Tag Archive for bicycling injuries

BOLO Alert: Bike rider critically injured in North Hills hit-and-run last month; LAPD still looking for witnesses

I’ve just received the following press release from the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division.

Hit and Run Driver Leaves Bicyclist Severely Injured

North Hills:

A hit and run traffic collision involving a motor vehicle and bicyclist occurred on Saturday, July 23, 2016, approximately 5:00 a.m. at Parthenia Street west of Woodley Avenue, in the community of North Hills.

The vehicle was traveling westbound Parthenia Street and collided with the bicycle being ridden by James Mours, a 47 year old resident of Mission Hills. The bicyclist sustained major injuries and was transported by Los Angeles Fire Department personnel to a local hospital for medical treatment. He is still listed in very critical condition.

There is no description of the vehicle or the driver. The Los Angeles Police Department is seeking anyone who may have witnessed the collision.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Valley Traffic Division Officer M. Tucker at (818) 644-8114. The report number is 16 17 13752. During non-business hours or weekends, calls may be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800)-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most key pads) using a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters can also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “web tips” and follow the prompts.

Let’s get the word out and see if we can get some witnesses to come forward.

Best wishes to James Mours for a full and fast recovery.

Thanks to Officer Troy Williams for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: Surprising stats on CA bike crashes, and unarmed bike rider shot by sheriff’s deputies in Castaic

LA County is by far the most dangerous place in California to ride a bicycle.

Or maybe not.

Following up on his brief look at national bicycling crash stats, Ed Ryder is back with a more detailed look at bicycle injuries and fatalities on a countywide basis in California, from 2004 to 2016. And the results are both exactly what you might expect, and very surprising, depending on how you look at the data.

The good news is, bicycling fatalities dropped slightly in 2014, following a steady upward climb from 2009 to 2013, while injuries continue a gradual decline from a peak in 2012.

State Report 1

Not surprisingly, Los Angeles, as the state’s most populous county, led the way with 41% of bicycling injuries, followed by Orange and San Diego Counties.

State Report 2

The same held true for bicycling fatalities, as Southern California counties dominate the stats, led by Los Angeles at 30%, followed by Orange, Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino.

State Report 3

However, the surprise comes when you look at injuries and fatalities on a per capita basis.

When Ryder examined the rate of injuries per one million population, he found that Los Angeles County barely made the top ten, coming in just above the state average. Santa Cruz County led the way, followed by San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Marin and Yolo.

State Report 4

When he looked at the rate of fatalities per one million population, Los Angeles didn’t even make the top ten. It turns out that Stanislaus County is actually California’s deadliest place to ride a bicycle, followed by Tulare, Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties. However, Southern California was still well represented with Riverside, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange Counties making the list.

State Report 5

So what exactly does this mean?

It could be more evidence of the safety in numbers effect, as you’re more likely to be injured in less populated counties.

Or the low death rate could be evidence of lower average speeds and better access to emergency care in Los Angeles County.

But the main thing it shows it that too many people are still getting injured or killed on our streets.

And we need to keep fighting until the last person killed riding a bicycle in California really is the last person killed riding a bike.

You can read the full report on California bicycling injuries and fatalities here.

………

Questions are being raised after LA sheriff’s deputies shot an unarmed bike rider in Castaic Tuesday night.

The victim, a homeless man named William Bowers, reportedly jumped off his bike and tried to flee on foot as the officers chased him. He was shot when he allegedly reached for something in his waistband.

However, a witness says he was just walking down the street, after crashing his bike when deputies ordered him to stop, and had his hands down at his side when they opened fire.

The Times says it was unclear why the officers tried to stop him in the first place.

Local residents said the victim was well-known in the area. And despite suffering from drug problems, he never caused any trouble, though he did have a habit of trying to get away from deputies on his bike.

It wasn’t that long ago that shooting an unarmed man was enough to cost an officer his badge.

Now the accusation that someone reached for his waistband is enough to exonerate a cop.

Even if the victim was just trying to hold up his pants.

………

Cyclelicious takes a deep dive into the Caltrans/UCLA report on bicycle crashes in LA County. If you don’t have the time or patience to dig through the full 97-page report, he offers an excellent summary of the key details.

………

Bike SGV is hosting a used bike sale today through Saturday.

Bike SGV Used Bike Sale

………

Defending silver medalist Lizzie Armistead insists she’s clean as she prepares to lead Britain’s cycling team into the Rio Olympics; she claims the missed drug tests weren’t her fault. Although missing three drug tests in 12 months does not exactly inspire confidence; after the repeated denials from Lance, Floyd, et al, it’s hard to believe anyone who denies doping these days.

Bicycling gets in the mood for Rio with five crazy moments in Olympic cycling history.

………

Local

Metro votes to put the transportation tax increase, including funding for bike and pedestrian projects, on the November ballot.

KPCC’s Air Talk discusses the new law requiring temporary plates on newly purchased vehicles, which should help identify hit-and-run drivers.

CiclaValley continues his report on the ten most essential climbs in the LA area.

There will be a fundraiser this Saturday for bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali’s grass roots effort to unseat anti-bike CD1 City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, aka Roadkill Gil.

Covina police arrest a burglary suspect who fled by bicycle after breaking a car window and stealing a purse.

The host of Tom Explores Los Angeles will explore the history of Santa Monica later this month with a tour that’s part walking and part bikeshare.

 

State

Mind the letter of the law in OC this weekend, where sheriff’s deputies will be enforcing traffic violations involving drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, in the latest effort to improve safety for the latter two.

Exclusive La Jolla may get a few docking stations for San Diego’s bikeshare system whether they want it or not. Meanwhile, a La Jolla man has discovered the alleys of the community because he’s not comfortable riding his bike on the street.

The madness continues in Coronado, as a letter writer says a proposed bike and pedestrian bridge would just bring more transients. Because evidently homeless people can’t figure out how to take the ferry, or follow the bike path around the bay to the strange little town.

A suspected Palm Springs car thief fleeing from the CHP on a bicycle suffered minor injuries when he allegedly swerved left into the patrol car that was driving right beside him. Sure, that’s credible; a suicide swerve makes much more sense than the cops cutting him off with their car to stop him.

Congratulations to Bakersfield on 29 new bouncing baby bike racks.

Bay Area advocates are pushing for a bike and pedestrian bridge over an estuary near Jack London Square.

An Oakland man was shot in a bike-jacking. Seriously, if someone has a weapon, just let them have the damn bike. No bicycle is worth your life.

 

National

A new Streetfilm says building an equitable bikeshare system is possible.

A man and his dog traveling cross-country by bike were both banged up when their rear wheel “exploded” while riding in South Dakota.

