We frequently write about the hazards of distracted driving. One population in particular seems to be suffering as a result of widespread distraction among motorists in Oxnard and Los Angeles. Unlike motorists, truck drivers and even motorcyclists, bicyclists are compelled to ride the same roads and navigate the same hazards without a heavy-duty motorized vehicle to absorb the brunt of an impact.
When bicycle accidents occur as a result of distracted driving, the consequences can be catastrophic. Unfortunately, the executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition recently told Los Angeles Magazine that, "To everyone's peril, it seems that drivers are more distracted now than they have been in years past. I think there is more to distract us. I see an awful lot of people texting or emailing or dialing, at stoplights for sure, but to my horror, also when they're going 70 miles an hour on the freeway."
Distracted drivers place bicyclists in peril every time they engage in distracted behavior anywhere near where bicyclists ride. As neither Oxnard nor the vast majority of other communities in Southern California have yet to fully embrace a cyclist-friendly infrastructure, there are few places where bicyclists can ride safely away from the dangers of distracted drivers.
When bicyclists are harmed by negligent drivers engaged in various distractions, injury attorneys may be able to hold these drivers accountable for the harm they have suffered. However, it is vitally important that community leaders work to help ensure that these kinds of accidents are prevented from occurring in the first place.
Source: Los Angeles Magazine, "Cars and Bikes: Why Can't Everyone Just Get Along?" Sarah Bennett, Aug. 8, 2014