contribute to the danger, especially at intersections. In a serious bike accident involving a car, truck, van, or SUV, seeking legal help is crucial.
In such a situation, you must consult a personal injury attorney for a free consultation. They can provide you with guidance and support through the complexities of the aftermath.