Door Zone Bike Lanes

Not all bike lanes are good bike lanes.

Many bike lanes are just squeezed in on roads and in the gutter or door zones of parked vehicles.

Often, this only makes it more challenging to ride a bike because car drivers get incensed that the ungrateful bicycle riders are riding in a lane and not using the space designated to them.

Like Sharrows, not all bike lanes are improvements to roads for bicycle rider safety.

The intersection pictured above is a road on the border between Del Mar and Solana Beach and it made a recent list of the 50 worst roads in San Diego County. It seems to be even worse than reported as accidents are reported at this intersection for both Del Mar and Solana Beach, but not combined. The intersection is Highway 101 and Via De La Valle – when going South from Solana Beach. If one is traveling North from Del Mar, the intersection is Camino Del Mar and Via De La Valle. It is no wonder that this made the list of most dangerous roads in San Diego County, and we wonder if this intersection is even more dangerous than the data suggests.

The road and intersection are the border of fDel Mar and Solana Beach in san Diego County
This intersection in Solana Beach made a list of the 50 most dangerous roads for bicyclists in San Diego County. It might even be worse if the exact location of accidents was better known as we identified the same intersection reported both from Del Mar and from Solana Beach.

Motorcyclist Safety & Insurance Coverage

In a collision involving a motorcyclist and an automobile, the motorcycle rider bears a much greater risk of severe injuries or death.

On June 15, 2018, in the early hours of the morning, a motorcyclist collided with a car driven by a young driver in downtown San Diego. On June 22, 2018, a week after the accident, the motorcyclist died from the injuries he sustained in the collision. After he was hospitalized, his family turned to GoFundMe to help raise money to pay for some of the medical expenses.

This family’s situation presents a common concern and big problem for motorcyclists and their families who are injured or killed in motorcycle vs. car accidents. Who is going to pay the medical bills?

Every motorcycle rider should protect himself by purchasing at least $100,000 of UM/UIM insurance coverage. Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) auto insurance coverage is a must buy for any Motorcyclist. UM/UIM pays the motorcycle rider for his medical expenses, lost wages and general damages, if the other driver of the truck or car that hit him has NO INSURANCE or LOW LIMITS.

According to a 2017 study, the Insurance Research Council calculated about 1 out of every 8 drivers in the United States is currently uninsured. Even if the other driver is insured in California, the law only requires liability policy limits of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per incident. This minimum insurance WILL NOT BE ENOUGH to cover a motorcyclist’s injuries in an Auto vs. Motorcycle accident.

By state law, insurance companies are required to offer UM/UIM coverage. Do not sign a WAVIER of UM/UIM. Your insurance company is required to include this type of coverage in its policy, and we recommend you increase UIM/UM coverage to at least $100,000 but preferably $300,000, because most motorcycle accidents will result in damages in excess of $100,000.
Underinsured Motorist coverage can help cover costs by paying the difference when the other driver’s insurance is not sufficient to cover the costs of your injuries. For example, if the at-fault auto driver’s insurance policy limits are $15,000 and the motorcyclist has UM/UIM limits of $100,000, the motorcyclist can get up to $85,000 in additional monies from his own insurance company to cover his expenses and general damages.

Motorcyclists almost always suffer serious injuries in collisions with automobiles or trucks so they need sufficient UM/UIM coverage. The Goetz Law Firm can answer UM/UIM coverage questions at 858-481-8844. Talk to an Attorney now. We are here to help you.

Fatal Motorcycle Accidents and Claims against Government Entities

On June 24, 2018, three motorcycle accidents occurred in the span of three hours, resulting in two injured riders and one fatality.

At 11:30 a.m. a man was fatally injured in Encinitas when his motorcycle collided with a San Diego County Sheriff’s patrol vehicle. The motorcyclist was heading northbound when the southbound deputy made a left turn in front of him and a collision occurred. It is not clear which driver was at fault or possibly it is a comparative negligence situation but the family may be looking to make a claim against the San Diego Sheriff’s Department or the City of Encinitas. It is important to know that a claim against a governmental entity MUST be filed within 6 MONTHS of the date of the incident/injury.

See California Government Code Section 911.2(a) which states:

A claim relating to a cause of action for death or for injury to person or to personal property or growing crops shall be presented . . . not later than six months after the accrual of the cause of action.

Dealing with the motorcycle accident injuries or death can be stressful, complicated and discouraging, but we are here to guide you through the process and give you the help you deserve. Call the Goetz Law Firm at 481-8844.

Oceanside Motorcycle Accident Law

According to Oceanside police, a motorcyclist was killed in an accident on Sunday, July 1, 2018.

