Yesterday, a member of our cycling community was taken too early. A female, age 70, was riding her bike in Irvine near the intersection of Portola Parkway and 261 toll road. The identity of the rider has not been released, however, it still is painful to hear that one of our own, while enjoying a beautiful day out and doing what she loved, was killed. The person who struck and killed this cyclist was driving a gray Mercedes Benz ML 350. According to the police, the driver remained at the scene of the accident and was not under the influence. Our hearts go out to the woman’s family and friends.
Because we are so close with many of you, we want to take this time to reiterate some very important safety tips to follow so that we all can make it home safely to our loved ones.
- Avoid riding by yourself on the streets! We cannot stress this enough. When you ride by yourself on the street, you are not as visible and the odds of you getting hit increases.
We understand that there are times where group rides are not possible or desirable. Under those circumstances, where a cyclist is riding solo, we recommend doing the following:
- Ride at least 3 feet to the right of the bike lane line, when possible. Be proactive with regard to the three-foot rule; do not rely on motorists to take it upon themselves to follow this rule. In a lot of cases, where our clients were struck while riding in the bike lane, the collision occurred 2 feet or less into the bike lane. All it takes is someone not paying attention to the road for a split second for a collision to occur.
- Lastly, have the proper insurance coverages in place. The possibility of being struck, while cycling on the streets, is something that all road cyclists must face. Therefore, it would be prudent for cyclists to financially protect themselves by having adequate insurance coverages. Below are some of the insurance coverages that cyclists should look into:
- Uninsured (“UM”)/Underinsured Motorist (“UIM”) Bodily Injury- If a motorist collides into you, and the motorist did not have any liability insurance coverage or insufficient liability insurance coverage, the UM/UIM coverages may supplement any deficits the defendant’s policy may have. This may be purchased as part of your automobile insurance coverage or umbrella policy. You should contact your insurance agent to inquire about this coverage. If you are a cyclist, do not leave anything to chance…make sure that you are sufficiently covered.
- Disability Insurance- In the event that you were injured in a cycling accident and unable to go back to work, the State and/or your employer may pay you disability benefits for the period in which you were medically released from work.
- Life Insurance- Unfortunately, death is an obvious risk that we take on when we ride our bikes on the streets. Term life insurance is an economical way to make sure that your family is financially protected in the event that disaster strikes.
It is painful to write these words, but we feel it is our obligation to the cycling community to ensure that valuable information is provided to help promote bike safety and the benefits of having sufficient insurance coverages.
Your friends at Bike Legal
(Photo by: Joe Orman)