A group of Columbus OH cyclists will ride in purple tutus this weekend to honor a friend who died of leukemia.

A bicyclist slammed into a pedestrian in New York on Wednesday. Notice how no one ever seems to suggest that it might not have been the rider’s fault in cases like this, even though the pedestrian was jaywalking.

A New York study shows protected bike lanes reduce bicyclist and pedestrian injuries and fatalities at intersections by a whopping 53%. Despite claims by some that protected lanes would leave riders more vulnerable at intersections.

A Pennsylvania bike rider offers seven reasons not to hit a bike rider with your car. Reason #8: I know a lot of good lawyers.

The coaching staff of the Washington Redskins commute to training camp by bicycle, despite what they describe as a wild ride dodging car doors and riding salmon.

She gets it. A Charleston SC columnist says it’s time to stop bitching about traffic caused by a bike lane on a bridge, and focus on building a community that serves and protects all people, not just the ones in cars.

An off-duty Charleston cop has been charged with assault and battery following a fight with a salmon cyclist; the officer resigned while the case was under investigation.

A pair of Hilton Head SC thieves stole a pickup from a driveway, and left a bicycle in its place. Sounds like the owner of the truck may have gotten the better end of the deal.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explores the eternal question of what’s the right tire pressure.

If you build it, they will like it. Saskatoon, Canada residents are happy with a pilot bike lane network in the downtown area, even if it leaves a lot to be desired.

A Welsh woman was killed when she rode off a the edge of a ravine in the Pyrenees while cycling in a heavy fog.

Brit commenters argue over who’s at fault when video surfaces of a bike rider getting right hooked as he overtakes a taxi, whose driver failed to signal. So why does it have to be one or the other? Isn’t it just possible that both of them might have contributed to the situation?

An 81-year old Pakistani man is scraping by as a Lahore rickshaw driver after being hailed as a hero when he competed for the country as a cyclist in the 1960 and 1964 Olympics.

Caught on video: A bike-riding Kiwi mail carrier goes out of his way to get a few licks from a nine-month old German Shepherd.

Malaysian authorities raided the country’s cycling officials after accusations of substandard tracks and a lack of safety barriers during the recent Malaysia Games, even though funds had been allocated for the courses.

 

Finally…

No, really. It’s okay if you blow that red light, because you’re just following the rules of calories. How to tell if you’re a Fred.

And yes, you can cart a caribou carcass by bicycle.

 

Morning Links: CA exceeds national average in bicycling deaths, Caltrans studies bike crashes in LA County

Maybe we’re not quite as bad as it seems.

It’s been reported that California leads the nation in bicycling fatalities, with Florida a close second.

That doesn’t take into account the difference in population, though; as the nation’s largest state, it’s not surprising we lead in this most unwelcome category.

But if you look at the rate of bicycling deaths on a per capita basis, you get a very different picture. Stats man Ed Ryder created a graph to put things in better perspective, showing the Golden State ranks sixth in deaths per one million population.

Deadliest States by Population

Which is still too damn high.

As his next chart clearly shows, California has exceeded the national average every year since 2004. And probably before that.

CA bike deaths re: US

Which leaves us with the question what are we doing wrong?

And what are we going to do about it?

You can read his full report here.

………

Caltrans and UCLA offer a detailed study of bike crashes in Los Angeles County based on the CHP’s SWITRS data, correlated with ridership based on local bike counts.

Both of which can be problematic; SWITRS relies on voluntary reporting of crashes by local police agencies, not all of whom provide accurate or timely data.

And bike counts only offer a snapshot of who is riding in a given area at a given time. Unfortunately though, it’s the only data available for many areas, since both the city and county of Los Angeles have long failed in their responsibility to collect accurate ridership data.

Without accurate data, it’s impossible to make the informed choices necessary to meet save lives and meet the needs of bike riders.

I haven’t had a chance to dig into the study yet. However, Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious called out a few key points.

  • Right turn only lanes double the risk for cyclists
  • LA Metro Rapid bus lines have a higher risk of bicycle crashes when compared to other primary roads without rapid bus lines
  • Locations with the highest crash risk tend to have below-average bicycle ridership
  • Roads with vehicle volumes over 20,000 have significantly higher average crash counts and crash rates for bike riders
  • There is a higher number of crashes and crash rates in poorer, non-white neighborhoods than higher income, white neighborhoods
  • People of color have higher risk of bike crashes than whites
  • If you ride your bike in high income neighborhood, you’re less likely to crash your bicycle
  • Vehicle speeds above 30 mph are associated with about 30-40% more crashes, but about 200-300% higher crash risk per cyclist
  • Lower-hanging fruit in terms of safety interventions is where ridership is moderate but risk is high

Masoner credits CABO’s Jim Baross for forwarding the report.

………

Great post from Detroit’s Wheelhouse, explaining how to drive like you don’t want to murder cyclists.

Seriously, this should be required reading for anyone who drives, or is even thinking about it.

………

Britain’s Lizzie Armistead has been cleared to compete in the Rio Olympics, despite missing three drug tests in a 24-hout period. And despite ample warnings. However, a doping official says they made the right call to reinstate her.

A South Korean cyclist is the first casualty of the Olympics as he gets mirrored on a training ride.

NBC presents the full schedule of Olympic cycling events, which will be available for live streaming.

Nineteen-year old South African cyclist Keagan Girdlestone is making a near-miraculous recovery after he was nearly killed crashing into a support vehicle during Italy’s Coppa Della Pace in June.

Former doper and ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis is now in the ganja rub business.

With the departure of its founder, Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge has semi-officially bitten the dust. Although it could be replaced by a seven-stage race for amateurs who can afford it.

London’s mass RideLondon race will be the first and only British event on the WorldTour pro cycling calendar next year.

Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will feature a new 50-minute race for junior riders.

………

Local

LA County is offering a $10,000 reward for the people who pistol-whipped a doctor after he refused to pay $150 for allegedly damaging a bicycle.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman reports on the South LA Vision Zero focus group, stressing the importance of getting to know the South LA community before “presuming to plan for it or construct campaigns targeting it.” Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton has his own comic thoughts on Vision Zero.

Anti-bike incumbent councilmember Gil Cedillo has raised $250,000 for his re-election campaign, far more than grass-roots challenger Josef Bray-Ali.

A writer for The Source tries the new Metro Bike bikeshare, and she likes it.

LA Downtowner visits The Wheelhouse coffee shop/bike shop in DTLA. Not to be confused with the aforementioned Detroit establishment of the same name.

CiclaValley begins counting down LA’s ten most essential climbs.