The man was traveling eastbound on Oceanside Boulevard prior to the collision. A Chevrolet truck that was heading in the opposite direction made a left turn in front of the motorcycle rider. The motorcyclist collided with the westbound truck and died before he could be taken to the hospital. The crash remains under investigation, and it is not clear if one of the drivers was at fault or if both were at fault. But the family of the motorcyclist may be looking to make a claim.

Motorcycles do not have the same protections the metal frame and glass windows of a car have to offer. For these reasons, it is important to drive more carefully, slow down and be on high alert for oncoming vehicles and cars coming out of driveways and around corners. Motorcycle accidents, whether or not it involves another automobile, can result in serious injuries or even death. Dealing with the trauma and stress caused by a motorcycle accident can be confusing, difficult, and intimidating, but we can help and give you the answers you need. Call the Goetz Law Firm today and speak to an Attorney at 858-481-8844.

Bicycle Helmet Testing – IIHS & VA Tech

It’s about time that bicycle helmets got more rigorously tested, say, like motorcycle helmets have for years.

Bike helmets in the U.S. are required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to pass a series of tests in which helmets are struck against an anvil at a set speed. The only requirement is that the helmets prevent head impact accelerations over 300 g, a level associated with skull fracture or severe brain injury. There is no requirement for helmets to limit concussion-level forces, which are more common among bicyclists in crashes.

A few take aways: more expensive isn’t better, more coverage isn’t better.

Perhaps surprisingly to some, the “urban” style helmets that look like they cover more of the head appear to provide less protection than the sleeker road helmets, the Virginia Tech team said.

The researchers found that bicycle helmets offered different types of protection. Not all bicycle helmets protected well against concussion. Bicycle helmets also may not protect adequately for the way cyclists often hit the ground at an angle. With cyclist fatalities up 20% in the last ten years, improving and formally testing bicycle helmets is a huge step forward.

Urban-style helmets — which have nearly solid covers with few vents — and those that haven’t adopted the latest anti-concussion technology were more than twice as likely to result in injuries, researchers from Virginia Tech and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found in a study released Tuesday.

San Diego Vision Zero Portal

**Update July 9, 2018
While it is really great we finally have our own Vision Zero San Diego website and portal, unfortunately the data posted on launch was very misleading and greatly understated the actual fatalities in 2016 which were actually about twice as many. Mistakes like this won’t help use data to identify the main dangerous streets and improve our roads with a priority of focusing on where most people are getting hurt and killed.

According to KPBS,

The city’s webpage, which was launched in May, states there were 33 traffic deaths in 2016 and 21 deaths in 2017. Police data show the number in 2016 was actually 64 — more than twice what the webpage states — and that 2017 actually saw 35 traffic deaths.

Another section of the webpage includes three public service announcement videos produced by the city, each one stating there had been 37 traffic deaths in 2017.

To add emphasis to how dangerous our roads are, and why we need the Vision Zero data to prioritize fixing our streets, another KPBS story published June 23, 2017, “In San Diego, Cars Are Deadlier Than Guns

In pure numbers, more people die from car crashes in San Diego than are murdered. The city’s police department counted 260 traffic deaths on city streets from 2012 to 2016, and 206 murders over the same time period. Adding in the number of people who die on San Diego freeways, which are governed by Caltrans, there were more than twice as many traffic deaths as there were murders.

Pedestrian deaths highest level in 28 years

The latest traffic crash data is being crunched and the trends are not good. Hit and Run incidents are steadily increasing, bicyclists and pedestrians are especially vulnerable to this problem. The IIHS has recently released another study as reported in the Washington Post, Pedestrian deaths soar 46 percent, insurance group finds.

Nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2016, up 46 percent from 2009, when such deaths were at a low point, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) said in a report issued Tuesday. That’s the most pedestrian deaths since 1990, and at a much faster rate than for overall traffic fatalities, which rose 11 percent over the same period.

San Diego has an ambitious Vision Zero plan to reduce all traffic related fatalities by improving design infrastructure for all users.

Chilling Report on Hit and Run Epidemic

The Washington Post had a disturbing article on the steadily increasing hit and run incidents since 2009, “Cyclists say chilling report on hit-and-run crashes points up need to redesign streets for safety.”

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said in a report this week fatal hit-and-run crashes have reached the highest point on record in 2016, having increased by more than 7 percent every year since 2009. Nearly 65 percent of the victims are bicyclists and pedestrians.

Auto insurance uninsured driver / under insured (UIM / UM) coverage can help you and even your passengers with a hit and run unidentified vehicle. In addition, your auto insurance protects you even when you are a pedestrian, or riding a bicycle.

In California, your insurance company is required by law to include uninsured motorist coverage as part of every automobile policy written, unless you specifically decline it, in writing. Coverage is usually designated on the face page of your automobile insurance policy by the letter or letters “U” or “UM”.

Some insurance companies try to talk motorcycle owners into waiving UM and UIM coverage. Do not let this happen. Never waive UM or UIM coverage.