Bicycle-Pedestrian Accidents in Los Angeles
When we think of pedestrian injuries or even deaths, we almost always think of vehicles careening into people, but the fact is, bicyclists can cause just as much harm.
For example, a woman suffered severe head trauma when a bicyclist hit her from behind while she was walking on the Los Angeles River path. In another bicycle-pedestrian accident, a cyclist hit and killed the wife of a CBS executive. That very same article notes another pedestrian fatality in Central Park because of a speeding cyclist.
In California, the DMV defines a pedestrian as anyone on foot or other conveyance, such as a skateboard or roller-skates, and excludes a bicycle. In other words, in the eyes of California law, a bicycle is a “vehicle” and therefore its rider must follow the rules of the road, including the duty to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. (See Vehicle Code section 21200 et al.)
The best way to handle bicycle-pedestrian accidents is through prevention. Some things bicyclists and pedestrians can do to avoid what can be serious collisions are:
- Bicyclists should obey all traffic signs and rules of the road, including stop signs, traffic signals, and yielding to pedestrians
- Bicyclists should anticipate pedestrian movement and be constantly scanning ahead
- Bicyclists should never use their cell phones or use headphones, which can mute warnings from pedestrians or other vehicles
- Bicyclists should wear bright colors
- Pedestrians must take care to look for hard-to-see bicyclists
- Pedestrians should walk with their heads up and avoid distractions like texting
- Pedestrians should use caution when sharing a path (like the LA River path) with bicyclists
Please take the extra time and care when out and about so both pedestrians and bicyclists can remain injury free and safe. If the unthinkable happens, however, and you or a loved one has been injured, you need a powerhouse law firm with aggressive Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers as well as pedestrian accident lawyers here in Los Angeles to fight for your justice.