 

State

Streetsblog writes about the state legislation that would lower the fine for drivers who roll through red lights to make a right turn. Meanwhile, the LA Post-Examiner takes a look at the issue as well, and gives this site a shout-out in the process; thanks to Tim Forkes for the link and the kind words.

Costa Mesa police are looking for the thief who stole a $3,000 bike from a 22-year old man’s garage while he was spending his birthday at Children’s Hospital donating blood; he used the bike for physical and emotional therapy after suffering a series of medical issues. Seriously, there’s a special place in Hell for whoever took that bike.

A Santa Barbara rider explains the origins of the city’s annual Fiesta Cruiser Ride in 1979.

When a Bakersfield man agreed to meet someone at a park to sell a bike he’d advertised on Craigslist, the buyer stole his bike, then shot at him as he pursued the thief’s car. Best advice I’ve seen for similar situations is to meet the other party at the local police station for any exchanges.

A bike rider killed in Sacramento last month had moved to the city to start over after kicking his addiction to drugs.

An Auburn mountain biker was rescued after a fall when people heard his screams for help.

 

National

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske explains how to lower your legal responsibility when organizing a group ride.

A 23-year old Spokane man is facing a murder charge after deliberately running down a bike rider when they quarreled over a pair of speakers.

A second man has been charged with spreading tacks along a popular Denver-area cycling route; the suspect is a cousin of the man charged last week. And both should go away for as long as the law allows.

A Houston restaurant is under attack by eco-friendly, bike riding vandals.

A Chicago jazzman has been practicing his saxophone under an overpass for decades as drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians go by.

Evanston IL residents bring out the pitchforks and torches after a new protected bike lane is installed, calling it dangerous and poorly thought out; one protester noted that drivers had to move into the parking lane to let a fire truck pass. Which is exactly what they are supposed to do.

Michigan bike riders are increasingly wary as roads become more dangerous.

A New Hampshire man has been commuting seven miles to work by bike for the last 16 years, towing his dog behind him in an open trailer.

New York police still haven’t made an arrest in the hit-and-run murder of a bike rider last month; police recovered the car the driver used as he appeared to intentionally swerve into the bike lane to run down the victim from behind.

The Alabama road rage victim whose dreams of riding across the US were shattered when a rampaging truck driver ran over his bike will leave the state with fond memories after all, as people donated over $4,000 to keep him going.

 

International

A Winnipeg writer says bicyclists want to get off the road as much as motorists want them to.

After being confronted by a racist, road-raging driver and his passengers, an Edmonton, Canada bicyclist says he won’t back down in the face of online harassment, because as a bike rider, he already knows what it’s like to be marginalized.

Brompton’s quirky folding bikes have achieved cult status.

A cop in the UK was honored for saving the life of a bike rider trapped under the wheels of a double-decker bus.

The mayor of Paris says she wants to “give Parisians back the space that cars have taken from them.” I’d love to hear LA’s Mayor Garcetti say that. And mean it.

Israeli border guards take a bike from an eight-year old Palestinian girl and throw it into the bushes, apparently to reserve the road for Jewish settlers; only one of the two officers involved was disciplined.

A Sydney, Australia bike rider suffered third degree burns on his upper thigh when his iPhone exploded after he fell off his bike. Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich and Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Not every cyclist who gets it wrong is an “arrogant arsehole,” a newly minted Perth, Australia bike commuter warns; they might just be incompetent.

Relatives of a Philippine cyclist fatally shot by an angry driver call for restraint in the hopes that he may be the last victim of road rage.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be an ad. How to spot a female cyclist. Besides that whole woman on a bike, thing, that is.

And it’s a rocky and humiliating road to being a “real” cyclist.

 

Morning Links: Cyclist critically injured in Malibu, May’s Ride of Silence, and an in-depth Irish look at cycling

Bad news from the ‘Bu.

I had received reports of a cyclist down on PCH, but hadn’t been able to get any information over the weekend.

Tuesday, the answer came in the form of a gofundme account asking for donations to help defray the medical expenses for Steve Striver, who was hit by a car while riding in Malibu on Saturday.

Here’s what Edie Raff Pratt, author of the page, had to say.

After being airlifted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Steve underwent 6 hours of surgery to begin to repair the damage. The surgery went well however Steve remains in critical condition in the Neuro ICU unit at the hospital.

Steve’s injuries are extensive and severe. Trauma and bleeding in his head, a bruised heart, a punctured lung, fractured ribs, left wrist fracture, right hip fracture, pelvis fracture, left femur fracture, scapula fracture, lower broken back, extensive wounds on his body and face from road rash.  Honestly, there is hardly an unbroken or contusion free area on his body.

Once Steve gets past the initial hurdles in the hospital, he will have extensive and challenging rehabilitation and a long road for recovery ahead.  We appreciate any prayers of healing you can provide for Steve as well as prayers of comfort for his wife Marianne and their four children Claire, Tim, Sam and Jeffrey.

Steve Shriver is a husband, father, son, brother, friend to many, artist, musician, cyclist, surfer, gentle soul and one of the best people to ever know.

As you can imagine, the medical bills ahead will be mounting.  This page and fundraiser is set up by friends of Steve & Marianne Shriver and family, so that we may raise money for the medical bills and expenses related to them. All monies will go directly to the Shriver family.

As of this writing, the fund has raised a little more that $15,000 of the $250,000 goal in the first 18 hours.

Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the heads-up.

………

We’re less than one month away from the annual Ride of Silence to remember bike riders who’ve lost their lives in the past year.

This year’s ride will take place on Wednesday, May 18th, the evening before LA’s Bike to Work Day.

The Pasadena ride around the Rose Bowl will be held as usual, while CiclaValley writes that he will be leading a first-time Ride of Silence through the San Fernando Valley.

And for the fifth year in a row, the Anthony Martinez Jr. Memorial Bike Ride will be held in Oxnard to remember victims of traffic violence. The ride is named for a six-year old boy who was tragically killed while riding his bike on Thanksgiving Day in 2011; his father is now a tireless advocate for bike safety.

………

The Irish Times goes all in on bicycling, with a series of stories looking at riding from almost every conceivable angle.

………

As long as we’re doing bullet points, let’s keep it going with a look at bikes in the news.

………

Local

Not only will we be getting a protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street, it will also be LA’s first curb-protected bike lane. Maybe that will actually be enough to keep the LAPD from parking their patrol cars in it. We can hope, right?

Taylor Swift may be one of us, as she keeps what looks like a three-wheeled pedicab stashed outside her Beverly Hills home.

Santa Clarita is hosting an open house tonight to discuss the future of pedestrian and bicycle trails between Saugus and the Santa Clara River trail.

