A San Jose driver in a pickup truck reportedly ran a red light on Tuesday morning when he hit a bicyclist who died on the scene.

San Jose Motorist Runs Red Light, Strikes and Kills BicyclistA man driving a red pickup truck was driving west on East Capitol Expressway when he ran a red light at the Senter Road intersection. When he ran the red light, he struck a bicyclist who was heading northbound on Senter Road. 

Police reported that the bicyclist was a man and that he died on the scene. They also reported that the truck driver attempted to flee the scene after hitting the bicyclist, and in doing so also hit another vehicle. The driver was caught and arrested. 

This crash was the seventeenth roadway-related crash in San Jose so far this year, and the third that involved the death of a bicyclist. 

No other details have been released yet, though the collision is under investigation. 

Increase in Bicyclist Deaths in Road Collisions in the US

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the number of preventable deaths in bicycle transportation incidents increased 37 percent between 2012 (900 deaths) to 2021 (1,230 deaths). Data collected shows that of the 1,230 bicyclist deaths that occurred in 2021, 853 died due to motor-vehicle-involved crashes. 

The increase in fatalities highlights the inherent risks cyclists face when navigating the roads. While bicyclists in California are not required by law to wear helmets, they are encouraged to do so. However, wearing a helmet will not prevent death in every situation. When involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, bicyclists are at a severe disadvantage due to the difference in size, weight, and overall protection. 

Drivers in vehicles are surrounded by a large, heavy metal frame, while bicyclists have little to no protection other than their clothing and a helmet. This can cause them to suffer serious, if not fatal injuries when struck by a motor vehicle. 

Common Causes of Collisions Involving Bicycles

Common causes of collisions involving bicycles often revolve around a lack of awareness and infrastructure tailored for cyclists. Primary causes may include:

  • Failure of motorists to yield to cyclists
  • Inadequate bike lanes
  • Poor visibility
  • Reckless driving
  • Disregarding traffic signals
  • And more

Safety Tips To Avoid Bicycle vs Motor Vehicle Collisions 

Both drivers and cyclists can take certain steps to help increase safety for cyclists on the roads and avoid fatal accidents. A few things that can be done to help keep cyclists safe include:

  • Wearing a helmet – helmets can help to protect cyclists’ heads and brain and reduce the severity of head trauma in the event of an accident
  • Wear reflective clothing – cyclist should wear reflective clothing to help increase their visibility so that drivers can see them
  • Obey traffic laws – both cyclists and drivers should adhere to traffic signals, signs, and lane markings 
  • Give space – drivers should give cyclists ample space when passing and maintain a safe distance to prevent collisions or accidents caused by sudden maneuvers
  • Be aware of and check blind spots – cyclists should avoid riding in the blind posts of vehicles and drivers should thoroughly check their blind spots before changing lanes or pulling out 

“Our hearts go out to the family who lost their loved one today in San Jose.” says attorney Brett Schreiber of Singleton Schreiber, “ As a personal injury attorney, I’ve seen many times the devastating impact a collision with a vehicle can have on a cyclist and their families. It is important that the victim’s family, and others in a similar situation, know they may have legal recourse and they contact a personal injury lawyer to learn more about their options.”

If you have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, contact Singleton Schreiber by email at info@singletonschreiber.com to learn more about your options.