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Fatal Bike Accident Leads To Review Of 3-Foot Law

A recent fatal bike accident has led law makers taking a closer look at bike safety and their recent implementation of the "3-foot-rule." The 3-foot-rule as passed in many states and cities requires motorists to give bicyclists sufficient room when passing a bicyclist. On four lane roads, motorists are required to move into the far left lane to pass, whereas on a two-lane road they are required to give 3 feet of space. The accident occurred in a Mississippi town that had adopted the 3-foot-rule, but the town leader believes greater enforcement of the rule is necessary to prevent future accidents.

Although 20 states currently have a 3-foot-rule, California does not. Recently Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 910 which had as its stated purpose requiring "the driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle in the same direction pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle." In September, the California Assembly passed the bill in a 44-25 vote. SB 910 was co-sponsored by the City of Los Angeles and the California Bike Coalition, and enjoyed significant support by the public, advocacy groups and California injury attorneys who are concerned about bicycle safety. 10 years ago a similar bill was unsuccessfully introduced.

The impetus behind California's 3-foot passing law came after a well-known competitive cyclist was struck from behind and killed by a Bakersfield driver. As noted by a supporter, "Senate Bill 910 is not just about the bicyclist, but about the motorist who kills someone. That's who this bill also protects ...maybe if there had been this law and some education about passing bicyclists, the driver would have approached [the bicyclist] differently."

As a Sacramento bike accident lawyer, I see far too many individuals suffer serious personal injuries as the result of car/bike collisions. Some alarming bike accident statistics include:

• About 100 California bike accident deaths occur each year

• 10-15% of all reported bicycle injuries are brain injuries

• 2/3rds of bicycling death come from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)

• 45-88% of bicyclists' brain injuries could be prevented by wearing a helmet

Although Gov. Brown vetoed the bill in current form, bike safety advocates are hopeful their efforts will improve awareness concerning the very real problems of bicyclists being hit from behind and the danger to cyclists who chose bicycling as a way of transportation as well as for sport and enjoyment.

For more information or if you have been injured in a bike accident, contact the dedicated Sacramento bike accident attorneys at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.

Marin County Head Injury May Lead To Metal Bat Ban

On Wednesday, California lawmakers advanced a bill that would ban the use of metal bats in high school for two years.

This ban comes after a teenager was hospitalized and remains in critical condition with a severe head injury after he was hit by a line drive. Principals from the 10 highschools in the Marin County Athletic League have already banned the use of metal bats at games.

The accident has spurred discussions throughout Marin County, and now the legislature, regarding what is safe for highschool sports. Because metals bats can hit harder than wooden bats, the risk of head and brain injuries is greater. Despite the Marin County ban, the North Coast Section (which governs highschool sports from the Bay Area up the coast) did not pass a ban for their teams - arguing that using wooden bats would put their teams at a competitive disadvantage.

The dialogue surrounding the use of metal bats is similar to many discussions throughout the years pitting sports safety against fun, comfort, convenience and competition. Sporting event safety - both for players and spectators - is often not a concern until a highly publicized event calls people into action.

As an avid sports fan and California personal injury attorney, I believe the time to act on safety measures is before serious accidents occur.