Long Beach photographer John Montich opens a new exhibit looking at unrideable bicycles.

Unbelievable. The multiple cities in southeast LA County that make up the Gateway Council of Governments propose spending exactly zero on active transportation projects if the planned transportation sales tax measure passes. Yes, nothing.

You’re invited to a costumed Tour de Phat People bike ride visiting some of their favorite Highland Park watering holes this Saturday.

 

State

So much for equity on our streets. Two bills in the California legislature calling for equity in transportation funding and accessibility for low-income communities die lonely deaths for lack of support.

A San Diego cyclist is injured in a collision with a homemade three-wheeled “Star Trike” motorcycle; the driver naturally puts all the blame on the bicyclist, even while an on-screen graphic notes the trike — and presumably, the man riding it — has been involved in eight previous wrecks.

Murrieta police bust three transients and recover several stolen bicycles after responding to a burglary at a bike shop and spotting a man ghost riding another bike.

Santa Barbara planners approve plans for a 2.6 mile bike path. Or maybe it’s a bike lane; the story isn’t clear.

A 19-year old Napa man is busted after being spotted riding a $9,000 stolen bike.

 

National

People for Bikes says protected bike lanes can actually reduce the cost of building new roadways by lowering the cost to manage storm runoff.

Chicago cyclists can finally take their bikes on commuter trains, though few turn out to take advantage of it.

Streetsblog says everyone loses in the ridiculous bikeshare fight between Hoboken and Jersey City.

Caught on video: A New York cyclist offers a high-speed look at his ride to work, catching nine traffic violations by motorists on a single 12-minute commute.

Aussie model Elyse Taylor is one of us, as she rides her retro-style bike through the streets of Gotham in her high-waisted jeans.

A DC church is hosting a bicycle blessing next month to try to mend fences between cyclists and churches that fought over bike lanes.

 

International

Turns out pro cycling’s Dr. Dope was caught up in the Panama Papers scandal, hiding over $1 million in offshore accounts.

The Oxford Mail asks if we’re all riding the wrong bike, except for maybe for roadies, closet and otherwise.

The Telegraph asks why British courts show remarkable leniency to drivers who kill bike riders.

A new British study says nearly half of all hit-and-run drivers wouldn’t have fled if they only knew it was illegal. To which I politely respond, bullshit.

Caught on video 2: A pair of Brit thugs wrench a bike from the arms of a 13-year old special needs kid the day before his bar mitzvah.

Caught on video 3: An Edinburgh cyclist posts video of the taxi driver who attacked him last year after they exchanged words following a too-close pass; the driver was fined after pleading guilty to careless driving and assault.

A new photo book captures the agony and the ecstasy of the Tour de France dating back to 1939; one of the photographers involved calls Lance an arrogant prick.

Former heavyweight champ and current mayor of Kiev is now one of us as he rides his folding bike to work, to the ambivalent reactions of his constituents.

Ride your ebike on the sidewalk in Tel Aviv, and face a $70 fine.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build a better bicycling body by eating nothing but pizza every two hours. Not even the Dawgfather can block a planned bike lane whose time has come.

And if you put a statue of Johnny Cash next to a bike trail named for the late singer, tourists will park in your driveway.

No, really.

 

Morning Links: An in-depth look at PCH bike wrecks, helmets make you blow up balloons, and they’re onto us

Let’s take a look at one of Southern California’s most popular riding routes.

And one of the most dangerous.

Ed Ryder* has taken a remarkable look at bicycling collisions on the coast highway, sifting through 12 years of SWITRS data complied by the CHP from 2004 through September, 2015. And by whatever name it’s known as it winds through San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles Counties, whether Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), Highway 1, Route 1, Coast Highway or Route 101.

Although you’d think someone, somewhere, would have the good sense to pick one name and stick with it.

As Ryder is quick to point out, local police agencies report injury collisions to SWITRS on a voluntary basis, which means it’s likely that some collisions don’t get reported, and therefore aren’t included in the database. In addition, data is still coming in from the years 2013-2015.

So all of these stats should be read as “at least;” actual figures may be higher. And the quality of information is only as good as what was included in their report.

Types of collisions involved in Ryder’s study include

  • bike vs. car
  • bike vs. bike
  • bike vs. pedestrian
  • bike vs. fixed/movable object
  • bike vs. animal

PCH-Chart-1

So let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

The most common type of wrecks were

  1. broadside collision, 34%
  2. undefined “other,” 23%
  3. sideswipe, 11%
  4. rear end, 9%
  5. striking an object, 8%,
  6. overturned, 6%
  7. collision with a pedestrian, 3%
  8. not stated, 3%
  9. head-on, 3%

The relatively low ranking of the last one may be due in part to the divided design of the highway in many places. And as he notes, when “other” and “not stated” reflect a combined 26% of the totals, it makes it hard to come up with solutions to prevent them.

PCH-Chart-4

Surprisingly, Malibu isn’t the most dangerous city for cyclists on the highway; even when combined with Los Angeles, they only rank second to Newport Beach, which is far and away the riskiest place to ride a bike on the coast highway. Only one city from San Diego County made the top ten.

  1. Newport Beach, 27%
  2. Long Beach, 16%
  3. Huntington Beach, 15%
  4. Los Angeles, 10%
  5. Malibu, 8%
  6. Encinitas, 7%
  7. Laguna Beach, 5%
  8. Oceanside, 5%
  9. Seal Beach, 4%
  10. Redondo Beach, 3%

PCH-Chart-3

Not surprising, however, is who or what is hitting people on bikes, or vice versa. The only surprise is that trucks rank so low on the list.

  1. Moving cars, 74.6%
  2. Solo crashes, 12%
  3. Other riders, 5.7%
  4. Parked vehicle, 3%
  5. Motorcycles, 1.8%
  6. Pedestrians, 1.8%
  7. Trucks, 0.8%

PCH-Chart-4

The good thing is it seems to be getting a little better out there.

PCH-Chart-5

As you would expect based on the earlier chart, Orange County leads the way in bike-involved collisions on the highway, followed closely by Los Angeles County.

PCH-chat-1a

Where fault was assigned, drivers got most of the blame in OC, and cyclists in LA, which could reflect the long-assumed windshield bias of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. San Diego County found more bike riders at fault, but blame was more evenly distributed than in the other two counties.

PCH-Chart-County

And with just a few exceptions, bicyclists were most likely to get the blame, regardless of the type of collision; only in the case of sideswipes were drivers most likely to be found at fault.

PCH-Chart-6

On the other hand, you’re more likely to be the victim of a hit-and-run in LA County.

PCH-Chart-Hit-And-Run

There’s a lot more information in the report — 30 pages worth, in fact. All of it fascinating.

