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May 6, 2011

Children and Adults at High Risk of Summer Bicycle Accidents in Modesto

Modesto bicycle accidents can cause severe and sometimes fatal injuries, especially to children who ride bikes for pleasure.
Motorists should always watch for bicyclists because they are sometimes difficult to see and may appear out of nowhere.

Personal injury lawyers in Stockton and elsewhere in the state know that bicyclists have the same rights to the roadways as motorists but also are held to the same rules as other vehicles. Children may not always know the rules of the road which puts them at higher risk than other cyclists.
The Modesto Bee recently reported about a 12 year-old girl who may not have known she needed to stop for a red light at an intersection before crossing. The young girl remains in critical condition at a Bay Area hospital after being struck by a pickup truck while crossing over Briggsmore Avenue. The girl was thrown from her bicycle at impact and was found lying unconscious in the street. Two nurses who were passing by at the time revived her. She was transferred to the Bay Area hospital where her condition was described as "grave."
Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute reports that 74 of the 630 bicyclists killed nationally in 2009 were ages 14 and younger. This equates to almost 12 percent of bicycle fatalities are children. There were 93 bicyclists killed age 15 and under in 2008 and another 13,000 injured in bicycle accidents. Children often suffer severe head trauma or internal injuries when struck by a car or truck due to the size and speed of the vehicle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that California had 99 bicyclist fatalities in 2009 which is approximately 3 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state for that year. California was ranked second in the country for cyclist fatalities; only 8 fewer than Florida reported. The state had more than double the fatalities of the next highest state at 48 reported cyclists' deaths.

California Department of Motor Vehicles offers the following rules that bicyclists of all ages should follow:

-When making turns, cyclists must follow same rules and use same lanes as motorists do.

-Never go against the flow of traffic.

-Riders must always signal your intentions to anyone around you.

-Bicyclists are legally permitted to ride in the center of a lane when traveling at an equivalent speed as the flow of traffic.

-Obey all stop signs, traffic lights and road markings.

-Never ride on the sidewalk but bicyclists are permitted to ride as close to the curb as possible.

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