Last month in San Diego a bicyclist heading westbound on Broadway allegedly ran a red light at the intersection of Broadway and 16th street before being slammed into by a Toyota SUV heading northbound. The bike accident resulted in major injuries for the cyclist, who suffered a fractured spine and various other injuries. Despite suffering severe broken bones and being knocked unconscious, the man's injuries were not considered life-threatening.
The main factor in the crash seems to be that the cyclist ran a red light before being broadsided by oncoming traffic. The accident occurred around 8:30 in the evening, a time when daylight is long gone and cyclists may not be as readily visible to other people on the road. Moreover, police say alcohol was not a factor in the accident, and have not filed any charges against either the driver or the cyclist.
Obviously a person on a bike stands no chance against a several-ton SUV, which is just one reason cyclists need to exercise extreme caution and always be on the defensive when riding on public streets. The 25-year-old cyclist in this instance apparently did quite the opposite, and paid the price.
Cyclists should always obey the rules of the road, both for their own safety and the safety of others, and should know that they assume all liability for the consequences when they break traffic laws.
There are many safe and responsible cyclists who are injured in collisions every day by no fault of their own, and these people may be entitled to damages and payment of medical bills when another driver is at fault.
Source: Fox 5 San Diego "Cyclist hit by SUV after running red light," Dec. 17, 2012