A male 73-year-old bicyclist who was struck by a car in Laguna Woods on Saturday is in grave condition.
The bicycle accident happened about 5:57 a.m. near the number three lane on Moulton Parkway near Santa Maria Ave. The bicyclist and a 2006 Honda Civic were southbound on the parkway when the collision happened.
According to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the driver stopped and called 911 and rendered aide to the victim until paramedics arrived. The bike rider was transported to Mission Hospital.
Investigators do not believe that driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The Sheriff's Department is asking for the assistance of witnesses.
The accident may have resulted from a passing-from-behind collision: a motorist approaches the bicyclist from behind and hits the bicyclist as the motorist is passing the rider. The driver's insurance company will often attempt to blame the bicyclist for suddenly swerving into the car's path.
Passing-From-Behind Bicycle Accidents – The Law
The California law which pertains to accidents involving a motorist passing a bike rider from behind is California Vehicle Code Section 21760, enacted on September 16, 2014, which states:
21760. (a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Three Feet for Safety Act.
(b) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall pass in compliance with the requirements of this article applicable to overtaking and passing a vehicle, and shall do so at a safe distance that does not interfere with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle, having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle and the bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and the surface and width of the highway.
(c) A driver of a motor vehicle shall not overtake or pass a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator.
(d) If the driver of a motor vehicle is unable to comply with subdivision (c), due to traffic or roadway conditions, the driver shall slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent, and may pass only when doing so would not endanger the safety of the operator of the bicycle, taking into account the size and speed of the motor vehicle and bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and surface and width of the highway.
(e) (1) A violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d) is an infraction punishable by a fine of thirty-five dollars ($35).
(2) If a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicycle causing bodily injury to the operator of the bicycle, and the driver of the motor vehicle is found to be in violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d), a two-hundred-twenty-dollar ($220) fine shall be imposed on that driver.
(f) This section shall become operative on September 16, 2014.
Injured in a Bike Accident? Seek the Advice of an Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or death as the result of a bicycle accident, call McGee, Lerer & Associates for a free consultation.
McGee, Lerer & Associates is a Long Beach personal injury law firm that has represented many Laguna Woods accident victims, including bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers.
Our lawyers understand the particular challenges that apply to an accident claim involving an elderly individual. We know that seniors are more susceptible to injuries and slower to heal. We know that insurance adjusters undervalue the claims of elderly accident victims, focusing on the victims' advanced age and the few number of years the victims have left. Read more about claims involving elderly accident victims here. Read more about retirement community accidents here.
McGee, Lerer & Associates is composed of a husband and wife team of accident lawyers. Daniel McGee and Catherine Lerer have over 40 years of combined experienced handling personal injury claims, with an emphasis on bicycle accidents. We have five office locations to serve our clients: Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena and Santa Monica.
An attorney at our firm is available 24/7 for a free consultation.