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Bicyclist killed in California accident

There is an old saying that compares easy, hard-to-forget actions as being just "like riding a bike." But the truth is that riding a bike in California may not be as simple as people think. This is because bicyclists, often through no fault of their own, are in serious danger of getting injured or killed in an accident. 

Bicycle accidents are unfortunately common in California. Even when a rider is obeying traffic signals, staying alert and sharing the road responsibly with motor vehicles, he or she is still in a very vulnerable position. Bikers are smaller than vehicles and have less protection from a collision, which means that if and when they are hit by a car, bicyclists often suffer catastrophic injuries. All it takes is one negligent or reckless driver to put a biker's life in danger.

Recently, a bicyclist was killed in a devastating crash. The 39-year-old rider was on his way home from work when he was struck from behind by a GMC vehicle. The biker and the car that struck him were both heading the same way on the same road, but the motorist failed to see the biker until right before her vehicle struck the man's bicycle. The biker was then hit a second time by another motorist who was trying to avoid hitting the GMC that had stopped.

The reason that the woman did not see the motorist until it was too late has not been reported. But in similar crashes, authorities determine that a motorist was distracted behind the wheel and not focused on the road. Whether that was the case here or not remains to be seen.

Riding a bike may be easy, but riding a bike while staying safe on California roads that are populated with reckless, negligent drivers can seem almost impossible. And while bicycle accidents often happen in the blink of an eye, the ramifications of that crash can linger on long after an accident scene has been cleared. In the event of a bike accident, riders and their families should remember that they have the right to take legal action against the person or people responsible for the crash. 

Source: Patterson Irrigator, "Bicyclist killed in fatal collision," Feb. 4, 2014

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