Category Archives:Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle Do's and Don'ts

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Riding a bicycle can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get engaged in physical activity. However, if you allow yourself to develop unsafe habits, you may end up getting injured. By following the safety guidelines outlined below, you’ll be able to better protect yourself against the hazards that all bicyclists face on the road.

The Do’s of Bicycle Safety

  1. Wear Protective Gear – The most important rule for staying safe is to wear all of your protective equipment. This includes a properly fitted helmet, as well as knee and elbow pads. Wearing a helmet can lower your risk of developing a head injury, including traumatic brain injuries, by up to 85%. Always examine your helmet before riding to ensure there are no cracks in the exterior and that the interior is free from tears and other defects.
  2. Adjust Your Seat – If your seat is at the wrong height, that can make it difficult for you to properly maneuver your bicycle. Position yourself on the bicycle and stand with one foot on the pedal. The opposite leg should be fully extended yet have a slight bend at the knee. This will ensure a comfortable—and safe—riding position.
  3. Inspect Your Bicycle – Before each ride, you should take the time to look over your bike to ensure it’s in good working order. The handlebars should be secure when held in place and allow you to turn the front wheel easily. Both wheels should be secured to the bike as well and should be aligned with the frame, so they’re straight. Also make sure the chain fits correctly and is lubricated.
  4. Obey the Rules of the Road – You should always ride with traffic, sticking to the right side of the road. If there isn’t a shoulder or bicycle lane, stay as far right as you can. Additionally, stop at intersections, just as you would if you were operating a car. Don’t forget to look out for pedestrians as well as motor vehicles.
  5. Wear Reflective Clothing – Try to wear bright colors at night in addition to reflective clothing. While you should always wear reflective clothing, this is especially true if you’re going to be riding after dusk. Darker clothing will make it harder for other drivers to spot you on the road.

The Don’ts of Bicycle Safety

  1. Don’t Tailgate – While a bicycle accident attorney may warn that tailgating can hurt your chances in recovering damages, the larger concern is for your safety. Getting too close to a motor vehicle in traffic can cause you to become injured or worse.
  2. Don’t Grandstand – It may seem like fun but showing off on your bicycle in traffic can end up causing an accident. You should properly ride your bicycle on city streets, keeping your hands on the handlebars at all times. Save tricks and stunts for bicycle parks designed for those activities.
  3. Don’t Carry Others – Leave your pet at home and resist the urge to “piggyback” others on your bicycle. Unless it has two seats, your bicycle is only intended to carry a single rider and no more. Carrying a pet or letting another person ride with you can make it harder to steer.
  4. Don’t Ride Against Traffic – Riding against traffic may seem safer because you have eyes on approaching vehicles, but it’s actually more dangerous than riding with the flow of traffic. One reason for this is that drivers pulling out into the intersection are less likely to see you. They will be watching for oncoming traffic, which will be to their left. As such, they won’t be looking in your direction and will likely strike you as they pull into the lane. Another reason is that head-on collisions can be much more devastating than if a car were to clip you from behind.
  5. Don’t Ride During Stormy Weather – While you may sometimes get caught unexpectedly in rain, try to avoid this when possible. You should check weather reports before going out on your ride, especially if it looks cloudy outside. Riding in the rain comes with many risks including less visibility and control.

Bicyclists are much more susceptible to injuries than motorists because they don’t have the benefit of a steel cage. While a bicycle accident attorney can help you receive compensatory damages in an accident, it’s much better to protect yourself against the possibility. By practicing safety first and obeying the rules of the road, you’ll be much safer on the roads. If you do get into an accident due to the negligence of another person, contact Lalezary Law Firm right away for legal protection.

The Commuter Cyclist’s Survival Kit

California leads the nation in commuter cyclists on the road. This fact isn’t a surprise as residents in The Golden State value healthy choices over sedentary lifestyles. One problem with this is personal safety.
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Commuter cycling poses a serious health risk: collisions with vehicles. Commuter cyclists have seen their fair share of close calls riding on metro roadways. Typically, auto and bicycle collisions occur due to negligence of the driver.

The driver defends him or herself by accusing the cyclist of negligent cycling. They will allege they didn’t see the cyclist because he or she wasn’t visible.

It’s a legitimate defense that may have merit in the eyes of some judges and jurors. As bicycle accident attorneys, it is our goal to prevent this type of defense from prevailing in a court room.

The best thing you can do is make yourself visible and formidable to motorists. Newer technologies and concepts support these goals. We have scoured the marketplace for the best in safety tools and gear. We have selected the following six items which every commuter’s cyclist survival kit should contain.

Bicycle Accident Lawyer Recommended Safety Survival Kit

1. Turn Signal Cycling Gloves

Turn signal cycling gloves work two-fold. First, they provide the necessary grip that your hands require for general riding. Plus, they come with an arrow that flashes on the back of your hand, a lot like a blinker on a car. It’s pretty hard for the offending driver to argue that they didn’t see you signal.

2. Bicycle Lighting System

Outfitting your bike with a solid lighting system is important. Under California Vehicle Code §21201, it’s the law. If visibility is low, you don’t have a good excuse for riding without the use of lights. So, instead of strapping on some basic bike lamps, you should use a whole lighting system. Modern bike lights can be applied to wheels, clothing, handlebars, front and rear forks, helmets, and pedals. Lighting yourself as bright as a Christmas tree makes it hard for a driver to claim that they “couldn’t see you.”

3. Rear-View Radar

This tool is one of our safety favorites. A rear-view radar warns you of vehicles within 10 feet behind you by sounding an alarm and illuminating. You will know the moment you need to move off the roadway and head to safety. Plus, its memory function may help prove the driver was behind you prior to impact.

4. High-Decibel Bike Horn

Ditch the childhood bell. A regular commuter needs a robust horn that alerts drivers to your presence right away. As bicycle accident attorneys, we suggest finding a horn that has a sound volume between 90 and 100 decibels.

5. GPS Handle Band

A handle band is a device that you place on your handlebars. It clips to the middle of your front fork and is designed to hold your smartphone in place. Its intended use is for hands-free GPS navigation. Ergo, no one can accuse you of negligent cycling.

6. Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses are amazing because they are great for all lighting and weather types. They work to enhance your view and reduce glare. Bicycle accident lawyers agree that you should carry three sets of lenses: dark, yellow, and clear. Dark lenses enhance vision in bright light. Yellow works great for low visibility day light. Clear lenses are perfect for keeping your eyes protected at night.

The best thing you can do to keep yourself safe as a commuter is to outfit yourself with the right gear. Exact rules don’t exist in life and the law. If you do find yourself in a crash with an auto, consult with an experienced bicycle accident attorney.