And all of it should be required reading for city and county officials, and anyone else concerned with improving bike safety on one of Southern California’s most scenic and vital riding routes.

You can download the full report here.

*Ed Ryder describes himself as just another bike rider who would like to help make our transportation infrastructure safer for the variety of people who use it, by providing decision makers quality quantitative information with which informed decisions can be made.

Update: An earlier version of this piece mistakenly relied on a previous draft of Ryder’s report, that has been updated to reflect the latest draft.

………

A new study shows that if you wear a bike helmet, you’re more willing to over-inflate a balloon than if you wear a cycling cap. And somehow, extrapolates that to mean you’ll take more chances riding your bike, too.

Sure, let’s go with that.

………

They’re on to us, comrade.

A writer with a severe case of windshield perspective in convinced bicycle riding is just a series of microaggressions stemming from our hatred automobiles and fossil fuels, and designed to physically obstruct traffic.

Never mind that most cyclists drive cars, as well.

All because bike riders in Minneapolis have called for lowering the speed limit a whole 5 mph in order to improve safety for everyone, including those behind the wheel.

Maybe he’d feel better if he got out of his car a little more.

………

Local

A meeting will be held at 6 pm tonight at Venice High School to discuss LA’s Westside Mobility Plan. Show up to demand the bike lanes we were promised on Westwood Blvd, and other key routes in West LA.

LADOT Bike Blog offers a detour guide to get around the closures on the LA River bike path. If it looks complicated, don’t worry. It is.

The LACBC looks at how much bike and pedestrian funding is needed in a proposed transportation sales tax ballot measure, while Damien Newton talks with active transportation advocate Jessica Meaney about efforts to ensure the tax would be used to create stronger communities and address regional mobility needs.

West Hollywood moves forward with plans for putting bike lanes on Fairfax Ave between Fountain and Willoughby.

Better Bike reports the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills voted to make updating the city’s 1977 Bike Master Plan a priority for this year. The old plan, which was never implemented, called for routing bike riders through alleys in the downtown district.

Bike SGV is hosting a free two hour bike commuting and safety class this Saturday.

 

State

The Cal Health Report says, despite the Governor’s lofty rhetoric about climate change, his new budget focuses almost totally on cars and does virtually nothing to promote active transportation.

Family members remember Sidney Siemensma as someone who practically lived for bicycling, a day after his body was found on an Irvine bike path, the apparent victim of a homicide.

The madness continues in Coronado, where the city’s mayor refuses to do anything to improve safety on a dangerous street in apparent fear of self-multiplying traffic signals.

A Victorville bike shop lost nearly $13,000 of high-end bicycles in a burglary.

A judge rules 61 Santa Rosa homeowners have the right to ban bikes, but not pedestrians, from a pathway through their private development.

As expected, San Francisco’s mayor has vetoed the city’s proposed Idaho stop law; the SF Chronicle says it was the right move. Meanwhile, a state legislator tries to make running red lights more legal for motorists. Evidently, stop means stop only if you’re on a bike.

 

National

Bicycling says badass bike patches are back, and recommends five breeds of trail dogs for your next off-road excursion.

A new mountain bike advocacy group forms to fight for access to federal wilderness areas.

Good news from Colorado, as the USA Pro Challenge will go on as planned this year. Evidently, the Challenge refers to finding funding to support the popular, but money-losing race.

Boulder CO councilmembers demand more safety data before transportation officials install street treatments, only to remove them later.

Now that’s more like it. A bike shop in my hometown applies for a beer and wine license to serve suds to their customers.

People for Bikes says the Missouri proposal to require a 15-foot fluorescent flag on all bikes isn’t as funny as you think. I never thought it was funny, myself; idiotic, perhaps, but not funny.

A New York alternative transportation group says the city isn’t doing enough to stop traffic deaths, and at the current rate, won’t meet it’s Vision Zero goals until at least 2055.

A Baltimore letter writer says a recently painted bike lane won’t keep riders safe as long as it forces riders to switch lanes 15 times in 1.2 miles as it moves back and forth to accommodate parking.

 

International

Victoria BC merchants oppose bike lanes on a key street if it means the loss of parking spaces. Because as we all know, customers never, ever arrive on bicycles, and bike riders never spend money anywhere.

A Quebec coroner calls for side guards on trucks and more bike boxes, as well as making riders aware of the dangers of riding into a truck’s blind spot.

A writer for the Guardian wonders why Rapha is the brand so many riders love to hate. Meanwhile, another writer considers the propriety of wearing Lycra into the office following your commute.

Caught on video: Evidently running out of things to be offended by, the British press is shocked! shocked! when a bike courier goes on a profanity-laced tirade at the cab driver who ran over his bicycle — two months ago. As the owner of another currier service pointed out, while his reaction may have been over the top, the rider had a right to be upset since it could have been him under the van.

The former Governator plans to ride the streets of Edinburgh before attending a $2100 per plate black-tie dinner.

A tech website looks at Norway’s 450-foot long bike elevator.

 

Finally…

Your next bike shorts could tell you when you’re doing it wrong. You’re the reason they’re having trouble developing driverless cars.

And a Burbank burglary suspect kindly puts herself where bike thieves belong.

 

Morning Links: New study says bike injuries increasing, but without context; comedian rants riding through LA

Another study attempts to paint bicycling as a dangerous activity, especially for riders over 45.

The study from UC San Francisco shows that bicycling injuries have nearly doubled over a 15-year period ending in 2013, which they acknowledge coincides with the boom in bicycling.

Looking at it another way, the rate of injuries per 100,000 people has increased 28%, with the biggest increase coming among riders over 45, which jumped to 42% of reported injuries.

On the other hand, the number of people riding bikes has increased dramatically, rising as much as 32% in LA in a recent three year period, and 174% in Minneapolis in just five years, according to stats from People for Bikes.

And much of that increase has come from people over 45, as bicycling has become the new golf, as the press loves to tell us.

So it’s only natural to expect that both the rate and number of bicycling injuries would go up. It’s just as likely that the injury rate among cyclists, rather than the general population, may have gone down or stayed the same.

More troubling is the news that the most serious types of injuries have increased. According to the study, the rate of hospitalization due to bicycling injuries more than doubled, while the proportion of head injuries increased 60% over that period, and torso injuries jumped 21%.

That would imply that more bike riders are getting hit by cars, perhaps due to more people riding in an urban environment, as the author of the study suggests.

Which means the solution is not urging greater caution among older riders, or frightening them off their bikes, but improving safety for all cyclists in our cities.

