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AMGEN Tour of California and Bicycle Safety

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Photo Courtesy of SacTown Magazine

Photo Courtesy of SacTown Magazine

The AMGEN Tour of California

The 2015 AMGEN Tour of California kicked off in Sacramento on May 10th.  Host to Stage 1 of this year’s race, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said, “There is no better way to start the race’s route through California’s iconic landmarks, attractions and scenery than in the state’s capital city.”  This is the 10th year of this professional cycling race that typically covers 650 – 700 miles throughout our beautiful state.

Bicycle Safety

May is Bike Safety month.  The Sacramento Valley is already considered one of America’s premier recreational biking areas with our very own Davis, California boasting the highest percentage of residents biking to work in the country, according to a May 12, 2015 Time magazine article.  Additionally, Davis is home to the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame.

With such a bustling bicycling environment, both bicyclists and motorists must respect each other and stay alert to avoid accidents.  Some important safety tips for bicyclists are to always cross at intersections, ride on the right-hand side of the street and never against traffic, use designated bike lanes whenever possible, and ride single file when riding with friends.  Additionally, be sure to wear a quality helmet.  Every year, more than 700 people are killed in bicycle accidents, most of which result from a traumatic brain injury.  Motorists can help by simply staying alert, avoid texting or using your cell phone while driving, and follow the new 3-feet passing law that went into effect in 2014 requiring motorists to give bicyclists 3-feet of space when passing.

Sacramento Bicycle Accidents

California leads the nation in cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles, with Florida being a not too distant second, according to a 2014 report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association.  Surely, this comes as no surprise with our large populations and beautiful year-round weather.  According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, Sacramento County alone had 646 bicyclists killed or injured in 2012 from traffic collisions, with 180 of those collisions occurring within the Sacramento city limits.

Fault and Liability Issues

If a motorist is determined to be at fault in a bicycle accident, he or she can be held liable for the victim’s injuries or death.  In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages.  These can include medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship.

An experienced Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer can also help determine whether a collision was caused by a dangerous roadway condition.  If that is the case, the city or government agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable.  A claim of this type against a public agency, however, must be filed within six months of the incident.

For more information, please visit the AMGEN Tour of California and Biking Safety.

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