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Santa Monica bike paths create risk of injury for pedestrians

Many Los Angeles readers know that during the spring and summer months, the beach and pier in Santa Monica is a great place to spend the afternoon with family or friends. However, as the season continues, school lets out and tourists arrive, making the beach and surrounding areas crowded and difficult to navigate. While this might seem like a mere inconvenience for some, it can be a serious safety hazard for people using the bike and walking paths.

Particularly for tourists who are unfamiliar with local traffic etiquette, a nice stroll by the beach can turn into a serious injury when bikes and pedestrians collide. One such incident took place on the Santa Monica bike paths recently, when a local cyclist says he was taking his normal ride home when suddenly a pedestrian stepped out in front of his bike, too close for him to stop or veer to avoid hitting her. The cyclist told reporters that the woman was knocked unconscious. Authorities said that she survived the impact.

Lifeguards and police officers who work in the area said that these types of accidents happen often, despite extensive signs and safety barriers designed to separate walkers from bikers. While in this instance the pedestrian has been reported to be injured but stable, other accidents can end in a fatality for pedestrians or cyclists.

Everyone has an obligation to exercise a reasonable amount of care on the roads and sidewalks in Los Angeles. Nonetheless, sometimes distracted drivers, bikers, or pedestrians are involved in accidents. In these situations, victims have a right to recovery through relevant insurance policies as well as through civil damages actions in certain cases.

Source: CBS LA, "Santa Monica Bike Paths Present "Turf War" Between Cyclists And Pedestrians," March 25, 2013.

Information about the rights of pedestrians or cyclists who are victims of an accident can be found on our personal injury page.

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