Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley are relatively bike-friendly communities. Replete with bike trails, pro-cyclists traffic laws, and experienced bike accident attorneys who can and do successfully represent bike accident victims in lawsuits against angry or distracted drivers, cyclists in the San Fernando are generally protected. What happens, however, when bike trails are not available and bicyclists and motorists are required to share the same road?
As nice as it feels to have the wind blowing in your face, as a cyclist, you are at greater risk of injury in an accident than a motorist. Motorists are protected by seat belts, airbags, and surrounded by steel; cyclists may be wearing a helmet for protection. While not every cyclist in California is currently required to wear a helmet, a bill was recently introduced to make California the first state requiring adult bicyclists to wear helmets. According to some biking advocates who oppose the bill, they are worried that by requiring bicyclists to wear helmets, the state would discourage people from becoming bike commuters. According to the group, the California Bicycle Coalition, “evidence shows that mandatory helmet laws make the streets less safe for people on bicycles — and for everyone — by discouraging bicycling … And we know that having more bicyclists and pedestrians on the streets makes them safer for everyone.”