But until someone takes the extra step of placing bike injuries in context with solid ridership stats, studies like this are interesting, but ultimately, meaningless.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

This one’s worth checking out, as a bike riding comedian Mario Joyner captures his rants on GoPro while riding the streets of LA.

………

Aussie rider Michael Rogers will get the Olympic bronze medal he didn’t win in Athens in 2004, after gold medalist Tyler Hamilton was stripped of his medal for doping three years ago.

………

Local

Who says LA wasn’t a bike city? As this photo shows, they were the perfect way to get to a 1940s cowboy matinee. Looks like bike corrals are nothing new, either.

Bike SGV wants your support to help turn the massive Puente Hills landfill into LA County’s first bike park.

Examined Spoke questions why Milt Olin’s death has never been reported to California’s official SWITRS database. Why, indeed?

Vancouver’s Modacity will present Observations from an Emerging Bicycle Culture in Santa Monica and Echo Park next month.

 

State

The mayors of seven California cities, including LA and Lon Beach, call on the state to act now to fix our crumbling roads and bridges, including the need for comprehensive bike networks. Let’s not forget bad roads pose a greater risk to the safety of bicyclists than they do to motorists.

To no one’s surprise, Coronado’s NIMBYs have succeeded in killing a proposed bike path along the beach. The way residents reacted, you would have thought someone had suggested rerouting the 5 Freeway through their bucolic burgh.

Maybe bike collisions wouldn’t be rising so fast in Hanford if police would stop blaming the victims and focus on the people in the big, dangerous machines.

The LA Times provides more details on the San Francisco U-lock attack, in which a salmon cyclist breaking the rules of Critical Mass whacked a car with his lock after the driver bumped his bike.

A writer for the Sacramento Bee says a beautiful network of bike lanes will mean nothing if people are afraid to park their bikes out of fear of bike thieves. She’s right; LA’s efforts to encourage more people to ride instead of driving will be doomed if their bikes are gone when it’s time to ride back home.

 

National

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey says our bike-riding president has done a lot to aid bicycling, but your voice is needed to ensure further progress. Meanwhile, the Feds tell risk averse traffic engineers to get off their ass and stop using them as an excuse.

Sarah Goodyear explains why we call crashes “accidents” and why we need to stop, while bike lawyer Bob Mionske explains what to do if you’re in one.

People for Bikes says protected bike lanes are seven times more likely to encourage people to ride.

Now that’s more like it. A Portland man apologizes for an ill-advised tweet, and says he doesn’t really believe anyone should run over people on bikes.

The cast of Breaking Away will reunite at Interbike in Las Vegas this month, including Dennis Christopher, Jackie Earle Haley, Paul Dooley and Dennis Quaid. If they can get Robyn Douglass to show up, I’m in.

In Houston, cycling concierges will deliver virtually anything you want directly to your door.

This is so wrong in so many ways. A Boston writer, who has evidently never met a bike rider, says bikes don’t belong on urban roads. Note to Jeff Jacoby: Like most bicyclists, I have a drivers license. And we pay the same taxes you do.

A New York bike website talks with the man riding a bikeshare bike from NYC to LA.

Washington DC will teach all second grade students how to ride a bike, which used to be standard practice for schools around the country. Growing up in Colorado, every kid received bike education in elementary school, ensuring that they all grew up knowing the rules of the road.

A South Carolina website gets it, saying motorists must respect the right of bicyclists to use the road on equal terms, but bike riders should assume most drivers don’t know that.

Alabama’s Tuskegee University has partnered with a local bank to give students a free bikeshare program.

A Birmingham AL grand jury will be convened to investigate the death of a prominent African American businessman killed when the driver of a pickup plowed into three riders with the Black People Run Bike and Swim group; the other two were airlifted to a local hospital. Traffic crimes don’t normally go to a grand jury; so the question is whether the DA is just covering his ass, or if there’s something they’re not telling us.

 

International

A British soccer player is banned from driving and gets a year of community service for DUI after plowing into three cyclists who stopped on the sidewalk to fix a broken chain. Yes, they were on the sidewalk when he hit them.

Famed Italian automotive designer Pininfarina has teamed with DeRosa to produce a lightweight, low-drag carbon racing bike.

Denmark will send its first astronaut into space today. To test bike parts, of course.

Syrian refugees are exploiting a legal loophole by bicycling across the border between Russia and Norway, which bans crossings by foot or car.

A South African website offers a photo essay on bicycling in Eritrea.

New Zealand is considering requiring a 1.5 meter passing distance for bicycles, the equivalent of nearly five feet.

 

Finally…

Now that’s a different looking bike, although it doesn’t look like something an Imperial storm trooper would ride. Your next water bottle could be a bike light; then again, your next foldie could be, too.

And you know you suck as a driver when even a car enthusiast website says you should lose your license for doing a massive burnout after an argument with a cyclist.

 

Morning Links: Good news on Mt. Hollywood Dr; Calabasas driver busted for DUI after injuring two cyclists

Good news regarding Mt. Hollywood Drive at the Griffith Park Advisory Board meeting Thursday night, as reader dangerd explains.

The board motion was passed for currently closed roads to remain closed to private cars as per the vision plan for Griffith Park.

Also Superintendent of Recreation and Parks Operations Joe Salaices stated officially to the board that the Department recommends keeping Mount Hollywood Drive closed also.

They also discussed but did not motion that they would like to find a way to have a shuttle service that would loop around the park on the open roads to places such as the zoo, observatory, Fernwood and Travel Town and possibly out to the local subway stations if they could in order to help mitigate traffic in the park (not on the closed roads). As most of the people visiting are tourists with a majority of them from outside the USA (Europeans, this was found out in the “study” when the road was opened) and as such are used to public transportation so they would be receptive to this kind of service.

Some board members mentioned also trying to guide the tourists to view the sign from the observatory instead of guiding them up the closed roads and trails as the observatory is where there are bathroom facilities etc.

Hopefully the City Council will take their recommendations.

Speaking of the City Council, or ex to be exact, Tom LaBonge stopped by and talked on end about a million of his ideas about the park but did state also that he was in favor of keeping the road closed also.

The Board is definitely headed in the right direction as far as the roads and traffic mitigation is concerned and should be commended for their work to make the park a better place with less traffic.

………

Two cyclists were seriously injured when they were hit by a car on Mulholland Highway in Calabasas Thursday evening. The collision occurred just after 7 pm at the intersection with Old Topanga Canyon Road.

A street view shows bike lanes on Mulholland, with a 45 mph speed limit.

In a report that doesn’t appear to be online as of this writing, KNBC-4 reports that at least one of the victims became trapped under the car, and had to be extricated by emergency personnel.

The driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Update: Chris Willig sends word that the collision may have occurred southwest of Old Topanga Canyon, where there are no bike lanes.

image

………

Romain Bardet soloed to victory in Thursday’s 18th stage of the Tour de France, as Chris Froome continues to cruise in the yellow jersey. Froome admits his rivals’ tactics are pushing him to the limit, even if he doesn’t seem to be breaking a sweat. Then again, maybe he did.

Teejay van Garderen says the hardest part of withdrawing from the Tour was looking his teammates in the eyes. One day after Teejay dropped out, fellow American Andrew Talansky leapt up to 12th; he has two more days in the Alps to make up over 16 minutes. It could happen, right?

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay looks at the seemingly endless rumors of motor doping, which Greg LeMond insists is already happening. Although that doesn’t include getting a tow from a support vehicle, even if Jakob Fuglsang did just get clipped by an official motorcycle.

And Ireland’s Nicholas Roche says pro cycling is cleaner than in Lance’s day. Which isn’t really saying much, is it? Most drug dens are cleaner than cycling used to be.

………

Local

Metro decides that bikeshare interoperability is kind of important after all, but doesn’t commit to actually doing anything about it.

The inconvenience caused by tearing down the current 6th Street Viaduct may be worth it, as the replacement promises to have a protected bike lane.

In what reads like a Greek tragedy, Better Bike says say goodbye to bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd.

That stinky, often ugly flood control basin just off Washington Blvd by the bike path in Marina del Rey will finally get a much needed beautification makeover, including separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians.

The LA Times says you can fend off dementia by exercising, including riding your bike. After all, that same advice worked so well in helping me avoid diabetes, right?

Celebrate the first of LA’s planned Great Streets on the newly bicycle-friendly Reseda Blvd next Thursday.

 

State

San Diego has the nation’s eighth worst roads. Not surprisingly, LA streets are number two — in more ways than one.

BikeSD invites you on a conversationally paced 22-mile ride through San Diego’s Uptown and beach communities on the 1st.

Sometimes, you just can’t win. A Coronado senior citizen complains about bikes on the boardwalk, in the street, at the coffee shop and in the restrooms, as well as on bikeways that haven’t even been built yet.

A popular San Francisco bike route could get traffic circles instead of stop signs to calm motor vehicles without squeezing out bike riders.

 

National

The US Senate begins debate on the new transportation bill, which contains some good news for bike riders. The problem will be getting it past the rabidly anti-bike members of the House.

A new study says police crash report templates should be improved to collect better information from bicycle crashes. Something many of us have been long been advocating.

A writer for Slate says wait a minute, crashes really are accidents if they’re just the result of a momentary lapse in judgment. Sure, let’s go with that. No point in expecting people to actually pay attention in those big, dangerous machines.

An Oregon cyclist is suing the overly courteous driver who waived another motorist through to make a turn, directly into her bike.

A bike-riding Boise four-year old helps save a neighborhood home from fire.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as Michigan bike riders raise enough money to pay for their own four-foot wide bike lane.

New Jersey bicyclists call for a crackdown on double parking in bike lanes. Then again, you could substitute any other state in the Union and write the same story.

Queens NY is giving the Boulevard of Death a bike-friendly makeover.

It’s not always the pedestrians who get hurt in bike collisions; a New York salmon cyclist is critically injured when a man stepped into the street in front of him.

City Lab looks at what it’s really like to haul tourists around DC in a pedicab, while a DC writer says put the damn phone down when you ride.

 

International

I just can’t help being a fan of the Wheelies foldout tricycle mobile coffee bars, and evidently, I’m not alone; their latest version was 90% funded on Indiegogo after just 11 hours.

Caught on video: A Winnipeg cycling instructor gets Jerry Browned* by a honking bus driver passing on the wrong side.

In the last seven years, over half of all London bicycling deaths have involved large trucks; many, if not most, of those victims have been women. Meanwhile, hit-and-run is more than just an LA problem, as over 1000 London cyclists have been injured and two killed by fleeing drivers in just the last year alone.

Forget texting. One in five British drivers take selfies behind the wheel.

An Irish bike rider is fined for crashing his bike into the side of a car driven by his 75-year old parish priest. After all, a man of God couldn’t possibly have cut off the sidewalk-riding cyclist in the fog. Although I’d like to know how someone who’s just 23 could manage to rack up 30 previous traffic convictions.

Munich plans a network of 14 two-way, separated bike autobahns. Wouldn’t that be a radbahn?

 

Finally…

At least she managed to make it all the way across the country before her bike was stolen. If you’re going to bike under the influence, try not to ride into the side of a minivan; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

And if you have to take a dump in the woods while riding your bike, try not to set the forest on fire.

 

*Passed at an unsafe distance, aka being buzzed. Named in honor of the California governor who twice vetoed safe passing legislation before finally signing a weakened three-foot passing law.

 

The Danger in Dog Day Afternoons

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

Bikes Have Rights™
By James L. Pocrass, Esq.
Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP 
 

Recently, at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Open House, JJ Hoffman was telling me a story about her daily encounter with dog a couple of years ago. JJ said every day when she was riding to work she’d meet up with this same woman who was walking her dog unleashed.

Every day the dog took after JJ, which set the woman off who would run yelling behind her dog. It got so bad that JJ had the pepper spray out before she got to the street where she’d meet up with the dog. All that dog wanted, JJ said, was a taste of her calf.

JJ really didn’t want to spray the dog, though spraying the owner was tempting, and, luckily for everybody, JJ never actually had to take action.

Like JJ, I really like dogs. The dogs are doing what their instincts tell them to do: to chase prey. Irresponsible dog owners are another matter. They put the cyclist, the dog, and especially themselves in danger.

Bitten by a Dog

In California, if you are bitten by a dog, the owner is at fault. It doesn’t matter if the dog is leashed or not. It doesn’t matter if the owner knew or didn’t know that the dog had a “vicious nature.” California holds owners to “strict liability.” If you are bitten, the owner is liable for your injuries. There is no “free bite” in California.

Collision with or because of a Dog

When a dog begins chasing a cyclist, most cyclists tend to try to outrun the dog. When that happens, the dog’s brain goes into get-the-fleeing-prey mode, and the race is on.

Whether or not you can really outrun the dog, the real danger is in possibly colliding with the dog or colliding with something else because you lose control of the bike or you hit a pot hole or even getting hit by a motor vehicle when swerving or not being able to stop at a light or an intersection.

If you suffer serious personal injuries or your bike is damaged, again, the dog owner can be held liable. Your bicycle accident attorney should be able to obtain compensation for your injuries.

