WELCOME

Advocating for Cyclist Safety

WELCOME

The goal of this website is to have resources for all cyclists – whether commuters, competitors, or casual riders – available in one place. From my own experience with a crash, and hearing from many others in the cycling community who have reached out for advice in similar situations, I envisioned a website that would help to answer questions about bike safety, provide resources to those who have been in traffic collisions, and increase awareness.

I was on the UCLA Triathlon Team for four years. However, I was not hit when I was training and hustling up the Pacific Coast Highway with my teammates. I was hit when commuting home from work on a Sunday afternoon in broad daylight. While stopped at an intersection, I was hit from behind by a negligent driver. An ambulance and four police cars arrived at the scene yet no police report (while promised) was written. The driver refused to acknowledge that they had hit me and their insurance company sued me for car damage claiming I backed into the car.

The hardest part though, was my inability to find a lawyer to represent me for months. When my story was shared online, many claimed it as false – that it was impossible that no lawyer would want to take my case. However, to represent a non-insured cyclist involved in liability disputes without a police report nor earth-shattering medical expenses ($10,000) due to injuries sustained from the crash, the lawyers to whom I spoke were just not interested because it was just not worth the fight.

At every turn in the series of unfortunate events, I kept kicking myself for not knowing what to do at the scene of the crash. I am not one to exaggerate my injuries, with my adrenaline rush I felt nothing, and in the state of shock I just wanted to go home instead of get taken to the hospital via ambulance. Four hours later I was in absolute agony and the next day my UCLA doctor revealed I had a concussion and permanent glute damage. Strike 1. At the scene, I should have grabbed witnesses and taken down names. The driver had admitted to the paramedic who was tending to my lacerations in the ambulance that they had hit me at 20-30 mph from behind. Strike 2. My bike was underneath the back wheel of the car when the police arrived. A quick photo would have shut down the driver’s claim that I had backed into her car. Strike 3. The list went on and on…

My hope is to save any future cyclists the two years of fighting lawsuits that had drained me not only physically but most of all psychologically. If I had been aware of all the things I try to cover here with the help of other online resources and insight from teammates and other fellow cyclists, my outcome and experience may have been very different.

Nako Nakatsuka, UCLA Triathlon 2013-2017

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