Bicyclist Killed During Tour de Palm Springs

The Mercury News reported on February 13 that a 49-year-old man was killed while participating in the Tour de Palm Springs charity bicycle ride on February 10. According to the Associated Press, the 21-year-old driver faces vehicular manslaughter charges but was released after posting $75,000 bail.

The News reported that a 50-year-old woman was also seriously injured in the crash, but the newspaper could not confirm the claims of an Orange County bicycling advocate that a third cyclist also suffered serious injuries. According to the News, the driver was reportedly traveling 100 mph in a 55 mph zone when he lost control of his 2006 Ford Five Hundred.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported on February 12 that the 21-year-old offender was driving on a suspended license. California Department of Motor Vehicles records showed the driver’s license had been suspended since December 4 for being a negligent vehicle operator as well as failures to appear, according to the Press-Enterprise.

Tour de Palm Springs is a charity bike ride of various lengths in the Coachella Valley. According to the AP, the 49-year-old man killed in the February 10 crash was participating in the 100-mile ride event.

It is an unfortunate truth that many bicycle accidents in California are the result of some kind of motorist negligence. Even though drivers are expected to share the road with bikes and respect their presence, inattentive or simply impatient drivers frequently cause devastating accidents.

Bicyclists are not afforded the same level of protection inherent to automobiles, so the nature of the injuries they suffer is often quite severe. Depending on the number of vehicles involved, how far a bicyclist is thrown from his or her bike, and whether a cyclist strikes any other objects, people may sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, or possibly fatal injuries.

Even when they are fortunate enough to survive these crashes, it can take several months or years—possibly even a lifetime—to recover from bicycle accident injuries. In some cases, victims not only may be unable to maintain any regular employment, but they can also require very costly full-time assistance with a variety of everyday tasks.

If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident anywhere in California, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Gary C. Brustin right now to take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultation that will allow our experienced personal injury attorney to provide a complete evaluation of your case. Contact us today.

What to Do if the Driver That Hit You Doesn’t Have Insurance?

We don’t get to choose who we get into an accident with. If it were up to any cyclist, they would not get into an accident in the first place, but it happens. When it does, because of the very nature of both motor vehicles and bicycles, when they do get into an accident with each other, the damage to the cyclist and their bicycle is often extensive. Even minor accidents are likely to mean a very costly bicycle repair. Typically, when involved in an accident that is not our fault, cyclists rely on the driver’s insurance to cover the damages, but what if that driver has no insurance?

While there are less uninsured drivers on the road than ever thanks to the law that states drivers must have the minimum coverage, there is still a percentage that driver without insurance anyway. While you may think this makes you out of luck for coverage, if you also have auto insurance coverage yourself, you may still have options. The uninsured driver coverage in your policy will cover your damages if the other driver doesn’t have insurance. However, this is only true if the accident was the driver’s fault.

If you do not have auto insurance because you solely ride your bicycle, if the driver does not have insurance, you maintain the right to sue them from your damages. Often courts will lean much more in your favor and the driver will likely face additional punishment for not following the law.

While it is less likely you will get in an accident with an uninsured driver, there is still a large chance you will get into an accident. In this situation, you will want an advocate in your corner to make sure you get the compensation that you deserve. If you are a cyclist and have been in an accident, contact us today.

Michigan Considers Adding Bicycle Safety to Driver’s Education Curriculum

Any cyclist knows that the biggest danger on the road is other drivers. It is not even because motorists are acting somehow malicious to cyclists either. Most of the time, accidents involving cyclists are caused purely because a motorist doesn’t know how to share the road. However, Michigan lawmakers are considering forcing the next generation of drivers to learn by adding bicycle safety to their driver’s education curriculum.

The House Committee on Transportation moved this bill to the Michigan House floor. In it, the bill states that driver’s education curriculum would now include at least one hour of instruction on the laws and safety revolving around bicycles, motorcycles, pedestrians, and anything else classified as vulnerable roadway users. As there are already pieces of curriculum for pedestrians and motorcycles, this will be more centered on bicycle safety than anything else.

Co-sponsors and supporters of this bull state that motorists are often confused by the number of different bicycle pathways that are appearing in many Michigan communities. This is especially true when it comes to bicycle pathways that are installed between roads and parking areas. Some drivers may know that they are not allowed into bicycle lanes, but then they don’t know how to park without just zipping through them.

Hopefully, the bill, which is now being voted on, passes and goes into law. While it won’t do anything for many of the drivers on the road today, it does paint a potentially safer future for cyclists as more teens take to the road with full knowledge of how to share the road with bicycles.

Unfortunately, until everyone becomes educated on how to share the road with bicycles, accidents will still happen. If you have been in a cycling accident with a motorist, you need someone who is in your corner. Contact us so the Law Office of Gary Brustin can make sure you get the compensation that your injuries deserve.

The Newest Innovation is in the Bicycle Spokes

Over the years we have seen lighter frames, sturdier wheels, and a number of seat designs. However, throughout all that, the spokes of the average bicycle have pretty much stayed the same. However, one Minnesota-based bicycle company aims to change that with new bicycle spokes made of fabric.

While the spokes at Berd (think Bike + Nerd) are a little more complicated than fabric, the high molecular weight polyethylene spokes, dubbed PolyLight, are an innovation without a doubt. These newly designed spokes are not only stronger than their traditional steel counterparts but are only a fraction of the weight.

The PolyLight material is no stranger to use in sporting goods. Due to its lightweight, resistance to abrasion, impact, and UV damage, they have been used in everything from backpacks to sailboat rigging. Now they will replace steel in using tension to support the wheel instead of being weight supporting pillars like steel.

While these spokes will create an even lighter bicycle, something to marvel considering how light bikes get now, they do come at a price. Unfortunately, that price is, well, the actual price. Traditional steel spokes run at about $4 per spoke, but these new PolyLight spokes run at twice the price at $8 per spoke. This means if you wanted to run out and replace them right now, it will cost a fair bit. However, the benefit is because they support tension instead of weight, the PolyLight spokes will actually likely last you longer.

While upgrading your bicycle is part of the fun of being a frequent bicycle rider, getting into accidents is what makes it not so much fun. If you have been in an accident and need an advocate who is on your side so you can recover damages for your bicycle and your medical bills, contact us today. Let the Law Office of Gary Brustin help you.