Compensation for Dog-related Collisions or Bites

The dog owner may be held negligent for:

  • Ineffective control of the dog.
  • Violation of the leash law and other Animal Control Ordinances.
  • Inadequate supervision or management of the dog.
  • Putting the dog in a condition in which the owner could have seen that the dog could cause injury to somebody.

Individual cities also may have their own animal control ordinances. For instance, one city limits the number of dogs that can be walked by one person at a time and a number of cities consider it a misdemeanor if a dog is tied to a parking meter, sign or bus bench without food or water nearby.

Some cities have ordinances specific to a breed. In Santa Monica a pit bull on public property must be muzzled.

The dog owner may be held responsible for compensating you for:

  • Medical bills from doctors, emergency rooms, hospitals, therapists, plastic surgeons, and for prescriptions.
  • Future medical bills to remove scars or to repair disfigurements. If the money for medical care is not recovered at this time, your health insurance might not cover any future medical procedures you need later, calling them “cosmetic.”
  • Time you had to take off from work resulting in lost income.
  • Lost future earnings because of disfigurement or disabilities.
  • Emotional counseling.
  • Pain and suffering.

Of course you can only recover compensation for injuries you suffer and care you actually need.

Hesitations to Holding an Owner Liable

One of the major hesitations a cyclist who is bitten by a dog often has in reporting a dog bite is the fear that the dog will be destroyed. A dog that has no history of biting is rarely “put down.”

The court takes into account the severity of the bite and the number of times it has bitten. It may rule that a dog must be muzzled in public or restrained in a particular way, such as kept behind a certain type of fence of a certain height.

Self-Defense

We all have heard that we have the right to defend ourselves against an attack from another person. What few people realize is that the law says you can defend yourself as much as is necessary to foil the attack. Your defense must be proportionate to the attack, and when the danger is past, so is your right to defend yourself.

This is a common law concept, and there is no explicit statement in common law that this also applies in a dog attack. More and more dog owners are counter-suing for compensation when their dog has been injured either intentionally or through someone else’s negligence.

So if you are going to use self defense, be sure that it is proportionate to the attack and that once the attack is over you stop, similar to how you would defend yourself with a human. That is a legally defensible act, though you could still find yourself in a lawsuit with the dog owner.

Personally, I subscribe to the belief that it’s rare to find a bad dog, but bad owners are much too plentiful.

*Sponsored post

 

Insurance Companies Are Not Your Friend

 

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

Bikes Have Rights™
By James L. Pocrass, Esq.
Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP 
 

Behind the warm and fuzzy jingles, the precocious animal mascots, and the deep-voiced spokespersons, insurance companies are faceless, heartless corporations whose one purpose is to increase premiums and to decrease payouts in order to make the biggest profits possible.

Simply put, THAT is why you need your own lawyer if you have a bike accident.

If insurance companies were “fair,” I’d be out of a job. I am pretty confident that unemployment due to insurance companies deciding to do the “right thing” is not something I have to worry about in my lifetime.

The reality is, after you have had a bike accident and the friendly insurance adjuster calls you, his (or her), goal is to come up with a reason not to pay you. If he can’t outright deny you compensation for your damages, he wants to diminish your case so the company has to pay you as little as possible.

Rest assured, everything you say to that nice insurance adjustor can and will be used against you in a court of law. That is why I – and every other personal injury lawyer – will tell you to refuse to speak to an insurance adjuster or insurance representative. Give the adjustor your lawyer’s name and phone number and hang up.

If you cooperate with the insurance adjuster and you are offered a settlement, it is likely that you are getting 10 cents on the dollar of the value of your case. I was once told by an adjuster that he received a bonus if he could settle a case within 48-hours.

Let me tell you about a case I handled. A client who had a Los Angeles bike accident injured his shoulder. He talked with the kindly insurance adjuster who sympathized and sent him to a doctor (an insurance company sending you to a doctor is a rare occurrence).

SURPRISE! The doctor recommended by the insurance company said my client’s shoulder was fine. The company offered my client $5,000 to settle his case.

My client’s shoulder really hurt. He finally engaged a lawyer (me), and I sent him to a doctor. The doctor I sent him to diagnosed a torn rotator cuff. He underwent surgery. We settled the case for $150,000.

Never forget that insurance companies have more knowledge than you do. They also employ an army of lawyers. They can throw more resources at your case than you even know exist. They have all the power, all the money, and the wherewithal to fight you when you are fighting alone.

You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to level the playing field. I have written here before about how to choose a lawyer, but it bears repeating to say you should look at how or where you got the referral, the lawyer’s experience in your type of case, and the results the lawyer has achieved.

Now go increase your uninsured motorist insurance to the maximum the insurance company will permit, and the next time you see an insurance company commercial, remember, they are not your friend.

*California Vehicle Code 21200: A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle. . .

For more than 25 years, Jim Pocrass has represented people who were seriously injured, or families who lost a loved one in a wrongful death, due to the carelessness or negligence of another. Jim is repeatedly named to Best Lawyers of America and to Southern California Super Lawyers for the outstanding results he consistently achieves for his clients. Having represented hundreds of cyclists during his career, and Jim’s own interest in cycling, have resulted in him becoming a bicycle advocate. He is a board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Jim Pocrass at 310.550.9050 or at info@pocrass.com.

*Sponsored post

 

BOLO for Mission Hills hit-and-run driver who seriously injured bike rider

This morning we linked to a brief item about a bike rider who was seriously injured in a Mission Hills hit-and-run on Sunday.

Now more details have been added to the story.

According to the Daily News, the victim, identified only as a 53-year old North Hollywood resident, was riding west on Devonshire around 9:44 am when he attempted to cross Sepulveda Blvd on the green light. A white car headed north on Sepulveda stopped briefly at the red light before accelerating and crashing into the rider directly in front of him.

The paper reports he rolled onto the hood, smashing into the windshield, before being thrown to the ground when the driver braked before fleeing the scene. He was taken to a nearby hospital with broken bones, but no life threatening injuries.

The story also notes that the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Since he does not appear to have suffered a head injury, the Daily News is apparently under the impression that a bike helmet somehow would have prevented the collision or made a rider impervious to any injury, including broken bones in other parts of the body.

An alert from the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division describes the vehicle as a white four-door Jaguar, no model given, with black rims. The driver is described as Hispanic male with dark hair, around 30–40 years old.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Valley Traffic Division Detectives at 818/644-8020; anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800/222-8477).

Keep your eyes open for a white Jag with front-end damage, especially if you ride in the North San Fernando Valley. Let’s help the LAPD bring this heartless SOB to justice.

Thanks to Richard Risemberg for the heads-up.

And best wishes to the victim for fast and full recovery.

%d bloggers like this: